PyUNO bridge

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The Python-UNO bridge allows users to:

  • use the standard API from the well known Python scripting language.
  • develop UNO components in Python (so that Python UNO components may be run within the process and can be called from Java, C++ or the OOo built-in StarBasic scripting language).
  • create and invoke scripts with the office scripting framework (OOo 2.0 and later).

You can find the most current version of this document from


You can also download this documentation for off-line work.

Download ( less than 0.5 MB).


The Python-UNO bridge is feature complete, but has not been used extensively and therefore may contain some bugs. It is now integrated in the source trees. ( 1.0.x is not supported.)

The documentation in its current state is targeted at developers who already have some experience with API and with some other programming language (Java/C++/StarBasic). It is recommended that you read some background information from the developer manual before looking at the specifics of Python.


(Find here a shortened Spanish version of this document.)


PyUNO tutorial for

This tutorial shows how the PyUNO bridge can be used to automate This is not an tutorial, there is lots of resources available in the office development kit and the developer manual.

PyUNO Installation

Since 1.1, PyUNO is included in the default installation.

PyUNO bridge modes

PyUNO can be used in three different modes:

  • Inside the process within the scripting framework (OOo 2.0 and later only !!)
  • Inside the Python executable (and outside the OOo process)

Mode ipc.png

Use this mode when you:

  • begin to use PyUNO (as it is the more intuitive approach).
  • want to trigger script execution by starting a separate process (e.g. a cgi-script within a http-server)
  • want the shortest turnaround times (code - execute - code - execute ...)
"Hello World" Example

Make sure that is not running (note that on Windows you must also terminate the quick starter in the system tray at the right bottom of your desktop). Start a system shell (cmd on Win NT/2000/XP, command on Win9x, tcsh or bash on Linux/Unix). Switch to the OOo 'program' directory (e.g. C:\Program Files\ 2.4\program ) and start the office with the following command line parameters:

  c:\Program Files\ 2.4\program>  soffice "-accept=socket,host=localhost,port=2002;urp;"

Now, use your favorite text editor to create the following '' sample program:

import uno
""" Here is the sequence of things the lines do:
1.  Get the uno component context from the PyUNO runtime
2.  Create the UnoUrlResolver
3.  Get the central desktop object
4.  Declare the ServiceManager
5.  Get the central desktop object
6.  Access the current writer document
7.  Access the document's text property
8.  Create a cursor
9.  Insert the text into the document """
localContext = uno.getComponentContext()
resolver = localContext.ServiceManager.createInstanceWithContext(
				"", localContext )
ctx = resolver.resolve( "uno:socket,host=localhost,port=2002;urp;StarOffice.ComponentContext" )
smgr = ctx.ServiceManager
desktop = smgr.createInstanceWithContext( "",ctx)
model = desktop.getCurrentComponent()
text = model.Text
cursor = text.createTextCursor()
text.insertString( cursor, "Hello World", 0 )
""" Do a nasty thing before exiting the python process. In case the
 last call is a one-way call (e.g. see idl-spec of insertString),
 it must be forced out of the remote-bridge caches before python
 exits the process. Otherwise, the one-way call may or may not reach
 the target object.
 I do this here by calling a cheap synchronous call (getPropertyValue)."""

Now, to start the above script with the Python script located in the 'program' directory:

 c:\Program Files\OpenOffice1.1\program> .\python

Note: You must use the script/batch file in the 'program' directory to start Python; simply starting the Python executable in the runtime directory (or from a Python installation installed somewhere else on your machine) will not work.

This script prints "Hello World" into the current writer document.

Mode component.png

See also

StarBasic Samples

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