Adding functionality with extensions

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An extension is a package that can be installed into to add new functionality.

Although individual extensions can be found in different places, the official extension repository is at Some extensions are free of charge; others are available for a fee. Check the descriptions to see what licenses and fees apply to the ones that interest you.

Installing extensions

To install an extension, follow these steps:

  1. Download an extension and save it anywhere on your computer.
  2. In OOo, select Tools > Extension Manager from the menu bar. In the Extension Manager dialog, click Add.
  3. A file browser window opens. Find and select the extension you want to install and click Open. The extension begins installing. You may be asked to accept a license agreement.
  4. When the installation is complete, the extension is listed in the Extension Manager dialog.
Tip.png To get extensions that are listed in the repository, you can open the Extension Manager and click the Get more extensions here link. You do not need to download them separately as in step 1 above.

Installing an extension
Documentation note.png To install a shared extension, you need write access to the installation directory.

Using extensions

This section describes several of the more important and popular extensions to In each case, you need to first install the extension as described in the previous section.

PDF Import

Enables you to make minor modifications to the text of existing PDF files when the original source files do not exist or you are unable to open the source files. (Whenever possible, modify the source and regenerate the PDF to obtain the best results.)

When the extension is installed, PDF is listed as a choice in the File Type drop-down list in the File > Open dialog. PDF documents open in Draw. Depending on the complexity of the layout, changes may be easy or difficult to make, and the saved result may or may not preserve the original layout. Font substitution may occur.

Each line of text appears in a separate text box. If part of the text is in a different font or font variation (for example, bold or italic), that part of the line is in a separate text box. Thus a single line of text may contain several separate text boxes. If you edit the text in one box, the result may overlap the text in the following box or leave a conspicuous gap between the two portions of text. If this occurs, you need to manually adjust the spacing between the boxes.

Graphics with transparent backgrounds are imported with black backgrounds, and these black backgrounds remain when the edited PDF is saved again. Graphics and frames anchored “to paragraph” may move away from their positions during import; any incorrect positioning remains when the PDF is saved again.

From Sun Microsystems. Open source.

Presenter Console

Provides extra control over slide shows (presentations); for example, the presenter has ability to see the upcoming slide, the slide notes, and a presentation timer—while the audience sees only the current slide. The Presenter Console displays the elements in three easily changeable views:

  • The first view displays the current slide, including the effects, and the upcoming slide.
  • The second view shows the speaker's notes in large, clear, and scalable type, plus the current and upcoming slide.
  • The third view is a slide sorter view with the slide thumbnails.

From Sun Microsystems. Open source.

Documentation note.png The Presenter Console works only on an operating system that supports multiple displays.

Report Builder

Creates stylish, complex database reports from Base. You can define group and page headers, group and page footers, and calculation fields. Export your reports into PDF or OpenDocument formats, or send them as email attachments. From Sun Microsystems. Open source.

Professional Template Pack II

More than 120 templates for Writer, Calc, and Impress. Available in several languages. After you have installed this Extension, you will find the templates under File > New > Templates and Documents. From Sun Microsystems. Freeware.

Template Changer

Adds two new items to the File > Templates menu that allow you to assign a new template to the current document or to a folder of documents. All styles and formatting will be loaded from that template and the document will behave as it was created using that template. Open source.

Content on this page is licensed under the Creative Common Attribution 3.0 license (CC-BY).
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