Learning About OpenOffice

The default office suite for Red Hat Linux is OpenOffice, from www.openoffice.org . It was developed from the same code as Sun Microsystems StarOffice. It includes several applications, which are briefly described in Table 18.1.

Table 18.1: OpenOffice Applications

Application

Description

Calc

Spreadsheet

Draw

Diagram creator

Impress

Presentation manager

Math

Formula creator

Printer Setup

Administers a printer interface

Repair

Installation program

Writer

Word processor

You can open installed OpenOffice applications from the GUI of your choice. In GNOME, click Main Menu ˜ Office and then select the application of your choice from the menu that appears.

Note  

If you re using KDE, the K Menu button corresponds to the GNOME Main Menu button. By default, both are located in the lower-left corner of the desktop, and both are associated with an icon of a Red Hat. In this chapter, directions are based on GNOME, the Red Hat default desktop; the instructions in KDE may vary slightly.

Alternatively, you can start three OpenOffice applications directly from the panel at the bottom of the desktop. As we described in Chapters 16 and 17 , you can start OpenOffice Writer by clicking on the icon of a pen and paper; you can start OpenOffice Impress by clicking on the icon of a bar graph and slide; and finally, you can start OpenOffice Calc by clicking the icon of a graph pie chart.

You can learn more about the OpenOffice.org project from their web page at www.openoffice.org .

OpenOffice Calc

Perhaps the first key business PC application was the spreadsheet. You can use a spreadsheet to define a range of numbers . With the equations of your choice, you can set up a spreadsheet to perform a variety of calculations in different scenarios. It s useful for everything from statistical analysis to business modeling and projections.

You can open OpenOffice Calc by selecting Main Menu ˜ Office ˜ OpenOffice.org Calc, or by running the oocalc command from a GUI terminal window. Figure 18.1 shows OpenOffice Calc and some basic data from the year 2000 U.S. census.

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Figure 18.1: OpenOffice Calc and the census

As you can see in the figure, OpenOffice Calc has the basic look and feel of a spreadsheet. Functionally similar to Microsoft Excel, Calc includes several toolbars , as described in Table 18.2.

Table 18.2: OpenOffice Calc Toolbars

Toolbar

Description

Formula

Reflects the cell location and any formulas associated with that cell

Function

Configures basic functions such as open, print, and undo

Hyperlink

Sets up access to web pages

Main

Allows the creation of charts with graphs; supports format and spell checks; permits sorting and grouping

Object

Supports formatting options, including fonts, justification, numbering systems, borders, and alignment

OpenOffice Calc works with many different types of spreadsheets, including the formats described in Table 18.3. As you can see, OpenOffice Calc can work with spreadsheets from a number of applications, including Microsoft Excel, StarOffice Calc, dBASE/FoxPro databases, and more. You can also set up OpenOffice Calc with text files in comma-separated format (see the accompanying sidebar).

Table 18.3: OpenOffice Calc File Formats

Format

Description

.sxc

OpenOffice Spreadsheet

.stc

OpenOffice Spreadsheet template

.dif

Data Interchange Format

.dbf

dBASE/FoxPro database files

.xls

Microsoft Excel 97/2000/XP or Excel 95/5.0

.xlt

Microsoft Excel 97/2000/XP or Excel 95/5.0 template

.sdc

StarOffice Calc 5.0/4.0/3.0 (Sun StarOffice spreadsheet)

.vor

StarOffice Calc 5.0/4.0/3.0 template

.slk

Symbolic link format; includes formulas, and cell and file links

.wks

Lotus 1-2-3

.csv

Comma-separated format; a spreadsheet in a text file

.html

Web page

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Comma-Separated Format

Spreadsheets and other data tables are often represented in a text file in comma-separated format. In other words, each of the values in the following line can be imported into consecutive cells in a row in a spreadsheet:

 height, 60, 61, 44, 78, 56, 66 
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OpenOffice Draw

You can use OpenOffice Draw to manage files in various graphics formats, from AutoCAD files to bitmaps. In other words, OpenOffice Draw is a design tool that can be used by everyone who works with graphics, from design engineers to graphics designers.

You can start OpenOffice Draw by selecting Main Menu ˜ Office ˜ OpenOffice.org Draw, or by running the oodraw command from a GUI terminal window. Figure 18.2 shows the GNOME desktop, ready for editing.

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Figure 18.2: OpenOffice Draw artwork

As you can see in the figure, OpenOffice Draw includes a wide variety of toolbars, some that allow you to manage color , as well as others that let you draw and add objects. The toolbars are described in Table 18.4.

Table 18.4: OpenOffice Draw Toolbars

Toolbar

Description

Color

Allows selection from a variety of colors

Function

Configures basic functions such as open, print, and undo

Hyperlink

Sets up access to web pages

Main

Allows zoom; insertion of objects, such as text and geometric shapes ; alignment of objects; and so on

Object

Configures grid creation, text editing, rotation, color, and so on.

Option

Supports editing and drawing options for lines, including thickness and color

OpenOffice Draw works with many types of drawings, including the formats described in Table 18.5. As you can see, OpenOffice drawings can work from a number of different applications, including Microsoft Excel, StarOffice Calc, dBASE/FoxPro databases, and more. You can also set up Open- Office Draw with text files in comma-separated format.

Table 18.5: OpenOffice Draw File Formats

Format

Description

.sxd

OpenOffice drawing

.std

OpenOffice drawing template

.bmp

Microsoft Windows bitmap

.dxf

AutoCAD Interchange Format

.emf

Enhanced metafile

.eps

Encapsulated PostScript

.gif

Graphics Interchange Format

.jpg

Joint Photographic Experts Group

.met

OS/2 metafile

.pbm

Portable bitmap

.pcd

Photo CD (Kodak)

.pct

Macintosh Pict drawing

.pcx

Zsoft paintbrush

.pgm

Portable gray map

.png

Portable Network Graphic

.ppm

Portable pixel map

.psd

Adobe Photoshop

.ras

Sun raster image

.sda

StarOffice 5.0 Draw

.sdd

StarOffice 3.0 Draw

.sgf

StarWriter graphics

.sgv

StarDraw 2.0 graphics

.svm

StarView metafile

.tga

Truevision Targa

.tiff

Tagged Image File Format

.vor

StarOffice 5.0/3.0 Draw template

.wmf

Microsoft Windows metafile

.xbm

X bitmap

.xpm

X pixmap

OpenOffice Impress

When you create a presentation, you re essentially creating a slide show. Presentation applications are basically specialized word processors with graphics, and they support a slide show to a large audience in a room or online. You can use OpenOffice Impress to build the same types of presentations as you might with other applications, such as Microsoft PowerPoint or StarOffice Impress.

You can start OpenOffice Impress by selecting Main ˜ Office ˜ OpenOffice.org Impress, or by running the ooimpress command from a GUI terminal window. Figure 18.3 illustrates a typical presentation start screen, ready for your data.

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Figure 18.3: OpenOffice Impress ready for a presentation

As you can see in the figure, OpenOffice Impress includes a wide variety of toolbars, some that allow you to manage color as well as others that allow you to draw, manage text, and add objects. Table 18.6 describes the toolbars.

Table 18.6: OpenOffice Impress Toolbars

Toolbar

Description

Color

Allows selection from a variety of colors

Function

Configures basic functions such as open, print, and undo

Hyperlink

Sets up access to web pages

Main

Allows zoom; insertion of objects, such as text and geometric shapes; alignment of objects; and so on

Object

Configures grid creation, text editing, rotation, color, and so on.

Option

Supports editing and drawing options for lines, including thickness and color

Presentation

Lets you manage the design of each slide

When you first start OpenOffice Impress, you ll see an AutoPilot Presentation wizard, which lets you start from a blank sheet, a presentation template, or an existing work. If you re creating a new presentation, OpenOffice Impress configures a slide design, output media, and basic presentation notes.

OpenOffice Impress works with other types of presentation formats, including those described in Table 18.7. As you can see, OpenOffice presentations can work with data from other applications, including Microsoft PowerPoint, StarDraw, StarImpress, and any application that can save in .cgm format.

Table 18.7: OpenOffice Impress File Formats

Format

Description

.sxi

OpenOffice Presentation

.sti

OpenOffice Presentation template

.sxd

OpenOffice drawing

.ppt

Microsoft PowerPoint 97/2000/XP

.pot

Microsoft PowerPoint 97/2000/XP template

.sda

StarDraw 5.0

.sdd

StarDraw 3.0/StarImpress 4.0/5.0

.vor

StarImpress 4.0/5.0 template

OpenOffice Writer

One of the banes of computing is dealing with the various word processing formats. You need converters to translate Microsoft Word documents to Corel WordPerfect documents to StarOffice Write documents. While converters are built into most word processing programs, including OpenOffice Writer, every word processing application includes special features that aren t always translated properly, if at all.

OpenOffice Writer does an excellent job. However, there are special features used by people in a number of industries ”including publishing ”that OpenOffice Writer does not handle properly. Nevertheless, OpenOffice Writer is good enough for most applications, businesses, and more.

You can start OpenOffice Writer by selecting Main Menu ˜ Office ˜ OpenOffice.org Writer, or by running the oowriter command from a GUI terminal window. New documents created in Open- Office Writer can include all of the features that you might find in Microsoft Word. Figure 18.4 illustrates a typical document.

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Figure 18.4: A Microsoft Word document in OpenOffice Writer

As you can see in the figure, OpenOffice Writer includes three basic toolbars, as described in Table 18.8.

Table 18.8: OpenOffice Writer Toolbars

Toolbar

Description

Function

Configures basic functions such as open, print, and undo

Hyperlink

Sets up access to web pages

Main

Allows spell checking, zoom, insertion of objects such as text and geometric shapes, form creation, and so on

Object

Configures fonts, styles, formatting, highlighting, and color

OpenOffice Writer works with files from other word processors, including those described in Table 18.9.

Table 18.9: OpenOffice Writer File Formats

Format

Description

.sxw

OpenOffice text document; it s not really text format.

.stw

OpenOffice text document template.

.doc

Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP; an alternate .doc format for Microsoft Word 95 and 6.0 is also available.

.html

Hypertext markup language, suitable for a web page.

.rtf

Rich Text Format; a relatively universal format readable by several word processors.

.sdw

StarWriter 3.0/4.0/5.0.

.vor

StarWriter 3.0/4.0/5.0 template.

.txt

Regular text; an alternate .txt format with coding for line breaks is also available.

Note  

When more experienced Linux users need desktop publishing, they use text-based tools. For example, tools such as TeX and LaTeX include text commands that format titles, italics, and more in a text file. This is not unprecedented; even WordPerfect set up similar text commands through version 5.2.

Other OpenOffice Tools

Other OpenOffice tools of note are:

  • OpenOffice Math allows users to create and document equations of varying complexity; it supports trigonometric functions, integrals, limits, exponents, and more. You can start it from the command line with the oomath command.

  • OpenOffice Printer Setup allows you to configure a driver and print format for the other parts of the OpenOffice suite. You can start it from the command line with the oopadmin command.

  • OpenOffice Repair lets you add, delete, or repair different components of the OpenOffice suite. You can start it from the command line with the oosetup command.

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CrossOver Office

If you want to move to Linux but absolutely need those Microsoft applications, one option is CodeWeavers CrossOver Office. For $54.95 (retail), it uses some of the work of the WINE (WINE is not an emulator) project to let you run some of the most popular Microsoft Windows applications on your Linux computer. These applications include:

  • Microsoft Word 97/2000 *

  • Microsoft Excel 97/2000 *

  • Microsoft Outlook 97/2000

  • Microsoft PowerPoint 97/2000 *

  • Microsoft Visio 2000

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0/5.5

  • Intuit Quicken 2002

  • Lotus Notes R5

According to CodeWeavers, the applications noted with a * are Gold Medal applications that should run as you might expect in Microsoft Windows. Other applications may have significant bugs when you use CrossOver Office to run them under Linux. For details, navigate to www.codeweavers.com .

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Mastering Red Hat Linux 9
Building Tablet PC Applications (Pro-Developer)
ISBN: 078214179X
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 220

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