I've talked a lot about how IT administrators should take all the free clip art they can download, assemble it and categorize it, and give it to every user to make OpenOffice.org more fun and more usable.
I have pointed to the clip art (see the new list at the left side of this blog page about free clip art, templates, and fonts) but have yet to specify how to do it.
Step 1: Download massive amounts of clip art and categorize it. If possible, get an intern to do this.
Be sure to categorize it in separate directories as you download it -- or after, if that works better for you.
Step 2: Figure out how it all works, conceptually.
There are two components. There are:
- configuration files containing information about the clip art, such as thumbnails, the name of the Gallery theme, and the actual location of the real clip art
- and the actual clip art, in an entirely different location
The location of the config files is determined by the default location under Tools > Options > OpenOffice.org > Paths. Let's say I've got a directory C:\openoffice_config\clipart that will hold all the config information.
I specify that path under Tools > Options.
Then when I create a new theme in the Gallery, information about the theme is stored in configuration files in that path.
There are actually three config files for each theme, stored inside that path.
Now, what about the actual clip art? That's simpler. The path to the clip art, for each theme, is just stored in the three config files for the theme.
They just point to whatever art in whatever directory you pulled in when you created the theme. Here's where I have some clip art for this example.
Here's how it all works together. Click the illustration to see a legible, bigger version.
Step 3: Check your Gallery config directory and settle on a location for the clip art.
First, plan where you want the clip art to be -- most likely on the network. My example here is just C:\clipart but you'll probably want the path to be H:\openoffice\clipart or something like that. The path that you create to the clip art has to work for every user.
All right, you've got the clip art out there.
Now look at your Gallery path. Choose Tools > Options > OpenOffice.org > Paths. If you like it, just note it and leave it as is. If you want to change it, select Gallery, click Edit, add a new path and select the radio button next to it to make it the default.
(This can be different for every user, or in theory you could have every user's Gallery config path out there at H:\openofficeconfig\galleryconfig )
4. Create themes.
Choose Tools > Gallery to view the Gallery.
Click New Theme. You'll see the path to the configuration files that are stored in the path you just set, or just accepted. Name the theme something appropriate.
Click the Files tab. Click Find Files and select the directory containing the actual clip art, like C:\clipart\transportation.
The file names will appear.
Then, VERY IMPORTANT, be sure to click Add All. A window will appear creating the three config files that point to the actual clip art.
Then click OK, and you'll have your theme with clip art. The path points to the actual clip art.
Step 5: Copy all the config files to users' gallery config directories.
I've done this successfully on my machine. I created the theme and the clip art in OpenOffice.org, then copied the config files over to my StarOffice installation and it worked -- the Gallery picked up the config files that pointed to the clip art. I had to quit and restart StarOffice, AND exit the quickstarter in the lower right corner.
At this point, all you need to do is go to your Gallery config files directory that you checked or changed here
and copy all the config files in that directory
to the directory under Tools > Options > OpenOffice.org > Paths that is set for each user.
Exit the program and quit the Quickstarter, then start the program again.
As long as the Tools > Options gallery config path is the same as the actual directory where the Gallery configuration files are stored, and as long as the user has the rights to see files in the directory that those configuration files point to, all should be well. I made two themes in StarOffice, transportation and weather, then just copied the config files over to the location where gallery config files are stored for my OpenOffice.org installation. They showed up just fine, I did nothing on the OpenOffice.org side.
As a non-system-administrator, I'm sure there are profile size and other issues that I'm not aware of, that complicate this. However, these are at least the mechanics of how it can work.
Step 6: What about when you get more clip art?
As far as I can tell, you just need to add more themes, or modify the existing themes, then copy those config files out again to the users' Gallery config directories. You can't just copy the clip art to the main clip art directory and expect the gallery itself to update; the thumbnails that show up in the Gallery in OpenOffice are controlled by what's in the gallery config files.