experimental pdf editing in openoffice 3

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OpenOffice.org Impress

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An experimental extension to edit pdf documents in open office is now available at the extensions repository. It is only available for the beta version of openoffice (ie, it will not work with openoffice 2.x) and is fine if you want to manipulate small pieces of the pdf text (and the source is not available). This is done in the Impress part of the OpenOffice.org suite.  The extension is available for many platforms, including solaris, mac os, windows and linux.

More information is available at gullfoss and in this article available at the free your media site.

Enjoy!

I.

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Useful additions to OpenOffice.org suite

OpenOffice.

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The following links may be useful to the many users of OpenOffice.org, the free, open source Office Productivity Suite. To say more about the suite itself would be an exercise in futility. I urge interested readers to visit and to explore the huge openoffice site to find out more about OpenOffice.org.

One of my favorite places for openoffice.org stuff is the following: Lingucomponent. This is where you can download several dictionary, hyphenation and thesaurus files for several languages. Another such interesting site is this one with extensions to improve the functionality of the Openoffice.org suite.

To install these extensions (which come as single .oxt files), we open OpenOffice, select the Tools menu, then select Extension Manager (see image below).

We will get a new window showing two entries: MyExtentions and OpenOffice.org Extensions. The important button is the Add which allows to import the extension of our choice into the system.

Here is a brief list of extensions I have already installed from the site:

  1. pagination does what its name implies; it provides several methods for inputing page numbers by adding an extra entry under the Insert menu.
  2. Set of templates for various purposes. According to the site, “… each template makes creating personalised and individual OpenOffice.org documents a breeze with built-in images and text styles”.
  3. Writertools. I have written in the past about this extension. Here is another site for the same extension. The extension adds a new menu (next to the original Tools menu) and adds to the functionality of OpenOffice extensively.

While talking about extending the abilities of OpenOffice.org, it is important to mention that according to SUN, there will developmental builds for amd64 platforms starting very soon. Head over to GullFOSS for more information and news about openoffice.

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microsoft ofice will not support older microsoft office formats

The article in Wired was pretty much clear: Microsoft OFfice 2003 service pack 3 will drop support for older microsoft office formats.  In other words, when the service pack 3 is installed, older files such as powerpoint before office 97, lotus and quattro files, word and excel files will not open by default and access to these files will be denied on account of security risks and concerns.

This is half the truth.  The other half is that these files will open if the user rolls up his/her sleeves, signs a written affidavit that he/she has nothing better to do than waste precious productive time and did not curse several expletive towards Pacific Northwest corporation headquarters of microsoft, delves into the pc registry and manually hacks the registry values to allow for such files to open.  Now, of course, converters may do the trick, but large corporations and academic institutions with large libraries of legacy files may run into trouble.

Of course, OpenOffice.org has no problem opening these older files and newer ones, too.  Yes, I am referring to the newer marketing stint from microsoft with the docx and xlsx files which do not open with older versions of office, say office xp.

Happy New Year Open Office and Free Software.   (No, I am not one of the many who anticipate that this will definitely be the year of linux and open source and free software. For me, this year came several years ago when I made the switch from proprietary to open source and never looked back).

I.

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