OpenOffice: Tips and Tricks Part II - Page 2

By Eric Geier
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Always Saving to MS Office Format

Do you find yourself regularly having to save your OOo files to the MS counterpart? Well you will probably always have to, that is until you can convince your IT department and colleagues to dump Microsoft and go open-source. While the debate continues, though, you can make it a bit easier on yourself. Instead of having to do a Save As after finishing a document, you can set OOo to always automatically save in the MS (or any other) format you choose.

When you have OOo open, click Tools -- Options, expand the Load/Save category, and select General. In the Default File Format section, choose the document type you want to set and select the format you desire, as seen in Figure 4.

It's as simple as that. Just remember fancy formatting and special features, such as Mail Merges, don't seem to convert well between the two formats.

Stealing MS Office Templates

If you can't give up the MS Office templates you've used in the past or you would like additional templates to use with OOo, don't worry; you can easily open up Microsoft templates. Simply click File -- Open and open them up just like any other document or template file. You can usually find the MS Office templates at C:Program FilesMicrosoft Office 2003Templates1033.

For your convenience, you can make the Microsoft templates appear in the OOo Templates and Documents dialog box. However, first you must convert them into the appropriate template format (from .dot to .ott for Writer, from .pot to .otp for Impress, and from .xlt to .ots for Calc) and stick them in the right spot. When you want to convert just a select few, you can do it manually. Open the MS Office template, choose File -- Save As, select the template format, browse to where your OOo templates are stored, and hit Save.

If you're using Windows Vista, the OOo template path may be: C:UsersusernameAppDataRoamingOpenOffice.org2usertemplate

In Windows XP, try the following path: C:Documents and SettingsusernameApplication DataOpenOffice.org2usertemplate

Tip: Just like discussed earlier when working with the custom dictionaries in Windows, the Show Hidden Files and Folders option needs to be enabled in order to browse to these locations.

If you can't seem to find the OOo templates location in Windows, or you're using another platform, you can reference the path shown in the Options dialog box of OOo. Click Tools -- Options, expand the OpenOffice.org category, click Paths, and see the Path given for Templates.

If you want to convert a batch of MS Office templates, you can use the Document Converter wizard (see Figure 5), accessible by clicking File -- Wizards -- Document Converter.

Then you select the types of documents/templates you want to convert, select the path for the Microsoft templates for the Import From path, and select the path for where your OOo templates are stored for the Save To field.

Eric Geier is the Founder and President of Sky-Nets, Ltd., a Wi-Fi Hotspot Network. He is also the author of many networking and computing books, including Home Networking All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies (Wiley 2008) and 100 Things You Need to Know about Microsoft Windows Vista (Que 2007).

Adapted from LinuxPlanet.com.

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This article was originally published on August 22, 2008
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