Open Source

How to insert an image into a LibreOffice Base database

Did you know you can add images to your LibreOffice Databases? Here's how to to it, step by step.

Image: Jack Wallen

Databases are powerful tools. Big data depends upon them to power and empower their companies. But not all databases are of that scale. Even small companies and LLCs depend on databases to hold important data (such as employee records or real estate listings). Sometimes that data needs to hold an image. When you find yourself in need of images within a LibreOffice database, you're in luck, it can happen.

However, it's not quite as intuitive as you might think. Let me walk you through the steps so that you can start adding images to your tables. I will assume you already have a database created that needs to have an image field added.

Adding the field

With your database open in LibreOffice base, right-click on the Table you want to add the Image field into and select Edit (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A

Getting ready to edit your LibreOffice Base table.

When the new window opens (Figure B), you'll want to enter a new Field Name in the left column. We'll call that Image. In the Field Type drop-down, select Image [LONGVARBINARY].

Figure B

Figure B

Adding the image field and field type to the table.

Save the table and close that window. You're table is now ready to accept images.

Adding the image

Click on the Forms section in the LibreOffice Base window. Because we've changed the database, we must also create a new form (the previously created form(s) will not contain the new field). Double-click Use Wizard to Create Form and then walk through the wizard, ensuring to select all of the data from the correct table (selected from the Tables or queries drop-down - Figure C).

Figure C

Figure C

Adding all the correct data to your form.

You should now see a form ready for data entry, one that includes an Image field (Figure D).

Figure D

Figure D

Your new form ready to go.

Here's where the process can trip some users up. How do you add an image? If you click on any other form field, you can enter data...simple as that. However, if you click on the Image field, there's no such luck. What you must do is right-click the Image field and then select Insert Image from. This will then open up your default file manager and allow you to add your image.

That's it. You have successfully added an image to your LibreOffice Base database. Now that you have your form created, you can quickly add images.

Power at your fingertips

LibreOffice Base is a very powerful tool. Used properly, it can go a long way to help make your office run much more smoothly. With the ability to add images to your databases, LibreOffice Base should now be able to even better handle the needs of your home, small, or mid-sized office.

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Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website

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