Using OpenOffice

By now, OpenOffice has become the leading full-function free and open source office suite program for GNU/Linux and is included by default on most distributions, including SUSE, Red Hat, Debian, and others.

This should not take credit away from the other free and open source office suite development projects—KOffice and AbiWord come quickest to mind—but OpenOffice gains the stage here due to the relative maturity of its code base and the elegance of its native open XML file format (which even KOffice has) as well as the suite’s ability to run on Windows and its compatibility with the popular proprietary file formats.

“OpenOffice” Versus "OpenOffice.org"

Certain conventions of language used in this chapter would be confusing if they are not highlighted. The term “OpenOffice,” or its abbreviated form “OOo,” typically refers to the software, the code, the product, the office suite itself. In referring to the development project, the terms "OpenOffice.org" or “OOo project” or "OpenOffice.org development project” apply exclusively. To make things even more confusing, there is also StarOffice, which is based on the same code base, but sold by Sun Microsystems as a commercial product.

The Modules of OpenOffice

One among several hallmarks of OOo is the tight integration of its word processor, spreadsheet, and all other modules , which leads to a strong consistency in features, menu placement, and ease of use. The OpenOffice modules are listed in Table 8-1.

Table 8-1. The modules ...

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