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8 Advanced OpenOffice.org Add-ons

Templates, Clipart

  • April 5, 2010
  • By Eric Geier

OpenOffice.org (OOo for short) is a great office suite for Linux and pretty much any other operating system, but can always use improvement. This is especially true for templates and clip art. Fortunately, the open source community provides many add-ons or extensions. Here's a look at eight different ones:

English Templates by OxygenOffice

One of the biggest features you might miss from Microsoft Office is their templates. This might especially be the case now that they have integrated the online user-submitted templates, giving you even more choices. In OOo, all you get is two presentation templates, an assortment of presentation templates, and a few wizards to help make letters, faxes, and agendas--the bare minimum. Then on a different menu (File > New), you'll find shortcuts to work with labels and business cards.

However, the OOo community provides many more templates. In addition to this extension, OxygenOffice offers their templates integrated with their enhanced release of OOo. Either way, you'll find the basic templates:

  • Letters and Faxes
  • Resumes and CVs
  • Presentations and presentation backgrounds
  • Business cards
  • Budget calculators
  • Notes and to-do lists
  • Mailing and CD labels
  • Press releases
  • Invoices, special documents, and forms

After you install the extension, you can easily bring these up in OOo: click File > New > Templates and Documents. You'll find many more folders or categories. Select one and hit Open to get started with it.

Gallery of Clipart by OxygenOffice

OOo also lacks in the media department. You won't find any neat clip art or photos. The most you'll find is some simple backgrounds images, bullets, webpage graphics, and sound clip effects. For more media to spruce up your documents, you can download third-party galleries. OxygenOffice provides a clip art gallery of the basics:

  • Animals
  • Arrows
  • Cars
  • Clock
  • Electronic parts
  • Flags
  • Fruits
  • Maps
  • Objects
  • People
  • Photos
  • Signs
  • Smiles

After it's installed, simply click the Gallery button (it's an image of a hanging picture) on the Standard toolbar of OOo. You'll find many more themes or categories of media. To hide the Gallery, simply click the toolbar button again.

You may still also look into using Microsoft's Online Clipart and Media--be sure to double-check the copyright and license info.

Professional Template Packs I and II by Sun Microsystems

The primary developer of OOo, Sun Microsystems (now part of Oracle), also provides templates. Their first pack provides 80 templates for Writer, Calc, Draw and Impress, on a variety of topics:

  • Business correspondence
  • Cover pages and certificates
  • Presentation and presentation backgrounds
  • School and university templates
  • Budgeting spreadsheets
  • Tournament and league brackets

The second pack offers more than 120 templates for Writer, Calc, and Impress, on even more topics:

  • Personal and business correspondence
  • Invoices, notes, minutes, and press releases
  • Budgeting and project planning
  • Presentation templates
  • Business cards and event posters
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