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Chapter 8.  Office Suites and Personal Productivity

Chapter 8.  Office Suites and Personal Productivity

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8.1.UsingOpenOffice

Bynow,OpenOfficehasbecometheleadingfull-functionfree

andopensourceofficesuiteprogramforGNU/Linuxandis

includedbydefaultonmostdistributions,includingSUSE,Red

Hat,Debian,andothers.

Thisshouldnottakecreditawayfromtheotherfreeandopen

sourceofficesuitedevelopmentprojectsKOfficeandAbiWord

comequickesttomindbutOpenOfficegainsthestageheredue

totherelativematurityofitscodebaseandtheeleganceofits

nativeopenXMLfileformat(whichevenKOfficehas)aswellas

thesuite'sabilitytorunonWindowsanditscompatibilitywith

thepopularproprietaryfileformats.



8.1.1."OpenOffice"Versus"OpenOffice.org"

Certainconventionsoflanguageusedinthischapterwouldbe

confusingiftheyarenothighlighted.Theterm"OpenOffice,"or

itsabbreviatedform"OOo,"typicallyreferstothesoftware,the

code,theproduct,theofficesuiteitself.Inreferringtothe

developmentproject,theterms"OpenOffice.org"or"OOo

project"or"OpenOffice.orgdevelopmentproject"apply

exclusively.Tomakethingsevenmoreconfusing,thereisalso

StarOffice,whichisbasedonthesamecodebase,butsoldby

SunMicrosystemsasacommercialproduct.



8.1.2.TheModulesofOpenOffice

OneamongseveralhallmarksofOOoisthetightintegrationof

itswordprocessor,spreadsheet,andallothermodules,which

leadstoastrongconsistencyinfeatures,menuplacement,and



easeofuse.TheOpenOfficemodulesarelistedinTable8-1.

Table8-1.ThemodulesofOpenOffice

Modulename



Function



LabelunderFile



OOoWriter



Wordprocessor



TextDocument



OOoCalc



Spreadsheetprogram



Spreadsheet



OOoImpress



Presentationeditor



Presentation



OOoDraw



Graphicseditor



Drawing



OOoHTML



Web(HTML)editor



HTMLDocument



OOoMath



Mathformulaseditor



Formula



New



WecoverOOoWriter,OOoCalc,andOOoImpressinthischapter,

omittingtheremainingmodulesbecausetheyareless

frequentlyusedandtheirfeaturesandfunctionsarewell

supportedintheleadingreferencetextsandonline

documentationfortheuserswhostilldependuponthem.



8.1.3.OpenDocumentandOpenOffice2

ThissectionofthebookwaswrittenforOpenOffice1.1and

thereforewillbemosthelpfultousersofVersions1.1.1through

1.1.5.Bythetimeofpublication,however,theOpenOffice.org

developmentprojectwillhavereleasedOpenOfficeVersion2

worldwide.

Generally,OpenOffice2looksandfeelsmorelikethemodern

versionsofMicrosoftOffice.Thisshouldhelpsmoothtransitions



totheopensourceofficesuite,onbothLinuxandother

platforms.

ThemostsignificantdevelopmentinVersion2isthenewnative

fileformat,called"OASISOpenDocument."Thishasalready

beenwidelyembracedbytechnologistsandgovernmentIT

organizations(awebsearchfor"Massachusetts"and

"OpenDocument"offersarevealingstart).

OpenDocumentisanopenXMLfileformat,representedin

OpenOffice2bythenewfilenameextensions.odtforatextfile,

.odsforaspreadsheet,and.odpforapresentationfile,among

others.(Version1usesthefilenameextensions.sxw,.sxc,and

.sxi,respectively.)OpenDocumentisanupgradeofthesame

OASIS-basedopenXMLfileformatusedinVersion1;however,

OpenDocumenthassomeadditionalcapabilitiesthatmakeit

incompatiblewiththeearlieriterationoftheformat.

Accordingly,OpenOfficesoftwarepriorto1.1.5cannotopenor

createfilesintheOpenDocumentfileformat,andtherefore

cannothandlefilescreatedbyusersofOpenOffice2.However,

OpenOffice.orgputtheOpenDocumentfiltersintoVersion1.1.5

sothatusersofthe1.1versioncaneasilyupgradetoaversion

thatworksthewaytheyarefamiliarwithandstillopenthenew

OpenDocumentfiles.UsersofVersion1.1orearlierwillneedto

upgradetoOpenOffice2inordertogainallthelatest

functionalityandbeabletocreateOpenDocumentfiles

themselves.



8.1.4.OpenOfficeWriter

OpenOfficeWriter(alsoknownasOOoWriter)istheword

processormoduleincludedasoneofsixkeycomponentsof

OpenOffice.Bynow,OOoWriterisdesignedtobefamiliarto

usersofMicrosoftWord.



8.1.4.1.LaunchingOOoWriter

ConfigurationoftheLaunchorStartmenumayvaryacrossthe

Linuxdistributions.OntheJavaDesktopSystem,forexample,

startingOOoWriterfromtheLaunchmenubringsupthe

TemplatesandDocumentsNewDocumentwindow,whereyou

canselecttheNewDocumenticonintheleft-handindex,then

TextDocumentfromthelistinthecentralpane.

YoucanlaunchOOoWriterdirectlyifyouhavecreateda

dedicatedLaunchericononthedesktop,taskbarpanel,orboth.

CreateaLaunchericonforanymoduleofOpenOfficethatyou

usefrequently.

Keepinmind,youmaylaunchanyalternativemodulefrom

withinanyopenmoduleofOpenOffice:onthemainmenu,

selectFile New [module].



8.1.4.2.Openingfiles

ToopenanOOoWriterorMSWordfile,eitheropenthedirectory

wherethefileislocatedanddouble-clickonthefile'siconor

selectFile Openonthemainmenu.Then,intheOpen

window,browsetotheappropriatefolder,highlightthefilename

andselecttheOpenbutton.

NotethatMSOfficefilesthoseinthe.docformatopenin

OpenOfficeinthesamewayanativeOpenOfficedocument

opens.YoucanedittheMSOfficedocumentandsaveiteither

initsownformatorinOpenOffice'snativeformat.SeeTable82foracompletelistoffileformatsavailableforsaving.



8.1.4.3.Savingfiles



Aftereditingadocument,selectFile Save.Anewfilewillbe

savedtotheuser's/home/[user]/Documentsdirectoryby

default.Youcanalsosaveafiletoitscurrentdirectoryorthe

defaultdirectorywithoneclickoftheSaveDocumenticonon

thefunctionbar.

Forinformationaboutthefunctionbar,see"Identifyingthe

toolbars"laterinthischapterandFigure8-2.

Ifyouneedtoselectadifferenttargetdirectoryorchangethe

filenameorfiletype,selectFile SaveAs.TheSaveAs

windowthenappears,andyoucanmaketheappropriate

selectionsandclicktheSavebutton.Thiswindowisexplored

furtherinthefollowingsection.

Savingasdifferentfiletypes.Ifyouopenanexisting

document,itissavedbydefaultinitsoriginalformat.Tosave

asadifferentfileformat,selectFile SaveAstoopenthe

SaveAswindow.Hereyoucanmaketheappropriateselections

intheFileTypedrop-downmenu,thenclicktheSavebutton.

ThefiletypesavailableintheFileTypedrop-downarelistedin

Table8-2.

Table8-2.Savefilesinmanyformatsorfiletypes

Fileformat



Fileextension(suffix)



OpenOffice6.0/7TextDocument



.sxw



OpenOffice6.0/7TextDocumentTemplate



.stw



MSWord97/2000/XP



.doc



MSWord95



.doc



MSWord6.0



.doc



AdobePDF



.pdf



RichTextFormat



.rtf



OOoWriter5.0



.sdw



OOoWriter5.0Template



.vor



OOoWriter4.0



.sdw



OOoWriter4.0Template



.vor



OOoWriter3.0



.sdw



OOoWriter3.0Template



.vor



Text



.txt



TextEncoded



.txt



HTMLDocument(OpenOfficeWriter)



.html;.htm



AportisDoc(Palm)



.pdb



DocBook(simplified)



.xml



PocketWord



.psw



NotethatyoucansaveanativeOOotextdocumentfile(with

the.sxwextension)asseveraldifferentversionsofthelegacy

MSOfficefiletypesaswellasinotherstandardformats,

includingthewebpageformatofHTML.

Youwillbewarnedaboutapossiblelossofformattingwhen

savingtoaformatotherthanthenativefileformat.Thatis,of

course,becauseOOoWritermaysupportfeaturesthatother

wordprocessors(andthereforetheirfileformats)donot



support.Soifyouwanttobeabsolutelysurethatyoudonot

loseanyformatting,macros,orotheraspectsofyour

documentsatall,alwayssaveinthenativefileformat,orat

leastkeepacopyinthenativefileformat.

Savingorexportingtocommonfileformats.OpenOffice

facilitatessavingfilesinseveraldifferentfiletypes,including

someveryusefuldocumentstandardssuchasPDF.Bychoosing

theformatinwhichyousaveadocument,youcanensurethat

yourworkisviewableandeditableindifferentsoftware

environments,suchasWindows,Mac,Solaris,andothers.

SavingintheMSWordfileformats.ChoseFile SaveAs

fromthemainmenu.IntheSaveAswindow,opentheFileType

drop-downmenuandselectthedesiredMSOfficefileformat

version.Choicesincludethefollowing:

MicrosoftWord97/2000/XP(.doc)

MicrosoftWord95(.doc)

MicrosoftWord6.0(.doc)



8.1.4.4.Exportingandsendingfiles

Thereareoccasionswhenit'sconvenienttoquicklysenda

documentinitscurrentformtoacolleague.OOooffersafew

menuitemstohelpyouattachthecurrentdocumenttoan

emailmessageinachoiceofformats.

ExportasAdobePDF.Inyourcurrentdocument,clickthe

small,redExporttoPDFicononthemenu,andtheExport

windowwillopenwithFileTypepreselectedtoAdobePDF.

NoticeinFigure8-1thattheExportwindowissimilartothe

SaveAswindow.



Enterthefilename,chooseafolderinwhichtosavethenew

PDFfile,andpresstheSavebutton.

YoucanachievethesameresultbyselectingFile Exportas

PDFandfillingouttheExportwindowasinstructedpreviously.

PDFisagreatformatforGNU/Linuxuserstogetintothehabit

ofusingoften.Inaworldofmixedcomputersystems,PDFis

oneofthemostuniversallyacceptedfileformats,andthe

securityoflockingdownthecontentofyourfilesastheyget

passedaroundyourorganizationandsupplychaincanreduce

thechancesofunhappy,confusingorsurprisingcontent

alterations.



Figure8-1.TheExportwindow



Sendingadocumentasanemailfileattachment.



OOoWriteroffersahostoffacilitiesforexportingorsendingthe

currentdocumenttoothersthroughoneortwomouse-clicks.

Tosendthecurrentdocumentasanattachmenttoanemail,

selectFile Send DocumentasEmail.Thiswillcallupyour

emailprogramalongwithanewComposewindowwiththe

currentOOoWriterdocumentalreadyattached.Fillinthe

addressandsubjectlinesasfitting,perhapsaddafewwordsin

themessagewindow,andpresstheSendbutton.

Thisfeatureautomaticallysendstheattachedfileinthenative

ordefaultOpenOfficeopenXML(.sxw)fileformat.

SendingadocumentasaPDFattachmenttoanemail.To

sendthecurrentdocumentasanAdobePDFattachmenttoan

email,selectFile Send DocumentasPDFAttachment.The

PDFOptionswindowappearsandletsyouselectapagerange

orthewholedocument,andtheamountoffilecompression.

Thedefaultcompressionsetting,Printoptimized,isfinefor

mostpurposes.



8.1.4.5.Identifyingthetoolbars

ThedefaulttoolbarsofOOoWritertowhichwereferoftenarethe

mainmenu,thefunctionbar,theobjectbar,andthemain

toolbar(seeFigure8-2).



Figure8-2.ThetoolbarsofOOoWriter



Thesearemerelythedefaulttoolbarsavailableoutofthebox.

Othertoolbarscanbeinvokedwithcustomization.Wecover

toolbarcustomizationinthesectionentitled"OOoWriter

Customization,"laterinthischapter.



8.1.4.6.Basicformatting

Thissectioncoversbasicformattingtechniquesforshortand

simpledocuments.

One-clickcharacterformatting.Thetextformattingbuttons

locatedontheobjectbarforbold,italic,andunderlinehardly

needtobecovered,becauseevenbeginningusersknowtheir

purposeinstinctively.

Inadditiontotheseone-clickfont-changeobjectbarbuttons,

manypeopleenjoyusingtheshortcutkeystrokecombinations

Ctrl-B,Ctrl-I,orCtrl-Utoeffectthesamechangesonany

selectedtext.Thesechangesaffectanywordinwhichthe

cursorsits,sotextselection(usingtheShiftkeyandmoving

thecursor,orselectingtextwiththemouse)isnotnecessary

unlessyouarechangingmultiplewordsoftext.

Character,paragraph,andpageformatting.Formore

customizedorfine-grainedformattingoftextualcharacters,



wholeparagraphs,orentirepages,selectFormatonthemain

menu.ThesequencesFormat Character,Format

Paragraph,andFormat PageopentheCharacterdialog,the

Paragraphdialog,andthePageStyle:Defaultdialog,

respectively.

Insertingheadersandfooters.Toinsertaheader,gotothe

mainmenu,selectInsert Header,andcheckDefaultinthe

drop-downmenu.Thisopensaheaderframeinthecurrent

documentwhereyoucantypeorentertheappropriatecontent

thatwillappearatthetopofeverypageofthedocument.

Insertingafooterissimilartoinsertingaheader,butselect

Insert Footers,andcheckDefault.

Tochangeheadersorfootersinthemiddleofadocument,see

"Changingstylesinmid-document,"laterinthischapter.

Pagenumbering.Formostdocumentsit'sappropriateto

placepagenumbersinaheaderorfooter.Togeneratepage

numbersautomatically,insertaheaderorfooter(dependingon

whereyouintendthepagenumbertogo,ateitherthetopor

bottomofeachpage)andplacethecursorinsidethelive

headerorfooterframebyclickingoncethere.Thengotothe

mainmenuandselectInsert Fields.Thisinvokesadropdownmenuwiththefollowingchoices:Date,Time,Page

Number,PageCount,Subject,Title,Author,andOther.

SelectingthePageNumberchoiceinsertsthepagenumber

automaticallyatthelocationofthecursor.Ifyouwishthepage

numbertobelocatedflushright,simplyclicktheAlignRight

justificationiconontheobjectbarafterinsertingthepage

number.

Tochangeorrestartpagenumberingatacertainpointina

document,seethesection"Changingstylesinmid-document."

Generatingatableofcontents.Foralongerwrittenwork



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