There have been many different versions of Open Office released over the many years it has been available to the public. If you’re going to be designing a document in one of the latest versions, one thing you have to remember is that not everyone will be using the same version, which could mean that some features won’t be available for people on these older ones. This could be a big problem – unless you use some compatibility settings that is. In this article, we’re going to discuss them.
To access the settings we’re talking about, you need to load up the office suite and then go into Tools –> Options and then into Writer –> Compatibility. You’ll find many different options here which will adapt the software so that it’s more suitable for the older versions, making sure that no matter who wants to read what you write they’ll never have any issues with doing so. We’re just going to go through a few basic ones here, the rest will be covered in future articles. Let’s take a look at them.
- Use printer metrics for document formatting – Document formatting is a tricky thing to deal with, users constantly want this to be improved but it can be challenging to make the suite backwards compatible when this happens. One simple change can make documents not display properly on older versions so you really are relying on people staying up-to-date which isn’t a good approach to go with. By using this option, the document formatting will be stored in a way that is generic and available for all versions which gets around this problem.
- Add spacing between paragraphs and tables (in current document) – This is something that is done automatically in the latest versions of Open Office but isn’t in the older versions. What this means is that in older ones, you’ll find that there is no spacing between paragraphs and tables which can really ruin the design and layout of the document. By enabling this, Writer will add it manually so that the document looks the same on all versions of the software package.
- Add paragraph and table spacing at tops of pages (in current document) – This is fairly similar to the option we’ve just talked about above, except this option is for the top of the page when your document extends onto more than one page. If you have enabled the option above we recommend that you enable this one too so that you’ll get the full effect and compatibility fixes included. This is something you always need to think about when you’re creating documents, especially when you’re distributing it over the internet or to a large audience.
In conclusion, Writer contains a large number of different compatibility settings that we recommend you take a look at if you want to make sure that people using all versions of our Open Office download will be able to read the documents that you produce. If they can’t, this could represent a huge problem depending on the circumstances you’re in, so there really is no excuse for not taking a look at them. A few simple options can help to solve any potential issues that could arise in the future. If you haven’t yet installed the office suite onto your computer, too, it would be a good idea to do this as well to take advantage of these features.