OpenOffice/LibreOffice Notes

I've used OpenOffice for a good decade now, but it can be damned annoying sometimes.

Launching OpenOffice/LibreOffice from the command line

You need to know the name of the "sub" program you want. For example, if I want to launch LibreOffice Draw (on my Mint desktop), I do this:

~/Documents $ libreoffice --draw mydrawing.odg &

The & allows you to get the command line back while OpenOffice stays up, running in the background (but it's still useful).

Templates: a way to configure most OpenOffice applications

Some sections use templates as a way to correct perniciousness BEFORE new documents are created. See below.

How to fix the ugly default font (Liberation Sans) and size (18)...

...that are the initial defaults in (especially) LibreOffice.

  1. Press F11 to get Styles and Formatting.
  2. Choose Default.
  3. Right-click and choose Modify.
  4. Click on the Font tab.
  5. Change the font and point size as desired.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Close the dialog (if you like).
  8. Make other changes as you'd like to see in effect in each new document, e.g.: change Format -> Page... -> Portrait/Landscape
  9. Save your document as the default template for the application*:
    1. File -> Templates -> Save...
    2. Give the New Template a descriptive name.
    3. Click OK.
    4. Return to File -> Templates... -> Organize...
    5. Double-click My Templates.
    6. Click on the template you just created (the descriptive name).
    7. Click on Commands and choose Set As Default Template.
    8. Click Close.
  10. Once you open a new document, it will inherit what you set up in your default template. Note that the default template isn't actually saved in the filesystem as file (unless you want to).

* OpenOffice Draw, Writer, etc.

How to halt automatic "correction" of capitalization...

In technical documents, it's rarely interesting to have editors like Writer, Draw, etc. assume the first letter should be capitalized since case usually matters. Turn this and other perniciousness off by...

  1. Selecting Tools -> AutoCorrect Options... ->
  2. Click on the Options tab.
  3. Uncheck Correct TWo INitial CApitals and Capitalize first letter of every sentence.
  4. Click OK.
  5. You may wish to save this in a blank document to become part of your template. (See section on templates and font face and size above.)

Another very good thing to disable is URL Recognition and still another is Correct accidental use of cAPS LOCK key.

Drawing tricks, wavy lines and curved arrows in Draw...

To get the vertical, wavy line, I went to Google images and searched for "wavy line vertical," copied the GIF, use gimp to reduce padding, make it transparent, then I inserted it as an image from file.

To make the curved arrows, I followed the instructions here, which suck and the result sucks, but it's the only way until I get good at it.

Transparent objects in LibreOffice Draw...

So you can see through a box, circle, etc. to lines from object(s) underneath, go to Format → Area → Transparency, click the radio button Transparency and set the percentage of "see-throughness" you want.