Useful additions to OpenOffice.org suite

OpenOffice.

Image via Wikipedia

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.

I.Related articles

Zemanta Pixie

docx in openoffice revisited


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

OpenOffice.

Image via Wikipedia

From the pages of this blog, I wrote in the past about the ability of openoffice to open and save in the notorious docx (and xlsx and pptx) format the new MS Office 2007 introduced. My focus at the time was (and still is) how this can be done in various linux platforms. However, several people have asked about the possibility that Openoffice offers even for win32 platforms. So, here is, once again, a list of options (either web-based or platform-independent) for dealing with the mess that is docx (apparently, now an iso standard).

First, there are a couple of options that allow this translation from the web. You simply upload the file and get back the translated copy. I have not tried such options and I don’t know whether I would like to share with some other people personal files.

Zamzar online converter (all files). It allows for the translation of all types of files (docx, xlsx, pptx and more).

docx2doc online converter for docx2 files. Apparently, they offer a desktop conversion tool in partnership with Amazon. This tool can be found here: docXconverter, standalone, desktop conversion tool. Please be aware that this tool requires a fee.

Moving from web-choices to desktop ones, it should be said that the upcoming OpenOffice 3 will natively save (and open) docx, xlsx, pptx files. In the mean time, another option is to use Word 2003 viewer which can be downloaded from this site: word viewer. In order to use the new docx files, you will need this compatibility pack for older office versions and the job is done. Note, that you can install word viewer in linux under wine (why you would want to do this, though, is beyond me) ­čÖé Also note, that the compatibility pack is necessary for office 97, 2000 etc.

If someone is still bound and tied to the MS office platform, this odf converter translator add-in for MS Office will make it smart enough to save and open odf files produced by OpenOffice. Of course, the option to use OpenOffice.org under Windows is also viable and should be promoted, as it offers enhanced capabilities to the end user.

Another indirect way from docx to odf may be via this conversion tool: docx2rtf. Docx2Rtf is a freeware file converter for MS Word 2007 and OpenOffice Sxw and Odt files. According to the site: “Docx2Rtf does not require Office 2007 or OpenOffice installed in order to work. Word 2007 docx files and OpenOffice files will be converted with formatting, but no images.” Understandably, this may not be what many people have in mind.

In the oooninja site, there are instructions and downloads in order to do the translation from docx to odf both under windows and linux using a cli (command line interface).

The key in both cases is the installation of an oxt file (an openoffice extension), which can be installed under the tools -> Extensions Manager. There are a couple of places where this oxt file can be downloaded from. First, from Novell or from go-oo.org.

A couple of interesting notes: Novell also produces its own version of open office, which incorporates this extension. Go-oo.org offer their own version of openOffice, with “… new features in development and […] functionality not yet accepted up-stream (from their website).

One last thing: If you get a docx, xlsx, pptx file via email, do what I do: return it to the sender and ask them to send you a check for so many $$ in order for you to buy a copy of MS Office. Also, inform them of the ability of OpenOffice and last, as a courtesy, ask them to be kind enough to use the File -> Save As choice and save their work as doc/xls/ppt files.

I.
PS. If this list is incomplete (and it most likely is), please let me know and I will add what’s missing.
PS2. If you like the article, please click the button below:


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Related articles

Zemanta Pixie

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.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Related articles

Zemanta Pixie

xlsx & openoffice

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

In an earlier posting, I wrote about a filter to open docx files in open office. Unfortunately, this is half the story in this world of digital, paperless office. What happens in the case of Excel 2007 files?

Now, these files have an extension of xlsx. Note the slight difference from the typical xls extension of previous versions of Excel. This may sound like a small deal, but it is not if you don’t have Office 2007. Mind you, office xp, 2k do not open naturally these files. More, Office 2007 saves files in xlsx (and docx), so easily the mistake can be made and presto, you have a file only you can open and read and share with yourself. Great move for productive minds!

I looked in the usual places for solutions.  There are a few online services, like zamzar and  docx2doc, which will convert your files from and to the new formats (if you want to share your files with someone else).   A  search for some perl scripts and modules gave quite a few answers  NOT for the lighthearted, though.

The method I tried and worked for me was to use the Excel 2003 viewer with the addition of the 2007 FileFormat Converter. Even this method is kludgy. You have to:

  1. install the converter,
  2. double click on the file (cannot open the file directly from within the viewer),
  3. watch it being transformed),
  4. select the sheet (or parts of it),
  5. do the copy-paste trick to the earlier version of Excel or OpenOffice,
  6. Optionally, curse and swear at the madness of Office 2007.

The funny part is that xlsx is supposedly an open format, an xml variation.  So, if you rename the file from filename.xlsx to filename.zip and unzip it, you will get a bunch of files and directories with encodings and content.  Then you can open the xml file that is at the heart of the xlsx spreadsheet and see its content.

Enjoy!

I.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Powered by ScribeFire.

Related articles

Zemanta Pixie

odf & docx in OpenOffice

Microsoft Office Word 2007

Image via Wikipedia

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Unless you have been cast away in some remote island or hiding under some rock or in some cave (btw, of all three choices, the first one does not seem that bad ­čÖé in my opinion), the battle between open document format promoted by several open source supporters and the ooxml format promoted by MS has been raging. Most recently, ooxml was not accepted as a national standard and then as an international standard.

In plain words, what it means, is that if you use Word 2007 and save it as docx (not doc format) you may end up with lots of documents nobody can access (unless they part with a sizable amount of money to buy Office 2007). Anyone knows that OpenOffice saves and opens office documents (doc, xls, ppt). What about docx documents?

UPDATE #2: Also check out this updated post from this blog.

UPDATE: The following link is dead and gets you the error page at Novel. Instead, follow this new link and the instructions provided in the destination page. Enjoy!!!

OLD stuff ­čÖé
The answer is a converter available at this address compliments of the good guys at Novell. If you follow the link you can download either a solution for windows platforms or an rpm archive for linux platforms. From there (the rpm platform) some work is necessary if your setup does not use rpms. In most cases, the command “alien” will take the rpm and translate it into a deb archive or a tar.gz archive (your choice).

I prefer the tar.gz approach and then completed the following:
1) translate rpm to tar.gz
2) unpack tar.gz archive
3) copy the /usr/lib/ooo-2.0 directory (and its subdirectories) to where openoffice is located in my box.
4) restart openoffice
5) Find under the Open or Save menu choices for docx files

NB. It works for both x86 and 64bit boxes.

Enjoy!

I.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Powered by ScribeFire.

Related articles

Zemanta Pixie