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Open Office

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  Create OpenDocument invoices and other documents with Rexx        

OpenOffice.org is about where MS-Office was some years ago.Wich is adequte for most users. Actually Office 2003 was probably the verst version of Ms Office as for users.

Few remember that it was Sun who initaly bought the compnay and the open sourced this product. Thank you Sun for such a wonderful gift. 

Let me tell you a very short history of OpenOffice. Long time ago a company named Star Division from Hamburg in Germany had build an office suite named Star Office. In the second half of the nineties the suite had a market share of more than 50 % in Germany, so it was quite successfull.

Some years later SUN Microsystems bought Star Division and released most of the code of Star Office under the name OpenOffice as Free Software while they felt (like IBM, Oracle and some other companies) something had to be done to counter the monopoly. In my opinion a very succelfull move.

While much of what SUN Microsystems does might be questioned I have to praise them for this move. Let's hope that Novell finds something to do with comparable effects.

Yeah, not to mention than Sun still pays the salary of former StarDivision, while IBM (whose PROPIETARY Lotus Software integrates with M$Office but not OO) dimises OO and even recomended not to use it while selling IBM computers with M$Office preinstalled.

RedHat, Ximian (now part of Novell) and a few others also have made contributions, especially to make integrate OO with its respective Linux distros. That's all.

History

PR: OpenOffice.org 2.0 Is Here
Oct 20, 2005, 13 :45 UTC (30 Talkback[s]) (4102 reads)

[ Thanks to Louis Suбrez-Potts for this release. ]

OpenOffice.org 2.0 is the productivity suite that individuals, governments, and corporations around the world have been expecting for the last two years. Easy to use and fluidly interoperable with every major office suite, OpenOffice.org 2.0 realises the potential of open source. Besides a powerful new database module and advanced XML capabilities, OpenOffice.org natively supports the internationally standardised OpenDocument format, which several countries, as well as the U.S. state of Massachusetts, have established as the default for office documents. More than any other suite, OpenOffice.org 2.0 gives users around the globe the tools to be engaged and productive members of their society.

Available in 36 languages, with more on the way, and able to run natively on Windows, Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X (X11) and several other platforms, OpenOffice.org banishes software segregation and isolation and dramatically levels the playing field. And, with its support for the OASIS standard OpenDocument format, OpenOffice.org eliminates the fear of vendor lock in or format obsolescence. The OpenDocument format can be used by any office application, ensuring that documents can be viewed, edited and printed for generations to come. OpenOffice.org 2.0 is a breath of hope for small economies that can now have a local language office suite well adapted to their needs and to their economical possibilities, reducing their dependency on the interests of proprietary software vendors.

"OpenOffice.org is on a path toward being the most popular office suite the world has ever seen and is providing users with safety, choice, and an opportunity to participate in one of the broadest community efforts the Internet has ever seen. As a member of that community, I'd like to offer my heartiest congratulations," stated Jonathan Schwartz, President and CEO of Sun Microsystems.

Built by a community including Sun Microsystems, its primary sponsor and contributor, Novell, Red Hat, Debian, Propylon, Intel, as well as independent programmers, translators, writers, and marketers; OpenOffice.org 2.0 demonstrates the success, dedication and proficiency of the open source software community.

That community now includes the City of Vienna, which recently started deploying OpenOffice.org throughout. "We are very happy about the functionality and quality of the OpenOffice.org software. We are confident that OpenOffice.org will be made available to all of our 18,000 workstation users," said Brigitte Lutz of the City of Vienna.

Louis Suбrez-Potts, OpenOffice.org Community Manager, commented that "OpenOffice.org 2.0 is the culmination of a collaborative process involving thousands working in dozens of languages everywhere in the world. It shows that open source can produce software of the highest quality and assure the robustness, usability and security that users expect in their office suite."

In addition to the OpenDocument format, the redesigned user interface and a new database module, OpenOffice.org 2.0 also adds improved PDF support, a superior spreadsheet module, enhanced desktop integration and several other features that take advantage of its advanced XML capabilities, such as the ability to easily create, edit and use XForms.


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[Jan 14, 2018] Configuring OpenOffice.org Writer by Bruce Byfield

Notable quotes:
"... Bruce Byfield is a computer journalist whose work appears regularly on the Linux Journal, NewsForge and Linux.com websites. ..."
Feb 16, 2007 | www.linuxjournal.com
Like other OpenOffice.org applications, Writer has dozens of options available from Tools > Options > OpenOffice.org Writer. These options allow you to adjust both the general settings of Writer and specific options for different kinds of formatting. Many are ideal for desktop publishing, and a similar set of options is available for web documents under Tools > Options > OpenOffice.org Writer/Web.

However, there are several small problems when adjusting Writer options. First, unlike in earlier versions of OpenOffice.org, in recent versions you can only review options when you have a text document open. Second, like the general settings for OpenOffice.org's behavior, options are not always in the most logical place. In some cases you may have to jump around from tab to tab to make the adjustments you want. Finally, because the options have been slightly rearranged from earlier versions, you may find that the online help does not always explain your choices in enough detail, or refer to options that have been removed from the program.

Yet, despite these problems (or maybe because of them), a tour of Writer options may help you to customize the application to fit your preferred methods of work.


General setup

The first tab you'll probably want to visit is Basic Fonts. Since this tab sets the fonts for text (or Default), headings, and several other basic situations. I think of it as a quick and dirty alternative to using paragraph styles. If you do use the tab as a style substitute, you can check the Current document only box; otherwise, your settings apply to all new Writer documents.

Your next stops should be the General tab. On the General tab, you can set fields and charts to update automatically each time you open a document, which is generally a good idea unless you are working on a very low end-machine. For measurement units, you can take your choice of imperial, metrical, or typographical measurements; personally, I always use points so that I can use Fixed line spacing in paragraph styles; since line spacing is related to font size, which is always in measured in points, for me it just doesn't make any sense to use any other measurement -- especially since I can set ruler measurements separately on the View tab.

Tab stop intervals are also adjustable on the General tab, although usually I don't bother. For ordinary writing, the first line indent in paragraph styles replaces tabs. If I want to do any more advanced layout, I find that tables with invisible borders more reliable than tabs, since I am often sharing documents with MS Office users and have to endure the import/export process. However, if you do use tabs, the default of half an inch is far too much by typographical standards. A quarter or a third of an inch will usually do.

Some users may also change the non-printing characters that display in a document from the Formatting Aids tab, although View > Nonprinting characters is more convenient. In much the same way, rather than using the Print tab, you will probably find choosing them from File > Print more convenient. The only exception is if you prefer to always have these options on. For instance, If your printer needs a new cartridge and you can't get to the store for a week, you might need to select Print black from the Printer tab so that your printed pages are dark enough.


Formatting options

What other basic settings you adjust depends on what you are doing. In the Tables tab, you can adjust the defaults so the table does not split over pages, which is easier for readers but can cause some typographically-challenged page breaks. You can also choose to have a Heading row automatically in each table, or whether to have visible borders in your tables, or to have table cells number aware, so that all numbers are aligned to the lower right corner of their cells.

The Tables tab has other options, but most users are unlikely to have much use for them. In my experience, few users need to adjust the default sizes for rows and columns created from the keyboard. Nor can many remember the differences in how tables behave when you add or delete rows.

If you are collaborating on a document, you may also want to make adjustments on the Changes tab, or setup and test the options for e-mail merges from the Mail Merge E-mail tab. And if you are sharing documents with people using MS Office or a 1.1 version of OpenOffice.org, you can adjust the settings on the Compatibility tab. The wording of the compatibility options doesn't make it clear, but, basically, any option that doesn't specifically mention OpenOffice.org 1.1 is for MS Word compatibility.


Layout options

For those wishing to take advantage of Writer's desktop publishing capabilities, a number of options are scattered throughout the tabs.

For precise placement of objects and text frames, I recommend enabling the Vertical ruler on the View tab. As you move objects, their position on each ruler is highlighted, allowing you to place them exactly.

Equally useful is setting the grid options. For precision work, you'll likely want to change the default resolutions. You'll also want to select a visible grid. The Snap to grid option, which automatically moves an object to the nearest coordinate on the grid from the place you drag it can also be useful sometimes, although it can interferes with precision unless you've taken the trouble to find exactly the right resolution for your needs. Otherwise, it should be turned off. Should the default gray for the grid points be too faint for your eyes, you can go to Tools > Options > OpenOffice.org > Appearance and change their colors.

If you are manipulating a lot of objects, you might click the View tab and select to display large handles for them, or to have guides visible while you move them. If the objects have captions, you can save time and effort by having the captions automatically inserted by using the settings on the Autocaptions tab -- although, if you don't want the category of object displayed as a prefix in the caption (for instance, "Illustration 1"), you'll need to set the category for the class of each object to None.

If you are doing layout, most of the time, you'll probably want to drag objects and text frames to build your design. However, Writer also has another quick and dirty option called Direct Cursor on the Formatting Aids tab. When Direct Cursor is enabled, you can position the mouse anywhere on a page, instead of being limited only to the area where you have already added content, the way you usually are in a word processor. Be warned, though: the Direct Cursor truly is a dirty option that ignores paragraph styles and adds manual line breaks as needed to reposition the cursor. Still, if you are doing intensive layout, that may not matter to you.

Another option that may be useful in design work is the Brochure option on the Print tab. This is an option for printing two portrait pages on a landscape-oriented page, which can then be folded into a brochure. Needless to say, it works best with a printer that allows double-sided printing. However, you can also use Brochure with a printer that only does one-sided printing by first printing only the right pages, then reinserting the printout into the paper tray and printing only the left pages. In addition to printing a brochure, the option may also be useful for printing thumbnails.


Web Options

The Options window has separate entries for Writer and Writer/Web. As you might guess, Writer/Web contains options for HTML pages opened in writer. HTML being simpler than word processor, many of the options are stripped out of Writer/Web, including those for captions and changes -- oddly, OpenOffice.org developers seem never to have considered that users might want to collaborate on an online document. The only additional tab for web documents is Background, which is in keeping with HTML's single page format, although options for images are not included.


Conclusion

If the available options are more than you care to handle, in most cases you can safely ignore them. In almost every case, the default options for Writer are likely to be acceptable to most users, even if they are not ideal. Some, like the viewing of nonprinting characters are available from the menu, while others can be set elsewhere in Writer, such as the default fonts. However, when you want more control of your word processing or desktop publishing, spent some time familiarizing yourself with the options. Unless you're very unusual, you're sure to find a tweak or two that will make your computing easier.


Bruce Byfield is a computer journalist whose work appears regularly on the Linux Journal, NewsForge and Linux.com websites.
______________________

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Bruce Byfield (nanday)

Tab stops in the BASIC editor? gwmorris's picture Submitted by gwmorris (not verified) on Mon, 08/09/2010 - 17:12. No matter what I've tried, I can't seem to change tab stops in the OO VBE. That and other problems keeps my productivity down, and I can run MS's Office like a pro (YEARS of experience). Now that I want to switch from Windows (hate it), OO seems to be THE alternative, it's just a bitch to configure. Does anyone know how to do this? The default is 4 and I like 2 as I indent my code religiously and 2 is easier to read. I've searched and read, searched and read, yet I never can find anything on this that actually works. Help! Thanks for Showing Me How to Change Tab Settings Christoph Dollis's picture Submitted by Christoph Dollis (not verified) on Sun, 02/24/2008 - 03:41. I love OpenOffice.org Writer and Calc especially, the two programs I use. Granted, my needs are fairly basic -- a brochure is as advanced as I've gotten in writer.

But it works like a charm and creates much smaller files than Word. It also handles tables better and this is important to me since I do my fitness plan and other documents on 3x5" cards. Plus it's free. at last ... Ponj's picture Submitted by Ponj (not verified) on Wed, 09/26/2007 - 10:21. you hit it on the head, explore your programs if you have a desktop...some are just too plain scared or clueless about being able to handle their own unit. just like most car owners are rarely mechanics, pc owners should at least know how to explore its potential... An excellent article. new thumbs daily's picture Submitted by new thumbs daily (not verified) on Tue, 09/18/2007 - 14:42. An excellent article. Thanks for the nice article. Frank Barner's picture Submitted by Frank Barner (not verified) on Mon, 02/26/2007 - 03:19. Thanks for the nice article. I was playing around with the options of the Writer but wasn't really satisfied so far with the configuration. Now, after reading this article, everything is perfect. Writer Greece Hotels's picture Submitted by Greece Hotels (not verified) on Fri, 08/31/2007 - 11:26. I agree 100% with the above statement. This article has really helped in my utilizing of Writer in OpenOffice. Thanks for sharing it with us. OpenOffice.org Writer scribe63's picture Submitted by scribe63 (not verified) on Mon, 02/19/2007 - 08:17. Very informative article.
I have a love/hate relationship with openoffice.org Writer/Web. I have been using it since day one, mainly to make documents from internet sources.
What i like about it is that i can gather information and save it in it's native odf format, pdf, html, and or doc formats when needed.
When i gather information from the internet, sometimes it's text only but most of time pictures are included - gotta have pictures.
When i copy and paste a page that has pictures, writer goes bananas. It seems to use up a lot of resources to get what it needs to display the images. When it does that i can't scroll the page, it becomes unresponsive, it totally grays out, and sometimes my whole desktop becomes unresponsive for a couple of minutes until it resolves the links for the images, and sometimes it eventually crashes.

When it does crash at least it recovers the information, any one else has this experience.

Beyond those issues, at $00.00 cost the features you get, it's amazing Re: OpenOffice.org Writer Anonymous's picture Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 02/21/2007 - 11:41. ...just open the http URL by including the URL into OpenOffice.org's own file dialog and press return to load the HTML page. Before you go online with OpenOffice.org check that internet settings (proxies) are set in /tools/options/internet/proxy if you need a proxy setting to reach the internet from within your network. Writer - Intuitive Kirsty's picture Submitted by Kirsty (not verified) on Sun, 02/18/2007 - 09:43. I agree that Writer has its faults, but it is not as over-engineered as MS Word which like most MS software is buggy and not user friendly. Writer is written with the end user in mind and is therefore far more intuitive than other word processor software. Open Office

[Oct 21, 2017] How to create an e-book chapter template in LibreOffice Writer by Scott Nesbitt

Oct 21, 2017 | opensource.com

For many people, using a word processor is the fastest, easiest, and most familiar way to write and publish an e-book. But firing up your word processor and typing away isn't enough -- you need to follow a format.

That's where a template comes in. A template ensures that your book has a consistent look and feel. Luckily, creating a template is quick and easy, and the time and effort you spend on it will give you a better-looking book.

In this article, I'll walk you through how to create a simple template for writing individual chapters of an e-book using LibreOffice Writer. You can use this template for both PDF and EPUB books and modify it to suit your needs.

My approach

Why am I focusing on creating a template for a chapter rather than one for an entire book? Because it's easier to write and manage individual chapters than it is to work on a single monolithic document.

By focusing on individual chapters, you can focus on what you need to write. You can easily move those chapters around, and it's less cumbersome to send a reviewer a single chapter rather than your full manuscript. When you've finished writing a chapter, you can simply stitch your chapters together to publish the book (I'll discuss how to do that below). But don't feel that you're stuck with this approach -- if you prefer to write in single file, simply adapt the steps described in this article to doing so.

Let's get started.

Setting up the page

This is important only if you plan to publish your e-book as a PDF. Setting up the page means your book won't comprise a mass of eye-straining text running across the screen.

Select Format > Page to open the Page Style window. My PDF e-books are usually 5x8 inches tall (about 13x20cm, for those of us in the metric world). I also set the margins to half an inch (around 1.25 cm). These are my preferred dimensions; use whatever size suits you.

lo-page-style.png LibreOffice Page Style window

The Page Style window in LibreOffice Writer lets you set margins and format the page.

Next, add a footer to display a page number. Keep the Page Style window open and click the Footer tab. Select Footer on and click OK .

On the page, click in the footer, then select Insert > Field > Page Number . Don't worry about the position and appearance of the page number; we'll take care of that next.

Setting up your styles

Like the template itself, styles provide a consistent look and feel for your documents. If you want to change the font or the size of a heading, for example, you need do it in only one place rather than manually applying formatting to each heading.

The standard LibreOffice template comes with a number of styles that you can fiddle with to suit your needs. To do that, press F11 to open the Styles and Formatting window.

lo-paragraph-style.png LibreOffice styles and formatting

Change fonts and other details using the Styles and Formatting window.

Right-click on a style and select Modify to edit it. Here are the main styles that I use in every book I write:

Style Font Spacing/Alignment
Heading 1 Liberation Sans, 36 pt 36 pt above, 48 pt below, aligned left
Heading 2 Liberation Sans, 18 pt 12 pt above, 12 pt below, aligned left
Heading 3 Liberation Sans, 14 pt 12 pt above, 12 pt below, aligned left
Text Body Liberation Sans, 12 pt 12 pt above, 12 pt below, aligned left
Footer Liberation Sans, 10 pt Aligned center
lo-styles-in-action.png LibreOffice styles in action

Here's what a selected style looks like when applied to ebook content.

That's usually the bare minimum you need for most books. Feel free to change the fonts and spacing to suit your needs.

Depending on the type of book you're writing, you might also want to create or modify styles for bullet and number lists, quotes, code samples, figures, etc. Just remember to use fonts and their sizes consistently.

Saving your template

Select File > Save As . In the Save dialog box, select ODF Text Document Template (.ott) from the formats list. This saves the document as a template, which you'll be able to quickly call up later.

The best place to save it is in your LibreOffice templates folder. In Linux, for example, that's in your /home directory, under . config/libreoffice/4/user/template

Writing your book

Before you start writing, create a folder on your computer that will hold all the files -- chapters, images, notes, etc. -- for your book.

When you're ready to write, fire up LibreOffice Writer and select File > New > Templates . Then select your template from the list and click Open .

lo-template-list.png LibreOffice Writer template list

Select your template from the list you set up in LibreOffice Writer and begin writing.

Then save the document with a descriptive name.

Avoid using conventions like Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 -- at some point, you might decide to shuffle your chapters around, and it can get confusing when you're trying to manage those chapters. You could, however, put chapter numbers, like Chapter 1 or Ch1, in the file name. It's easier to rename a file like that if you do wind up rearranging the chapters of your book.

With that out of the way, start writing. Remember to use the styles in the template to format the text -- that's why you created the template, right?

Publishing your e-book

Once you've finished writing a bunch of chapters and are ready to publish them, create a master document. Think of a master document as a container for the chapters you've written. Using a master document, you can quickly assemble your book and rearrange your chapters at will. The LibreOffice help offers detailed instructions for working with master documents .

Assuming you want to generate a PDF, don't just click the Export Directly to PDF button. That will create a decent PDF, but you might want to optimize it. To do that, select File > Export as PDF and tweak the settings in the PDF options window. You can learn more about that in the LibreOffice Writer documentation .

If you want to create an EPUB instead of, or in addition to, a PDF, install the Writer2EPUB extension. Opensource.com's Bryan Behrenshausen shares some useful instructions for the extension.

Final thoughts

The template we've created here is bare-bones, but you can use it for a simple book, or as the starting point for building a more complex template. Either way, this template will quickly get you started writing and publishing your e-book.

Scott Nesbitt - I'm a long-time user of free/open source software, and write various things for both fun and profit. I don't take myself too seriously and I do all of my own stunts. You can find me at these fine establishments on the web: Twitter , Mastodon , GitHub , and... more about Scott Nesbitt

[Oct 14, 2017] 10 Free Linux Productivity Apps You Haven't Heard Of - Make Tech Easier

Oct 14, 2017 | www.maketecheasier.com
  1. Eddie G. says Just to note. There's also "Dia" which is similar to Visio as well and then there's "VYM" or V-iew Y-our M-ind. A mind mapping tool with it's own set of tools, shortcuts etc. I find these along with an install of LibreOffice is sufficient ot keep me as productive as I need to be. Great article!

Using OpenOffice.org as an Outliner by Dmitri Popov

Apr 17, 2009 | Linux Magazine

Although OpenOffice.org Writer can't replace a dedicated outlining application, there are two ways to turn the word processor into a lightweight outliner. The easiest one is to press the Numbering On/Off button in the main toolbar or the F12 key.

This turns the current line in the documents into a numbered entry and displays the Bullets and Numbering context toolbar which offers basic outlining tools. The Promote, Demote, Move Up and Move Down buttons in the toolbar allow you to easily rearrange outline entries, while Bullet and Numbering opens the dialog window which lets you tweak different settings such as Numbering type, Outline, Position, etc. You can also create a custom outlining style or modify an existing one using Stylist. Press F11 to evoke the Stylist panel, switch to the List Styles section, right-click then on the style you want to edit and choose Modify from the context menu. If you want to create a new style from scratch, choose the New item from the same context menu or press Shift+F11.

Another approach requires a bit more work, but it allows you to use OpenOffice.org Writer as a two-pane outliner. This solution is based on the Outline Numbering feature which lets you specify a hierarchy of heading styles and then manage them using the Navigator. By default, OpenOffice.org Writer uses the built-in heading styles (i.e., Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3, etc.) for each level, but you can easily change that using the Tools -> Outline Numbering dialog window.

Using heading styles to structure your outline is easy: apply the Heading 1 style to the top level of your outline and other heading styles to sub-levels, for example:

Primates (Heading 1)
Monkeys (Heading 2)
Capuchins (Heading 3)
Japanese snow monkeys (Heading 3)

The fastest way to apply styles is to use keyboard shortcuts: Ctrl+1 for Heading 1, Ctrl+2 for Heading 2, and so on. To make Writer look like a more conventional two-pane outliner, open the Navigator panel (press F5 or choose View -> Navigator) and dock it to the right or left of the main window. To do this, drag Navigator close to the right or left side of the screen, and release the mouse button when you see a gray window outline. In the Navigator panel, expand the Headings section, and you should see the outline as a hierarchical tree containing the specified headings:

Primates
    Monkeys
        Capuchins
        Japanese snow monkeys

You can quickly navigate to a specific heading by double-clicking on it in the Navigator. But that's not all: the Navigator also offers four buttons that allow you to promote and demote levels as well as move them up and down. Using these buttons, you can rearrange your outline and move headings around as you would in a traditional outliner.

=== Please . . . you haven't tried org-mode yet

Bryan Berry Apr 18, 2009 4:13pm GMT

OpenOffice outliner is OK, but emacs-orgmode or vim outliner beat the pants off of it. I highly recommend emacs orgmode, it is so useful that it converted me from the cult of vi to the church of emacs.

sincerely,


a former vi-ninja-cum-emacs-pirate

[Dec 3, 2007] OpenOffice.org 2.3 Impresses

I am not a fan of Wiki format and think that HTML is OK for this purpose and Wiki format outlived its usefulness but still this is an interesting feature.
Next I tested the most significant addition to OpenOffice's Writer application, the ability to export newly created files to the MediaWiki format, a feature-rich collaborative editing software that runs Wikipedia.

I first loaded the file up with a bunch of character formatting, such as italicized, bolded and underlined chunks of text. I also included a hyperlink. From the file dialog, I chose Export and selected MediaWiki.txt from the File Format drop-down menu. I then cut and pasted the entire document into a blank Wiki page and discovered that the italicized text made it through the conversion, as did the hyperlink. The underlined text and bold text, however, did not pass the test. Apostrophes also fared poorly, not maintaining their "smart quotes" status.

Still, introducing this format as an option to users is recognizing the growing importance and undeniable usability of the Web-based collaborative workspace that the smart and savvy should be incorporating into their software ASAP (or be left in the dust).

OpenOffice is ten years behind MS Office That's just fine!

Completely bogus arguments. You need to use the best tool if you can afford, not the cheapest one. Greedy Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols does not want to buy software while getting nice salary by talking about software from Ziff. And I am sure this guy gets pretty nice salary, far better that journalists, say, in Ukraine and definitely can afford Office Professional for his Ziff-Davis salary if this is a more productive tool.

I use OO.o (OpenOffice.org) 2 every day. It works. It has all the features I need. It's fast. It's reliable. I can send files from it via email directly from my application. It's also secure, unlike Office. And, its file format can also be read now and forever-after by any program that uses the ODF (Open Document Format).

Oh, and did I mention that OO.o doesn't cost a penny, while Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003 lists for $499?

Linux Journal: OOo Off the Wall: That's Your Version--Document Control in OOo Writer
(Mar 8, 2006, 11:30 UTC) (910 reads) (0 talkbacks) (feedback)
"Learn how to use Writer's version control tools to keep track of who made which changes and when, without diving into big CMS applications..."

SearchOpenSource: Finding Hidden Treasures in OpenOffice 2.0's Charting Wizard
(Mar 8, 2006, 13:00 UTC) (832 reads) (0 talkbacks) (feedback)
"Nancy [Drew] would have been great at doing charts in OpenOffice 2.0..."

Slashdot OpenOffice Bloated

ZDNet's George Ou has been writing a series of posts about Open Office bloat. Includes some interesting system usage comparisons" From the article: "Even when dealing with what is essentially the same data, OpenOffice Calc uses up 211 MBs of private unsharable memory while Excel uses up 34 MBs of private unsharable memory. The fact that OpenOffice.org Calc takes about 100 times the CPU time explains the kind of drastic results we were getting where Excel could open a file in 2 seconds while Calc would take almost 3 minutes. Most of that massive speed difference is due to XML being very processor intensive, but Microsoft still handles its own XML files about 7 times faster than OpenOffice.org handles OpenDocument ODS format and uses far less memory than OpenOffice.org."

OpenOffice.org 2.0 Has Edge over Its StarOffice 8 Cousin

OpenOffice.org 2.0 and StarOffice 8 share the same code base and are nearly identical. The primary differences are in packaging and certain non-free software components that come bundled with Sun's suite.

The purchase price of StarOffice 8 also includes support from Sun, where OpenOffice.org 2.0 support comes at an additional cost.

OpenOffice.org 2.0 and StarOffice 8 use the same native file format, OpenDocument, and the same macro language.

Organizations that mix the two suites, therefore, can expect complete compatibility. (The OpenOffice.org Project recently made available an update to its earlier OpenOffice.org version, 1.1.5, that includes the capability to open, but not to create, OpenDocument-formatted files.)

Read more here about why StarOffice 8 rivals Microsoft Office.

We tested OpenOffice.org 2.0 on Ubuntu Linux 5.10, SuSE Linux 10 and Windows XP, and the suite performed similarly on all three systems. One difference we noted while testing OpenOffice on SuSE 10 was the way that the suite took on the appearance and functional qualities of the GNOME and KDE desktop environments, depending on which we were using.

Unlike StarOffice 8, OpenOffice.org adopted environment-specific dialogs for opening and saving documents, a nice integration touch.

Another benefit that OpenOffice 2.0 offers on Linux systems is better integration with the various packaging systems with which different Linux distributions ship. Sun ships StarOffice 8 as a set of RPM packages.

Basic button-pushing with OpenOffice.org macros

There are two ways to create a macro in OOo. One is to use OpenOffice.org Basic to write the macro. The other is to use the macro recorder. That will be the approach we focus on.

The macro recorder is great, because it lets you create a macro without any programming, and when you're done you can look at the code it built and add your own enhancements.

We'll sort a grocery list to illustrate how to build macros. I update my OpenOffice.org Calc-created grocery list spreadsheet weekly before trudging off to the store. I don't know how some of you shoppers do it with your handwritten random lists.

Before I run my macro, I delete the quantity of each item from the previous week. I sort the list alphabetically by grocery item (column A), then enter the desired number of each grocery item (column B). Once I've done that data entry, I want to sort the list from lowest to highest according to aisle (column C), filter the list so only non-zero-quantity items show up, then print the filtered list.

I created a macro to sort by item name using the macro recorder:

Why macros?
Why would you want to use macros? If you do repetitive jobs, like moving data around in a spreadsheet or regularly deleting old data from a column, some simple macros can save you lots of time and reduce your error rate. Automating tasks in OpenOffice.org might just turn you into the departmental macro guru, and managers and business owners like people who can make using spreadsheets faster and easier.

Running the macro is even easier than creating it. Step through the Tools menu, Macro, and Run Macro. Pick the macro out of the list and push the Run button at top right. In my case it was My Macros, Standard, Module1, and "sorta." The spreadsheet flashed briefly and then it was sorted alphabetically by column A.

Creating a macro to sort by aisle was the same process, except I sorted on Column C instead of Column A and named it "sortc."

I also created a "finddeli" macro that looks for all instances of the word "deli" in my list. You can record just about any sequence of actions or key clicks and turn them into a macro.

Attaching macros to buttons

Clicking through the Tools, Macro, Run Macro sequence is almost as much effort as just sorting manually. A worthwhile upgrade I made was to attach the sorta macro to a button that could be placed right on the spreadsheet:

You can now run the sorting macro by clicking on the button.

Creating buttons and macros for simple repetitive jobs like this can save you loads of time. You might look at your spreadsheets and make a list of the tasks that you do over and over, then record a macro and run it to see if it saves you some time. Any situation where you flip back and forth between some spreadsheet state is a candidate for some pushbutton automation.

If you want to get more sophisticated with your spreadsheets, you can also use text boxes, radio buttons, and list boxes. Controls like buttons and list boxes on forms are another way to interface with macros.

For a thorough education on OpenOffice.org macros be sure to get "OpenOffice.org Macros Explained" by Andrew Pitonyak. Don't let the book's massive 476 pages intimidate you. It has vast sections of basic programming practice that explain things in minute detail. It could be a knowledgeable silent companion for anybody who wants to be a departmental OpenOffice.org macro guru.

... ... ...

Links

  1. "OpenOffice.org" - http://www.openoffice.org/
  2. "OpenOffice.org Basic" - http://api.openoffice.org/docs/DevelopersGuide/BasicAndDialogs/BasicAndDialogs.htm
  3. ""OpenOffice.org Macros Explained"" - http://service.bfast.com/bfast/click?bfmid=2181&sourceid=39391960&isbn=1930919514
  4. "Rob Reilly" - mailto:robreilly@earthlink.net

[Apr. 10, 2001] A new OpenOffice.org snapshot (625) has been released. New and exciting features in it include:

As per usual, there is full support for compiling on Linux/x86, Linux/PPC, Solaris (sparc and x86) and Win32 platforms.

> Yeah SUN did a contribute some but has paid lip
> service to the cause as far as I know.

Let me tell you a very short history of OpenOffice. Long time ago a company named Star Division from Hamburg in Germany had build an office suite named Star Office. In the second half of the nineties the suite had a market share of more than 50 % in Germany, so it was quite successfull.

Some years later SUN Microsystems bought Star Division and released most of the code of Star Office under the name OpenOffice as Free Software while they felt (like IBM, Oracle and some other companies) something had to be done to counter the monopoly. In my opinion a very succelfull move.

While much of what SUN Microsystems does might be questioned I have to praise them for this move. Let's hope that Novell finds something to do with comparable effects.

Yeah, not to mention than Sun still pays the salary of former StarDivision, while IBM (whose PROPIETARY Lotus Software integrates with M$Office but not OO) dimises OO and even recomended not to use it while selling IBM computers with M$Office preinstalled.

RedHat, Ximian (now part of Novell) and a few others also have made contributions, especially to make integrate OO with its respective Linux distros. That's all.

David May - Subject: No matter how much Sun tries... ( Oct 20, 2005, 19:45:03 )
I want to preface this comment by saying that I am not a Sun employee, I am not associated with Sun in any formal way (I administer a few Sun systems, but mostly I administer Linux systems), and I don't own Sun stock (thank goodness :o). However, OpenOffice.org is a software product that _exists_ because of a generous donation by Sun Microsystems, Inc. It was a _substantial_ donation given in good faith and utilized by many, including myself and my family, in the open source community. We have gotten tremendous benifit from the use of this software. Did I mention that *Sun* made this contribution.
I just installed OpenOffice.org for Windows. For those who think that Sun Microsystems is not the primary contributor to OpenOffice.org (!), here is the copyright that comes up:


Copyright 2002,2005 Sun Microsystems, Inc.

This product has been created with contributions from the OpenOffice.org community, of which Sun Microsystems Inc. is the founding member. OpenOffice.org acknowledges all community members, especially those mentioned at http://www.openoffice.org/welcome/credits.html.


PR: OpenOffice.org 2.0 Is Here
Oct 20, 2005, 13 :45 UTC (30 Talkback[s]) (4102 reads)

[ Thanks to Louis Suбrez-Potts for this release. ]

OpenOffice.org 2.0 is the productivity suite that individuals, governments, and corporations around the world have been expecting for the last two years. Easy to use and fluidly interoperable with every major office suite, OpenOffice.org 2.0 realises the potential of open source. Besides a powerful new database module and advanced XML capabilities, OpenOffice.org natively supports the internationally standardised OpenDocument format, which several countries, as well as the U.S. state of Massachusetts, have established as the default for office documents. More than any other suite, OpenOffice.org 2.0 gives users around the globe the tools to be engaged and productive members of their society.

Available in 36 languages, with more on the way, and able to run natively on Windows, Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X (X11) and several other platforms, OpenOffice.org banishes software segregation and isolation and dramatically levels the playing field. And, with its support for the OASIS standard OpenDocument format, OpenOffice.org eliminates the fear of vendor lock in or format obsolescence. The OpenDocument format can be used by any office application, ensuring that documents can be viewed, edited and printed for generations to come. OpenOffice.org 2.0 is a breath of hope for small economies that can now have a local language office suite well adapted to their needs and to their economical possibilities, reducing their dependency on the interests of proprietary software vendors.

"OpenOffice.org is on a path toward being the most popular office suite the world has ever seen and is providing users with safety, choice, and an opportunity to participate in one of the broadest community efforts the Internet has ever seen. As a member of that community, I'd like to offer my heartiest congratulations," stated Jonathan Schwartz, President and CEO of Sun Microsystems.

Built by a community including Sun Microsystems, its primary sponsor and contributor, Novell, Red Hat, Debian, Propylon, Intel, as well as independent programmers, translators, writers, and marketers; OpenOffice.org 2.0 demonstrates the success, dedication and proficiency of the open source software community.

That community now includes the City of Vienna, which recently started deploying OpenOffice.org throughout. "We are very happy about the functionality and quality of the OpenOffice.org software. We are confident that OpenOffice.org will be made available to all of our 18,000 workstation users," said Brigitte Lutz of the City of Vienna.

Louis Suбrez-Potts, OpenOffice.org Community Manager, commented that "OpenOffice.org 2.0 is the culmination of a collaborative process involving thousands working in dozens of languages everywhere in the world. It shows that open source can produce software of the highest quality and assure the robustness, usability and security that users expect in their office suite."

In addition to the OpenDocument format, the redesigned user interface and a new database module, OpenOffice.org 2.0 also adds improved PDF support, a superior spreadsheet module, enhanced desktop integration and several other features that take advantage of its advanced XML capabilities, such as the ability to easily create, edit and use XForms.

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