• Major gaps of Open Office Impress versus Microsoft Power Point, what do you think?

    Yesterday Sergio, a user of OpenOffice Impress, sent to the OpenOffice.org discussion list his list of the “Major Gaps of OpenOffice Impress 3.3 vs. Microsoft Office PowerPoint”.Sergio compiled the list because, as much as he likes OpenOffice, “after struggling for over 1 year, sadly he had to stop using Open Office Impress and go back to Microsoft Power Point”. Personally, I have experienced and can confirm most of what Sergio lists as “File Processing issues”.
  • How to automatically print or convert to PDF, MS Office or other formats OpenDocument files

    The script and tricks in the ODF scripting section of this website show how to create office-ready texts, presentations and spreadsheets automatically, in the OpenDocument format, which is a worldwide standards. This is all many people need to work today. Sometimes, however, it’s still necessary to either print those documents, or exchange them to somebody in other formats, like PDF or those of the older releases of Microsoft Office (newer releases of this program are already partially compatible with OpenDocument through free plugins, so if your partners have those versions they should really use those plugins, instead of bothering you with requests for drug-like, legacy file formats, but that’s another story).
  • Generate OpenDocument spreadsheets from DB2 (or any other) database

    DB2 pureXML is IBM software for management of XML data that eliminates much of the work typically involved in the management of XML data.The OpenDocument Format (ODF) is an open international standard for office texts, presentations and spreadsheets that is very simple to process or generate automatically. This page is a short synthesis of an article published in September 2010 by N. Subrahmanyam, Using DB2 pureXML and ODF Spreadsheets, to give an idea (see my comments at the end) of how flexible ODF scripting is.
  • Create OpenDocument invoices and other documents with Rexx

    After my talk about ODF scripting at OOoCon 2010 I got,by another OOoCon speaker, Rony G. Flatscher another script for automatic generation of OpenDocument invoices, or any other ODF text with a fixed structure. Roni’s script opens an OpenDocument text template as the one shown in the picture above and replaces all the MF_ placeholders strings with values loaded by a plain text file, creating the filled form shown here:
  • OpenOffice.org Conference 2010, preparing the next ten years

    The OpenOffice.org conference celebrating the tenth birthday of OpenOffice.org started in Budapest yesterday morning. Here are some first notes from the field. The opening session was a cool moment, both for the location (the Hungarian Parliament) and for the content. We started in the very hall of the Parliament. Incidentally, the first thing I noted there has nothing to do with OO.o but is a general problem of the FOSS and programming worlds: of about 150 people in the hall, no more than 10% were women, even if OO.
  • How to make OpenDocument slideshows out of plain text files

    Slideshows are extremely popular as presentation and educational tools, but have a couple of serious problems. The first is readability: let’s admit it, many slideshows are almost unusable. One of the secrets to useful slideshows is terseness. Each slide should contain only a few short points or pictures which summarize the key concepts you want to transmit to the audience with that part of your talk. The other big issue with slideshows is that GUI presentation software, be it PowerPoint, OpenOffice Impress, KPresenter or anything else, can be quite time-consuming and distracting, no matter how you use it.
  • How to generate and update ODF spreadsheets without OpenOffice

    Sooner or later, many of us need to process some numeric data in plain text format, be they system logs or sales totals, and to generate reports and charts out of those data. Scripts and utilities like gnuplot could be very useful in such cases, except when the results needs to be a normal spreadsheets with charts and formulas, which is both editable and compatible with people who only know how to deal with spreadsheets in office suites.
  • Comments to, How to automatically create ODF invoices without OpenOffice

    (Note: these are the comments appended to my original article, which I had to put in a separate page when I switched from Drupal to WordPress) Just came to your site… Just came to your site following a link from linuxtoday. Wow! This opens windows of opportunities! Somehow I’ve totally missed out on the fact that odt documents are just zip files. I’ve been reading a bit through some content.xml files.
  • How to automatically create OpenDocument invoices without OpenOffice

    Articles on how to create OpenDocument invoices already exist but almost always they require you to start and use OpenOffice manually each time. Here, instead, I’ll show how to have your computer to do all your OpenDocument work for you. The script explained below takes an ODF template like the one of the left and generates an ODF text file like the one you see on the right below, which is ready to be printed or sent via email (follow the links to download the template or the resulting ODF invoice).
  • Why and how the OpenDocument format can save you a lot of time!

    The OpenDocument Format (ODF) is an internationally recognized open standard for digital office documents whose importance has also been acknowledged by Microsoft. ODF is good for a lot of reasons I have already explained in Everybody’s Guide to OpenDocument. However, there is also one more reason why ODF is great for everybody who must produce a lot of office documents, one that will be the subjects of many posts on this website: ODF is really simple to generate or edit automatically.