Open Office FAQ
Open Office is one of the most popular office software suites available to date and it’s completely free. However, there are bound to be some questions that people just keep on asking so this is the place where we’re going to try and answer all of the questions you may need answering. If there’s anymore which you think should be added, do get in touch with us and let us know.
What are the minimum requirements to use this suite?
You need to be running any version of the Windows Operating System for the package to function correctly. This can be either Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, XP, Vista or Windows 7. If you’re on hardware that is not supported by this piece of software, you should be informed when you try and click on the download button. If the download succeeds and is ready to be installed, then you know that you meet the minimum requirements to run it and everything should go smoothly from there on. In general, most users should be able to use it. It’s also important to note that Java also has to be installed.
I’ve installed the software. What do I do now?
Once the program has been installed, you should just be able to use any of the tools in the office suite by going into Start –> Programs and then finding this tool on the list. You can select which individual tool you wish to use from this method. Click the one you want and it should then open as you requested. Everything should be fairly straightforward from there on but feel free to go back to our website often if you’re stuck, we constantly update it with new tips on how to get the best out of it.
Is it compatible with other suites such as MS Office?
You’ll be glad to know that all of the formats Open Office saves as are universal formats that can be used by any application. You can create a document in Writer and then open it as you normally would in MS Word and vice-versa with no problems whatsoever. This goes for all of the different tools in the suite, you should find that even if you only have this suite installed on one computer, you won’t have any problems distributing the files you create to other computers that are in your posession, or not.
I’m not a big fan of the splash screen shown when the program starts up. How can I remove it?
Don’t worry, this is actually quite common. It isn’t the most simplest thing to remove as of yet but if it really bothers you, you can follow this method. Go into your Program Files, find the installation directory and go into the “program” directory. In here, you should find a file called soffice.ini. Open this and then change Logo=1 to Logo=0. Once you’ve done this and saved it, when you start any of the tools from now on you should see that it is no longer displayed and you’ll have gotten what you’ve wanted.
I like the sound of automating tasks but how can I actually record a macro to do this?
Macros are a great way to save time, everyone who knows what they are will agree with this. If you aren’t sure how to do it, the process is actually very simple. Go to Tools –> Macros –> Record Macro. All you then need to do is do the task you’re wanting to automate and the system should then remember it for the future. Once you’ve done it, click Stop Recording and it will end. You can simply replay the macro to get it to use the macro and complete the task from now on.
How can I install other dictionaries to use other languages?
This is really simple actually. Simply load up the software and then navigate to Tools –> Language –> More dictionaries online. This should give you the list of different languages you’re going to be able to use. More are added constantly as translations become available from the community. If you know a language that hasn’t been done before, why not help the community by joining the development team and helping them to get everything translated into a new dictionary so everyone can use it?
I want to open and edit a read-only file. How can I do this?
You can open a read-only file as normally, simply double click it or open it through the application itself. You will be notified that the file is read-only, but if you click the “Edit File” button in the toolbar afterwards you should find that you’re able to edit this straight away. You can’t save over the read-only file so when you do try saving the file, you will receive a prompt which will ask you for a different location to save the newly edited file.
I’m using Writer but I don’t like the default font being used. How can I change it?
This isn’t a problem and it should only take you a few minutes to get it done. Open up the application and then in the header, navigate to Format –> Styles and Formatting, right click on “Default” and modify the font from here. From there onwards, you should find that this new font is used whenever you try and create a new document. It’s as simple as that!
My grammar isn’t so great, is there a grammar checker that I can use?
At the moment, if you’re looking for a grammar checker you can find an Open Office extension which should be able to do the job you’re looking for. You can find the download for this on our website on the extensions page. There isn’t one built in at the time of writing this but we are expecting it to be added in a future version so keep an eye out for updates for this. There are many different extensions that you can do for a wide variety of jobs, we highly recommend that you take a look through them especially because they’re all completely free of charge.
I like the default templates but I’d like to add my own. How can I do this?
This is not as difficult as you might think actually. The first step is to actually obtain the template file itself. There are many different websites that will distribute high quality content templates for so once you’ve downloaded the one you prefer, you need to open the office suite and then go into File –> Templates –> Organise. You should see a dialog on your screen now, simply select “My Templates”. This is the part where you actually upload the file itself into the software to make it usable. Simply go to Commands –> Import Template. Select the file you downloaded and confirm it, the whole process should then be done! To use it on a daily basis, all you now need to do is to go to File –> New –> Templates & Documents.
I’ve found some great new fonts I want to use. How can I get them installed?
This isn’t actually done through our software itself. The software suite uses the fonts that have been installed to the system itself, it doesn’t manage any fonts itself. Don’t worry, it’s not difficult to install new ones. Make sure you’re correctly downloaded the font files you’re looking for and then go into your Windows Control Panel and go into Fonts. Drag the files into here and it’ll install correctly if the files are correct. If you restart the package, you should see that the new fonts are displayed allowing you to use them just like any usual font.
I want to print out my Calc Spreadsheet but I’m not sure what to do. Explain?
This is a regular occurrence and we get asked on a regular basis. With most office suites, there can be huge problems trying to get it to print exactly how you want. However, Open Office tries to make it easier for you with a very simple process to do it all. Before you start trying to print, it’s a good idea to preview how it will look. You can do this by going to File –> Page Preview. If it all looks great, you can go ahead and print it like a normal document. If not, you can make any alterations you need by going to Format –> Page.
I’m interested in using conditional formatting, could you give me more information?
Conditional formatting is where the style of a cell changes based on the data entered. For example, if you’re wanting the cell to turn green if the number is above 0 and turn red if the number is below 0, you’d find that this is the best way to go about doing so. It isn’t actually as complicated as you might think, all you need to do is open your spreadsheet in Calc and then go into Format –> Conditional Formatting. All of the options you’re going to need will be here available to use. If you need any other help, read our blog for more advanced tips.
I want to make a very large spreadsheet in Calc. What are the restrictions on the amount I can use?
It’s very unlikely that you’ll ever reach this amount and if you do need the full amount, you obviously need to think of a different way of storing your data. As the tool has been updated over the years, the limits it allows have increased massively. In the first version, you were only allowed to use 32,000 rows. For most this seems like a huge amount but you really should compare it to Open Office 3 which supports 65,536 rows as well as 1,024 columns. If you work it out, that means you’re allowed 67,108,864 cells per sheet. You shouldn’t ever need to use this amount so don’t worry about it too much.
I have an image in Draw but it’s too big. How can I crop it down?
We all have this problem once in a while, especially when working with documents or even websites for that matter. Putting an extremely large image into it simply wouldn’t work, it could ruin the look you’re trying to obtain in your document. Luckily, with Draw the whole process is very straightforward. Simply open up the image and go into Edit –> Object –> Edit. You’ll then see a lot of different options and functions available to you but for this particular question, you’re going to need to go into Modify –> Crop. Everything should be obvious from here.
I like the WordArt feature in Microsoft Word, does this have a similar feature?
You’ll be happy to know that it does, it works in a very similar way too. You’ll find that it’s called FontWork in our piece of software, though. To use it, you’ll need to open the application you’re wanting to use and then go into Format –> FontWork. From here, you can change many different details about the title you’re wanting to create, for example the colors, sizes and the general style of it. If you wanted to, you can even use freestyle drawing tools to customise it even further and make your text look how you want it to. The software does everything it can to give you the freedom and the ability to create whatever you want to do.
Is there a way of creating an image in Draw which uses web-friendly colors?
If you’re using Draw to create something like a website banner, you may not realise how important it is to use web-friendly colors. This is basically using colors which fit in with the hexadecimal colors used on the internet, if you do this you’ll find that it becomes much easier to fit your banner into your website without it looking awful. It’s incredibly simple to do this in Openoffice and it won’t even take you long.
First of all, just create the image as you normally would. When you’ve finished, you need to select and then right click on the object in question, select the “Area” item and go into Colors –> Load Color List. You should find a file already there which you need to select called html.soc and then click “OK”. Everything should be done, you can now export it.
Is it possible to add music to my presentation in Impress?
Yes it is and it can be done with just a few simple steps. The obvious task you need to do is to find the sound that you want to be playing throughout your presentation, make sure it isn’t something too loud otherwise it’ll distract the users from the presentation itself. Once you’ve found this, you can go into Slide Transition –> Modify –> Sound and then select the file that you’re wanting to add. After you’ve done this, make sure you uncheck “Apply to all slides” otherwise the music will simply restart on every slide change. The music is now added, you should be able to try it out for yourself and see the music playing on each slide.
I’m using Math and want to see the math syntax. How can I do this?
This is actually really simple and you can do this straight from the software itself. Simply open up Math and then go into View –> Selection. You’ll be able to see all of the different functions that are supported in this particular piece of software. You should notice that Math has support for most major symbols and expressions which should give you all of the tools you need to produce the expression or equation you need.
This is the end of our FAQ. Hopefully what we’ve provided you with here will answer all of the questions you have but if not, feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll do our best to help you. We’re constantly adding more answers to this and more people contact us. Our Open Office download is mainly a straightforward piece of software to use, though, so the majority of people will never actually have a problem with it.