Customizing the User Interface

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Creating a Customized XML Configuration File

OpenOffice.org stores most of the User Interface (UI) configuration settings in Extensible Markup Language (XML) format. The UI components are defined in the XML-based User Interface Language (XUL) and stored in XML files.

OpenOffice.org provides a Customize dialog box where you can make changes to most of the UI components. For example, you could use this dialog box to add a custom menu to Writer.

You can also edit an XML UI configuration file to make your changes. The XML elements and attributes for the OpenOffice.org UI components are described in the following sections.

Using the Customize Dialog Box

You can use the Customize dialog box to create or make changes to the following UI components:

  • Menus
  • Shortcut keys
  • Toolbars
  • Events

The changes are saved to an XML configuration file. After you make your changes in the Customize dialog box, you can use the XML configuration file that you created to apply the changes to other OpenOffice.org installations.

Documentation note.png For more information on the location of the individual XML configuration files, see Using a Text Editor

To Customize Menus, Keyboard Shortcuts, Toolbars, and Events

  1. Open the OpenOffice.org program where you want to customize a UI element.
  2. Choose Tools → Customize
    The Customize dialog box appears.
  3. Click the UI element tab you want to customize.
  4. Make your changes and click OK.
    The changes are saved to one or more XML configuration files in the OpenOffice.org user directory. The file names and location for these files is ooo-user-dir/config/soffice.cfg/modules/module-identifier/element-type/element-name.xml
Customize Dialog box

Using a Text Editor for UI Customization

You can also use a text editor to customize a UI element in an XML configuration file. For example, to remove an item from the Tools menu in Writer, open the menubar.xml file for Writer, and delete the XML element for the menu item. You can also use XML configuration files to limit the functionality of OpenOffice.org. See Restricting functionality for more information.

The UI configuration settings for each of the following components in an OpenOffice.org module are stored in separate XML configuration files:

  • Menu bars
  • Shortcut keys
  • Toolbars
  • Events
  • Status bars
  • Images

These UI elements are located in install-dir/basics<version>/share/config/soffice.cfg/modules/module-identifier/element-type/element-name.xml

For example, the XML configuration file for the OpenOffice.org 3.2 Writer menu bar is install-dir/basics3.2/share/config/soffice.cfg/modules/swriter/menubar/menubar.xml

The following table lists the short module identifiers for each OpenOffice.org module:

Short Module Identifiers for OpenOffice.org Modules
OpenOffice.org Module Short Module Identifier
OpenOffice.org Writer/Web sweb
OpenOffice.org Writer/Globaldocument sglobal
OpenOffice.org Calc scalc
OpenOffice.org Draw sdraw
OpenOffice.org Impress simpress
OpenOffice.org Math smath
OpenOffice.org Chart schart
OpenOffice.org Bibliography sbibliography
OpenOffice.org BasicIDE BasicIDE
OpenOffice.org Database QueryDesign dbquery
OpenOffice.org Database TableDesign dbtable
OpenOffice.org Database RelationDesign dbrelation
OpenOffice.org StartModule (Backing Component) StartModule

For a description of the XML elements and attributes that the OpenOffice.org configuration files use, see the OpenOffice.org XML File Format Technical Reference Manual

Applying a Customized User Interface to Different OpenOffice.org Installations

You can use XML configuration files to apply a customized user interface to one or more OpenOffice.org installations.

To Apply a Customized User Interface to All Users on a Network

On a master OpenOffice.org installation, create a customized XML configuration file for each UI element that you want to change. See Creating a Customized XML Configuration File for details.

  1. Become root.
  2. Copy the contents of the ooo-user-dir/config/soffice.cfg/modules directory of the master installation to the network-install-dir/share/config/soffice.cfg/modules directory.
  3. Restart OpenOffice.org.

To Apply a Customized User Interface to a Single User

On a master OpenOffice.org installation, create a customized XML configuration file for each UI element that you want to change. See Creating a Customized XML Configuration File for details.

  1. Become root.
  2. Copy the contents of the ooo-user-dir/config/soffice.cfg/modules directory of the master installation to the ooo-user-dir/share/config/soffice.cfg/modules directory of the single user installation.
  3. Restart OpenOffice.org.
Content on this page is licensed under the Public Documentation License (PDL).
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