OpenOffice is one of the best Open Source Office Application Suit around today which is free and a good alternative to Microsoft Word. We have been carrying out a series of posts on OpenOffice 3.1 (which is the latest version) and how it can be used in an enterprise to effectively use and reduce some costs without compromising on the user experience! If you have not checked our previous posts on OpenOffice, here they are – OpenOffice Writer – a brief review, A note on why OpenOffice is slow while loading. There is more coming up, so watch out this space!
In this post, We will see how OpenOffice is extendable and make it more functional with plug-ins (or extensions). All modern day software applications allow extending functionalities in the form of plug-ins or Add-Ins. OpenOffice too supports this and here is a basic guide on how to add extensions to OpenOffice.
1. Where to look for Extensions?
OpenOffice official site maintains the list of Extensions available and all are documented here – http://extensions.services.openoffice.org. All plugins are sorted according to different categories making it easier for you to decide on the best plugins.
2. How to add Extensions?
Adding or installing Extension is very easy. Just download the Extension that you want, once it is downloaded, it will automatically get associated with your installed OpenOffice and get added to it. When that happens, you get a screen as shown below. Just Accept it.
After completion of installation, you could check out or manage all installed extensions via Tools->Extension Manager. You can enable or disable extensions as per your preference.
3. Some popular Extensions
SUN PDF Importer Extension – The PDF Import Extension allows you to import and modify PDF documents. Best results with 100% layout accuracy can be achieved with the "PDF/ODF hybrid file" format, which this extension also enables. A hybrid PDF/ODF file is a PDF file that contains an embedded ODF source file. Hybrid PDF/ODF files will be opened in OpenOffice.org as an ODF file without any layout changes. Check out here. (Just a note, this is very interesting extension but at the same time very slow)
Pagination – A little macro that adds a ‘Insert / Page number…’ dialog to writer. It eases the way you can add page numbers to a document. Check out more here.
Templates Pack – To create documents with professional templates and styles. Check out here.
An OxygenOffice Gallery – OxygenOffice Professional Galleries as OpenOffice.org Extension. Adding pictures, Clip Arts easily and briskly to your document. This extension offers several galleries to you.
SUN wiki publisher – The Sun Wiki Publisher enables you to create Wiki articles on MediaWiki servers without having to know the syntax of the MediaWiki markup language. Publish your new and existing documents transparently with the Writer to a wiki page. Check here for more.
There are lots more in the OpenOffice Extension page, Dictionaries, Language packs, template packs, thesaurus collections and more.
Explore extensions and tell us which one you like!