Migratingto Apache OpenOffice
What is Apache OpenOffice?
ApacheOpenOffice (AOO) is a freely-available, full-featuredofficesuite. It includes the following components.
Writer (word processor)
Impress (presentation graphics)
Draw (vector graphics)
Math (formula editor)
What are the advantages of Apache OpenOffice?
Hereare some of the advantages of Apache OpenOffice over otherofficesuites:
- No licensing fees. AOO is free for anyone to use anddistribute at no cost. Many features that are available as extra costadd-ins in other office suites (like PDF export) are free with AOO.There are no hidden charges and all future upgrades are free.
- Open source. You can distribute, copy, and modify the softwareas much as you wish, in accordance with AOO's Open Source license.
- Cross-platform. AOO 4.0 runs on several hardware architecturesand under multiple operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows,MacOS X, Linux, and Sun Solaris.
- Extensive language support. AOO’s user interface isavailable in over 40 languages and the AOO project provides spelling,hyphenation and thesuarus dictionaries in over 70 languages anddialects. AOO also provides support for both Complex Text Layout(CTL)and Right to Left (RTL) layout languages (such as Hindi, Hebrew andArabic).
- Consistent user interface. All the components haveasimilar “look and feel”, making them easy to use and master.
- Integration. The components of Apache OpenOffice are wellintegrated with one another.
- All the components share a common spelling checker and othertools,which are used consistently across the suite. For example, thedrawing tools available in Writer are also found in Calc, withsimilar but enhanced versions in Impress and Draw.
- You do not need to know which application was used to createaparticular file (for example, you can open a Draw file from Writer).
- Granularity. Usually, if you change an option, it affects allcomponents. However, options can be set at a component level or evendocument level.
- File compatibility. AOO includes PDF and Flash exportcapabilities, as well as support for opening and saving files in manycommon formats including Microsoft Office, HTML, XML, Word Perfectand Lotus 123 formats.
- No vendor lock-in. AOO 4.0 uses OpenDocument, anXML(eXtensible Markup Language) file format developed as an industrystandard by OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of StructuredInformation Standards). These files can easily be unzipped and readby any text editor, and their framework is open and published.
- You have a voice. Enhancements, software fixes andreleasedates are community-driven. You can join the community andaffect thecourse of the product you use.
Youcan read more about Apache OpenOffice, its mission,history,licensing and other organizational informationhere:OpenOffice/about.htmlhttp://www.ApacheOpenOffice/about.html
How does Apache OpenOffice compare?
Apache OpenOffice can match and exceed the feature set of competingofficesuites. The following table lists the main components of AOOandcompares them with their equivalents in two leading officesuites,Microsoft Office 2003 (MSO) and WordPerfect Office X3(WP).
|Word processor||Writer||Word®||WordPerfect® X3|
|Spreadsheet||Calc||Excel®||Quattro Pro® X3|
|Presentation Graphics||Impress||PowerPoint®||Presentations™ X3|
|Database||Base||Access® 1||Paradox® 2|
|Math or Formula Editor||Math||yes||no|
1Professional version only.
2Professional and Student and Teachereditions only.
Thefollowing tables list some important features of ApacheOpenOfficeand compare them with two leading office suites,Microsoft Office2003 (MSO) and WordPerfect X3 (WP).
Styles and formatting
|Styles and Formatting window|
|Keyboard support for paragraph styles|
|Support for page, frame, and list styles|
|Spelling and language proofing modules|
|Formula or equation tools|
1“Outline View” in Word offers a subset ofthefeatures of AOO’s Navigator.
2Requires an additional license for the theMultilingual UserInterface Pack.
|PDF export capability|
|Flash export capability|
|XML export capability|
|OpenDocument XML format|
|Import/Export Microsoft Office files|
|Import WordPerfect files|
|Import Lotus 123 files|
|Connect to external databases (MySQL, Oracle, Access, etc.)|
|Languages available (localizations)|
|Supported operating systems|
|Unicode language support|
1Requires additional third-party software,such as PDF Writer orPDF Converter.2Microsoft Office: Macis not feature compatible with MicrosoftOffice 2003.
Macrosare programs which automate tasks and can be embedded in adocument.The following table lists the languages available formacrodevelopment in each office suite.
Beyond simple macros, some office suites can be extended to includenewfeatures. This capability usually takes the form of plug-ins. Inthecase of Apache OpenOffice, it can also be done through changes tothesource code.
|C and C++|
|Source code available!|
|Secure paths for macro execution|
New features in version 2
ApacheOpenOffice 4.0 delivers hundreds of improvements and newfeatures.Here are some of the major enhancements.
What are the minimum requirements?
ApacheOpenOffice 4.0 requires one of the following operating systems:
- Microsoft Windows Windows 2000 (Service Pack 2 or higher),Windows XP or Windows 2003, Windows 7 and Windows 8
- GNU/Linux Kernel version 2.2.13 and glibc 2.4.0 or newer
- Mac OS X 10.3.x (10.3.5 recommended), Mac OS X 10.4.x, plusX11
- Solaris version 8 or higher
Some Apache OpenOffice features (wizards and the databasecomponent)require that the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) beinstalled on yourcomputer. Although AOO will work fine without Javasupport, some features will not be available. You can download thelatest versionfrom http://www.java.com.
How do I get the software?
Youcan get the Apache OpenOffice installation package in any oftheseways:
- Download a copy from the project’s home page:http://www.openoffice.org.
- Download a copy using the Peer to Peer client, BitTorrent.Theinstructions are here:.
- Purchase a copy on a CD-ROM or other digital form from a third partydistributor.
- The Apache OpenOffice Porting Project has links to versionsofthe software that have been, or are currently being “ported” torun under various operating systems.
How do I install Apache OpenOffice?
Informationon installing and setting up Apache OpenOffice on thevarious supported operating systems is given here:
Youcan also download the more detailed Setup Guide (in severallanguages) from
How do I get support?
AOO comes with an extensive Help system. This is your first lineofsupport for using AOO.
To display the full Help system, press F1 or select ApacheOpenOffice Help from the Help menu. In addition, you can choosewhether to activate tooltips, extended tips, and the Help Agent(usingTools > Options > General).
If tooltips are enabled, place the mouse pointer over any of theiconsto see a small box (“tooltip”) with a brief explanation ofthe icon’s function. For a more detailed explanation, selectHelp > What's This? and hold the pointer over the icon.
Free online support
The Apache OpenOffice community not only develops software, butprovides free, volunteer-based support. Users of AOO can getcomprehensive online support from community venues such asnewsgroups, forums or mailing lists. There are also numerous websitesrun by users that offer free tips and tutorials.
|Free Apache OpenOffice support|
|User FAQ||Frequently Asked Questions for Users|
|Users Mailing List||Free community support provided by a network of hundredsofexperienced users. You must be subscribed to post messages.Tosubscribe, send a blank email tosympa@ApacheOpenOffice
Listarchives are here: [Edit needed]
|Documentation Project||Templates, user guides, how-tos, and otherdocumentation.|
|The Apache OpenOffice Forum||Edit needed|
|AOO KnowledgeBase||A collection of questions and answers that users canquery.|
Readmore about the support options for ApacheOpenOfficeat:OpenOffice/index.htmlhttp://support.ApacheOpenOffice/index.html
Paid support and training
Alternatively,you can pay for support services. Service contracts canbe purchased from a vendor or consulting firm specializing in ApacheOpenOffice.
Alist of independent consultants and the services they offer, listedalphabetically by region and then by country, is provided on theApache OpenOffice website. (Edit needed)
Other resources and addons
Severalwebsites provide additional free resources and addons toenhanceApache OpenOffice. The following table lists a few of thesewebsites.
|Free AOO templates, artwork and other addons|
|OOExtras||Provides templates, samples and macros in severallanguages.|
|AOOMacros||A repository for AOO macros and addons, and documentationaboutwriting macros and/or extending AOO.|
|Open Clip Art Library||An archive of clip art that can be used for free for anyuse.OpenOffice/http://www.openclipart.org/|
|Apache OpenOffice Macro Information||Andrew Pitonyak, the author of Apache OpenOfficeMacrosExplained, maintains this site which providesextensivedocumentation on AOO's macro capability. Many good referrallinks arealso provided at:|
What is involved in the initial migration?
SeeSharing Files with Microsoft Office Users inthis guide forinformation about opening and saving files of variousformats.
How do I import other files used in Microsoft Office?
SeeImporting other Microsoft Office Files in thisguide forinformation about importing custom dictionaries, AutoCorrectentriesand AutoText entries into Apache OpenOffice.
What changes do I need to make in the way that I work?
Whilethe interfaces of Apache OpenOffice and Microsoft Officearesufficiently similar to allow immediate productivity, they arenotidentical. Some functions are based on different underlyingconcepts.The chapters in this guide will to help you with thesedifferences.
In general what is different in use between Microsoft OfficeandApache OpenOffice?
SeeGeneral Differences in Use between ApacheOpenOffice andMicrosoft Office in this guide first, as it gives anoverall viewof differences; the other chapters build on theinformation presentedin that chapter.
What are the specific differences in use between Word and Writer?
SeeDifferences in Use between Writer and Word in this guideforspecific information related to text documents.
What are the specific differences in use between Excel and Calc?
SeeDifferences in Use between Calc and Excel in this guideforspecific information related to spreadsheets.
What are the specific differences in use between PowerPointandImpress?
SeeDifferences in Use between Impress and PowerPointinthis guide for specific information related to presentations.
How can I change Apache OpenOffice to make it work even more liketheway I have worked in Microsoft Office?
SeeCustomizing Apache OpenOffice inthis guide forinformation about changing Apache OpenOffice to make itwork yourway. That chapter includes links to macros that were writtento helpease the transition.
How do I use the Math Object editor (Apache OpenOffice’sequivalentto Equation Editor)?
What about that database functionality?
Is there an equivalent to WordArt?
Yes.See Chapter 15 “Using Fontwork” in the Getting Startedguide.
What are the issues when migrating from WordPerfect to Writer?
Can I open WordPerfect files in AOO?
Yes,a WordPerfect filter is now available in the standardApacheOpenOffice installation.
What macros are available to make Writer work more likeWordPerfect?
ApacheOpenOffice’s Writer does not have underlying codes in thesame waythat WordPerfect does. But a macro is being written that willallowyou to work in a similar way to WordPerfect’s reveal codes.Seeavailableatfor more information.
Thehanging indent concept in Writer is quite different from theconceptused in WordPerfect. The best approach in Apache OpenOffice isto usestyles, but to ease the transition, seeeitheroravailablefromfor a macro thatapproximates WordPerfect’s way of implementinghanging indents.
How is Apache OpenOffice licensed?
ApacheOpenOffice is distributed under the Open Source Initiative(OSI)approved Lesser General Public License (LGPL). The LGPL can beviewedon the AOO website at:
Formore general information on AOO’s licensing, please referto:OpenOffice/license.htmlhttp://www.ApacheOpenOffice/license.html.
What is “open source”?
Theideals of open-source software can be explained by the fouressentialrights, which are embodied within the Free SoftwareFoundation’sGeneral Public License (GPL):
- The right to use the software for any purpose.
- Freedom to redistribute the software for free or for a fee.
- Access to the complete source code of the program (that is,the“blueprints”).
- The right to modify any part of the source, or use portions of itinother programs.
Anotherview of this philosophy comes from the Open SourceDefinition:
“The basic idea behind open source is very simple: When programmerscanread, redistribute, and modify the source code for a pieceofsoftware, the software evolves. People improve it, people adaptit,people fix bugs. And this can happen at a speed that, if one isusedto the slow pace of conventional software development,seemsastonishing.”
Formore information on Free and Open Source software, visitthesewebsites:
OpenSource Initiative (OSI):
FreeSoftware Foundation (FSF): 
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