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April 03, 2006



The sample chapters look great! Also, your writing style is much more friendly and readable than typical manuals. Can't wait for the book. I've always manually formatted lists (the hard way); probably because I was unaware of the cool features available on the list toolbar. I need the book so I can find out what other handy tricks I've been missing out on. BTW, the book is called a Resource Kit; what will the "Kit" consist of other than the book?

What about math expressions? A Writer document with math can't, in my experience, be saved in Microsoft Word document.

Solveig and Alberto,

I have worked with the math expressions in Word. It's kinda a pain. In OOo, make sure you go to Tools>Options>Load/Save>MicrosoftOffice and check the Math/Mathtype conversion boxes. Save the document as a 2000/XP .doc. Open the document in Word. You can then click on the equations, right-click, Equations Object > Convert. Convert to MS Equation 3.0, and the equation corrects itself. This is tedious if you have a bunch, but at least it is something. Hope this helps.

Thanks Louis!
Googling i've found a solution to the tedious conversion of every equation.
Go to http://www.oooforum.org/forum/viewtopic.phtml?t=24498
and use the macro suggested by "pappubhai".
If you don't have Mathtype, as me, you must change "Equation.DSMT4" in the macro with "Equation.3". Moreover, I changed the name of macros: "Macro1()" -> "ConvertThisEqn()",
"Macro()" -> "ConvertAllEqn()". It works! I think that this trick can be inserted in the "Working with Microsoft Office" chapter. Please forgive me, i've little acquaintance with English language. Thanks Solveig! This blog is a treasure trove of useful tips and tricks

Thanks Alberto!
For a single equation, it's a bit easier to do manually, but the macro to "convert all equations" is awesome! Too bad there's no way to somehow embed the macro so that Word would preserve it. Then I could include the macro when sending it to a Word user. Anyway, this is a great tip. Thanks again.

Louis and Alberto,

Thanks for this great information! I haven't spent as much time really hunkering down with equations as I'd like to. This is a real help and will definitely go in the book.


Hi Louis,

The "Kit" is going to be the book plus the CD in the back. The CD will have of course the software plus some templates, but also I'll be posting some templates on this blog as well. Not sure exactly but in some easy to find directory of templates that I have instructions for in the book.

I'm actually not hugely wild about the title but my publisher wouldn't go for "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Microsoft". ;>

Thanks for the comments! According to the research on brain theory (which I learn from my friend Kathy Sierra over at Passionate Users), the brain just pays attention to casual direct language better, thus making learning easier. Plus, heckofa lot easier to write, I think. ;>


Louis, the macro can be saved in Word! In "Visual Basic Editor" save the macro in "Normal" (in the left panel). In this way the macro will be alwais ready to run (you don't need to write every time, every document)! I've draw also a button that run the macro.

A screenshot can help you. http://img299.imageshack.us/img299/2523/appunti017rl.png

Solveig, thanks! I like what you've done, and I especially appreciated the work on lists. I didn't really realize that lists were a toggle and not a style (after a few bouts of spaghetti numbering in Word, I'm nervous about clicking on toolbar buttons :-), and I've wasted time looking for how to use them. The extended bullets and numbering toolbar is quite helpful, too!


I think you misunderstood what I was looking for. Here's what I would like to do:

Create the document in OOo with embedded macro.
Save document in .doc format.
Send document to Word user with no OOo.
User opens document and runs macro.

I don't think it's possible, but if you know or find a way, I would be interested!

I don't think it's possible to embedd visual basic macro in OOo document, because OOo use OpenOffice.org Basic, JavaScript or BeanShell (Java) for scripts (found by OOo help). But i've not enough knowledge about macro's languages (i've modified the macro by OOo forum in my previous post by try). I think that can be written an OOo macro that convert equations when a document is saved in .doc format; if i've understood the problem this macro must convert all greek symbols using the "symbol" font (see the last post in the OOo thread that i've linked above).

Hi Bill,


"I didn't really realize that lists were a toggle and not a style "

Oh, isn't that confusing? I wacked away at the list styles for a long time before I went "d'oh!" and finally understood the whole system of just applying or removing the basic "listiness," and indenting with Tab or the specialized toolbar to get text to a level; then applying a style (that can control the formatting of all levels), and so on.

You remind me of a good point,the confusingness of the styles, so I think I will add a nice big graphic to the intro to, if not that chapter, then the list styles chapter. Or possibly both. Anyway, something clarifying all the things that control lists.


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