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Doing More With OpenOffice

OpenOffice is a popular open source office suite, that other than being excellent office suite, lets you extend its functionality through extensions. Made popular by tools like Firefox as addons or by WordPress as plugins, these extensions let you add more. Unfortunately the OpenOffice extensions are not as popular, but they are all the same effective.

There were a series of articles recently which explored this aspect of OpenOffice.

Dmitri Popov presented a small tutorial of writing extension to package templates and AutoText entries as extensions so that adding a template or autotext entries is automated via the extension installation. Companies can use this effectively to make the templates and vocabularies available to a wider userbase. This can also be used to create templates for projects like authoring a book.

He then showed how OpenOffice Impress presentations can be made self-running by using the IndeView extension. IndeView is an independent presentation viewer that can package your Impress presentation so that they can run off CD/DVD or any media.

LanguageTool, an open source language checker, can be used effectively with OpenOffice for checking grammar. Along with this Dmitri Popov listed must-have OpenOffice extensions, which includes the multi-tab extension borrowed from Firefox.

Vivek shows a way to use the OpenOffice Database to store and retrieve your personal data, in this case, a movie database. Note there is no code involved in this, a good example to see how you can effectively employ OpenOffice Database.

Finally, if you want to create your own extensions Dmitri Popov gives you the basics of writing extensions of OpenOffice. A good tutorial to start with if you want to write your own extensions or vertical functionalities.

It is important to note that OpenOffice, inspite of being able to replace other office suites, is different from them. There are certain functions unique to it and certain that it does in its own way. It might be beneficial to read the basics of OpenOffice applications while using them in the beginning. One of the biggest advantages I find with OpenOffice is that not only it is open source and supports extensions, but also that it is cross-platform giving me the freedom to choose it.

Office documents are part of our everyday work. OpenOffice can help you be more productive. Try it out for its unique values, especially if you are using pirated copies of other office suites.

Discussion [Participate or Link]

  1. Dave Fernandez said:

    Do significant numbers of people actually use OpenOffice? Last I heard, the codebase was so craptastic that developers didn’t want to touch it, and that OpenOffice was buggy and slow.

  2. OpenOffice Extensions « The science of lazy blogging said:

    […] 30 05 2007 Ανάμεσα στα άλλα ωραία, ανακάλυψα ένα πολύ χρήσιμο extension για tabs στο OpenOffice. […]

  3. Abhijit Nadgouda said:

    Dave, as far as I know OpenOffice has significant user base. Not only because it supports .odt and can open MS Office files but also because it is cross platform and has had one-click export to PDF for a long time. I am not sure of the codebase, never looked at it. It is slow sometimes, but I think it is more of misconfiguration or sometimes bloat with plugins, as is the case with Firefox.

  4. Open Source And Innovation | iface thoughts said:

    […] In spite of being just another office suite, OpenOffice is unique in what you can do with it. Like Firefox, a host of extensions around this product can completely transform […]

  5. hermes handbags said:

    Dave, as far as I know OpenOffice has significant user base. Not only because it supports .odt and can open MS Office files but also because it is cross platform and has had one-click export to PDF for a long time. I am not sure of the codebase, never looked at it. It is slow sometimes, but I think it is more of misconfiguration or sometimes bloat with plugins, as is the case with Firefox.

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Abhijit Nadgouda
iface Consulting
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