Adding functionality with extensions
An extension is a package that can be installed into OpenOffice.org to add new functionality.
Although individual extensions can be found in different places, the official OpenOffice.org extension repository is at http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/. Some extensions are free of charge; others are available for a fee. Check the descriptions to see what licenses and fees apply to the ones that interest you.
To install an extension, follow these steps:
- Download an extension and save it anywhere on your computer.
- In OOo, select Tools > Extension Manager from the menu bar. In the Extension Manager dialog, click Add.
- A file browser window opens. Find and select the extension you want to install and click Open. The extension begins installing. You may be asked to accept a license agreement.
- When the installation is complete, the extension is listed in the Extension Manager dialog.
This section describes several of the more important and popular extensions to Writer. In each case, you need to first install the extension as described in the previous section.
Adds two new items to the File > Templates menu that allow you to assign a new template to the current document or to a folder of documents. All styles and formatting will be loaded from that template and the document will behave as it was created using that template. Open source.
Compose Special Characters
Provides a facility for inserting accented and special characters using key combinations. Adds an entry (Compose Character) to the Insert menu, which opens a dialog where you can view the list of key combinations and choose the keystroke you want to use to run the macro. Once setup is done, simply press the appropriate key combination, followed by the keystroke to run the macro. Open source.
Professional Template Pack II
More than 120 templates for Writer, Calc, and Impress. Available in several languages. After you have installed this Extension, you will find the templates under File > New > Templates and Documents. From Sun Microsystems. Freeware.
Imported PDF documents open in Draw, not Writer.
This extension enables you to make minor modifications to the text of existing PDF files when the original source files do not exist or you are unable to open the source files. (Whenever possible, modify the source and regenerate the PDF to obtain the best results.)
When the extension is installed, PDF is listed as a choice in the File Type drop-down list in the File > Open dialog.
Many PDFs can be edited and resaved with no problems. However, depending on the complexity of the layout, the fonts used, the graphics included, and other factors, changes may be difficult to make, font substitution may occur, and the saved result may not preserve the original layout.
Each line of text appears in a separate text box. If part of the text is in a different font or font variation (for example, bold or italic), that part of the line is in a separate text box. Thus a single line of text may contain several separate text boxes. If you edit the text in one box, the result may overlap the text in the following box or leave a conspicuous gap between the two portions of text. If this occurs, you need to manually adjust the spacing between the boxes.
Graphics with transparent backgrounds are imported with colored (usually black) backgrounds, and these colored backgrounds remain when the edited PDF is saved again. Graphics and frames anchored “to paragraph” may move away from their positions during import; any incorrect positioning remains when the PDF is saved again.
From Sun Microsystems. Open source.
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