Templates, Writer, general setup and toolbars
- Creating and using OpenOffice templates, including converting Microsoft Word templates for use in OpenOffice
- Doing calculations in tables
- The styles posts on what they are, how to get styles from one document to another, how to create and update them, etc.
- The much-discussed topic of centering text vertically in a Writer document
- Starting page numbering on page 2 and related topics (relates to page styles)
- Tables of contents
- Searching and replacing for carriage returns (paragraph breaks), tabs, and other items, using regular expressions (regex)
- Creating your own toolbar
- Setting up OpenOffice under Tools > Options and Tools > Autocorrect. This is how to turn off word completion, stop automatic formatting, set defaults, increase icon size, and much more.
Calc spreadsheets and charts
- Calc spreadsheet data entry shortcuts
- Dragging a cell in a spreadsheet (see the end of the post)
- Charts in Calc and Writer; how to click in just the right spot and modify exactly what you want.
- Opening a CSV text file in Calc so that it opens as a spreadsheet. Useful if you export files from databases of other formats and want to create them as spreadsheets or databases in OpenOffice.
- Controlling what people can put into spreadsheets with error messages, online help for the cell, ranges of permitted data, etc.
Draw, Diagrams, Impress presentations
- Using the 3D shapes in Draw (I love this stuff)
- Using OpenOffice FontWork, which is kind of like WordArt
- Creating your own arrows and other line ends for UML diagrams and other purposes
- Using the OpenOffice Gallery to store graphics; this too is useful for UML diagrams
- Printing Impress presentation handouts
Web publishing and PDF
- What I did with the web tools, creating colors, image maps, etc. to redo my getopenoffice.org StarOffice and OpenOffice Training page
- PDF, with linked articles on PDF presentations, and using hyperlinked PDFs. That post is particularly interesting since you can generate PDFs from linked OpenOffice.org documents, and the links carry over to the PDF.
- Using the wonderful Web Wizard (that's the techtarget article, here's the blog link) for creating web sites from existing OpenOffice, Microsoft, and graphics documents. You can also use it for PDF batch convert.
Mail merge, labels, envelopes, and databases
- The very very powerful Mail Merge Wizard.
- The less powerful but far easier Secret Mail Merge that you need to add to your toolbar.
- Creating OpenOffice.org databases from spreadsheets, text files, and your address book. Even Access databases are easy.
- A bunch of articles for TechTarget.com on creating databases from scratch in Base, creating forms, doing reports, views and joins between tables , and all the fun new stuff in the Openoffice Base database module.
- How to do labels the regular way, and manually.
Openoffice training, change management, and general discussions
- My thoughts on training and its benefits.
- My suggestions for transitioning to OpenOffice.org, including the change management aspects.
- Why OpenDocument Format is important (parental advisory, contains references to tube tops).
- Switching to OpenOffice.org, or any open source product, means you can spend the budget leftover on something important. Education, firefighters--anything that's more important than using Microsoft Office.
- Office 2007 could be a big retraining job. Think about whether you'd rather spend money and time upgrading to Office 2007, or just time on switching to OpenOffice.