Just some analogies to start things off.
A fridge is not milk. You buy groceries.
An Ipod is not Lyle Lovett. You wouldn't buy a different brand of mp3 player just because it didn't have your favorite music. You just load your music and you've got everything you want.
A closet is not a great pair of peep-toe pumps. You supply your own shoes, clothes, furniture, etc.
And a piece of software is not its templates. But if you don't have them, you can get them.
Software is written by programmers and you have to install it. Templates are just documents, created by people who generally are not programmers. Sometimes you get templates with software and sometimes you don't, but they operate independently. If you deleted all the templates out of Word it would still be Word. Templates are just goodies included to help you design the documents you want to create.
OpenOffice.org is free and doesn't come with a lot of templates when you install it. However, OpenOffice.org can make postcards and brochures and bumper stickers and business cards and resumes and invoices until the cows come home. In fact, until the cows have come home, had their drinks, gotten into fights, and passed out.
- You might have Word/Excel/Powerpoint templates. You can run a little conversion wizard on your MS Office templates, point OpenOffice.org at those MS Office templates and then, bam, OpenOffice.org has all those templates. Templates with macros can work too since the code that pops up the little window for you to fill in won't run, but you will see the gray blank that you can delete and type in.
- Check out the list of template locations at the left side of this blog, including http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Extensions.
- And you can google, and you can download files
- You can also choose File > Open and open templates or documents you created in Word.
Check this out. How many results do I get when I google for for free postcard template? 75,000.
And for free brochure template? 158,000.
And just free template (leaving out all the web templates, even)? This is out of control. Over seven million hits.
Here's my directory of Microsoft Office templates. I just went to C:Program Files\Microsoft Office and burrowed down.
And that's not all, folks. You don't even need templates. You can make your own postcards, for instance, totally from scratch.
How big is a postcard? 4x6. So just set your margins in your document so that they fit the postcard st0ck you're printing on. Drag the margins like this
or choose Format > Page, Page tab, and set them in the margin fields. (Measurements will vary depending on what you're printing on and how margins are treated.) You might need a ruler to measure the card stock margins and then apply that to the page setup. This measurement would be big enough for two 4x6s, a front and back or two fronts leaving the back blank.
You can also choose Insert > Frame and specify the measurements for one postcard. If you don't want a border on the frame, click the Borders tab in this window and find the "no border" icon.
Insert another frame of the same dimensions, OR copy and paste the frame, and you've got places for two postcards. (Or the front and back of the same card.)
It took me five (I timed it) minutes to insert the frames, type in a little text, format it, add the picture, then copy the contents down to the other frame.
Once you've made your own once, then you can choose File > Templates > Save and save it as a template. Then it'll be there whenever you want it under File > New > Templates & Documents.
Yes, this is part rant. But mostly I want to make it really, really clear that:
The software is entirely different than its templates.
You can get a template for anything and use it in OpenOffice.org, for free, really easily, on the Internet.
OpenOffice.org can make anything, with or without a template.
You can make anything in OpenOffice.org, with or without a template.
And if you do want more help with step-by-steps or with where to find templates, see this blog.