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If there are features you’d like to use that OpenOffice doesn’t have by default, consider installing an extension for added functionality. Follow the steps below to access the OpenOffice’s extension library from Writer.
Note: some of these extensions haven’t received updates in a while, so they might not be compatible with the latest version of OpenOffice.
You’ll be taken to the OpenOffice extension library/ where you can search for various extensions using keywords. Alternatively, you can simply browse.
If you don’t know what to download first, we have a few suggestions:2. Change the UI Language in OpenOffice
OpenOffice comes with English as its default UI language. However, you can change it to your native language very easily.
Go to the OpenOffice download page and select your language pack from the drop-down menu. Press “Download language pack.”
Install it on your device.
Select another UI language from the “User interface” drop-down menu on the right.
Restart the Apache OpenOffice software to have the UI language changed.3. Enable Writing Aids
If you’re not using your native language in OpenOffice, you might need spellcheck, hyphenation, a thesaurus and other similar features to help you with your writing.4. Customize Keyboard Shortcuts
OpenOffice offers a wide range of predefined keyboard shortcuts, but you can also make your own. Assign different keys for different functionalities and get the job done without touching the mouse.
Select individual software such as Writer or apply it globally using the OpenOffice option at the top.
To change what a key combination does, find it in the list and press the “Modify” button.
From the “Functions” section select what the key combination will trigger instead. For instance, you can have Shift + 8 trigger the creation of an HTML document.5. Create a Table of Contents
Before creating a table of contents, add some headings to your document to create a structure.
On the “Insert Index/Table” page, set the number of levels (or heading numbers) you want to include. Change the “Evaluate up to level” setting if you do not want all of them.6. Write Formulas and Expressions
OpenOffice has very robust support for writing special characters and formulas, and inserting them into a document is very simple.
Find the special character you want in the small window that pops up. If you select several, you will see them all displayed at the bottom of the window, and they will all be inserted.
This will open an editing window at the bottom, a box where you’ll be writing your equation in the document, and the “Floating” windows where you will add your elements.
Tip: use the Formula Reference Tables to type in your equations quickly and efficiently.7. Print Handouts From Your Presentation
Handouts can offer a quick overview of your presentation. If you print your presentation directly, each slide will take a page, which is inefficient. With handouts, however, you can get two to six slides on a page.
In the “Layouts” tab on the right side, choose the number of slides you want per page.
To add a page number at the bottom of each piece of paper (not every slide), use the “Text” tool to draw a text box at the bottom of the page and type the word “Page.”8. Search the Web
You can use OpenOffice to search for any URL and keyword from your document.
Whenever you want to search the Web for a certain term that appears in your document, highlight the word(s) in the text.
Press on the binoculars icon in the toolbar and select a search engine. You only get a few options, but Google is included.
This will open search results of your highlighted keyword(s) in your default browser.
Alternatively, you can use the URL bar at the top to go to a site directly from OpenOffice.9. Send Your Document as Email
You can use OpenOffice to send documents directly from the program. This feature will be convenient if you need to send multiple emails a day.
You have several options, including sending “Document as e-mail” and “E-mail as OpenDocument text.”10. Try an Alternate Way of Inserting Tables
In OpenOffice, you can also insert tables by using a series of hyphens (-) or tabs separated by plus (+) signs. The plus signs are used to indicate column dividers, while hyphens (or tabs) are used to outline the width of a column.
To make sure this trick works, check that the function is enabled.
Write (or copy/paste) something like this in OpenOffice: +—————–+—————+——+
Press Enter and to instantly create the table.Frequently Asked Questions Does OpenOffice Impress support animations?
Yes. OpenOffice Impress has excellent support for element animation and page transitions. Do note that if you import a Microsoft Office presentation file, Impress may not recognize the animation.Can OpenOffice fully replace Microsoft Office?
Depending on your needs, the OpenOffice suite might offer just enough for you to complete your tasks. However, you should keep in mind that some Microsoft Office features don’t have a substitute in OpenOffice. On the bright side, you might be able to add some of these missing options to OpenOffice via extensions.
Image credit: Amy Hirschi via Unsplash. All screenshots taken by Hrishikesh Pathak.
Developer and writer. Write about linux and web.
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