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6 Advanced OpenOffice.org Extensions

Readability Report, Alternative Find & Replace, Text Effects

  • May 17, 2010
  • By Eric Geier

OpenOffice.org (OOo for short) is a powerful open source and multi-platform office suite, and is even comparable to Microsoft Office. However, there's always room-to-grow, features to improve, and things to customize. Luckily, the open source community provides a great repository of extensions and add-ons. Today, we'll look at six of them. Now let's get started!

Readability Report by neiln

This extension can analyze your OOo Writer documents and score them for readability, cohesion, and information density. This helps you gage how understandable your writing will be for the intended audience. You might also find errors in the document not picked up by OOo, or even bad writing habits you can improve upon.

Using several linguistic techniques, the extension gives you four different reports:

  • Readability Report: Gives you an overview of word and sentence count compared to the syllable count, scores on many different metrics, average sentence score, and your most and least readable sentences. Examples of ratings include Simple, Easy, Good, Challenging, and Difficult.
  • Brain Overload Report: Shows you a general score on document denseness, or how much information you try to present within sentences. It gives your least and most informative sentences and reports on phrase occurrences. Examples of ratings include Introductory, Scholarly, Technical, and Specialized.
  • Coherence Report: Reports on how well your document is to follow by analyzing the connection between information you present in the text.� Examples of ratings include Creative, Digressing, Consistent, Coherent, and Fluent.
  • Detailed Report: Displays the scores for each sentence in a Calc worksheet, especially useful in finding sentences that provide poor cohesion.

Alternative Find & Replace for Writer by Tomas Bilek

This adds another Find & Replace dialog to OOo Writer, featuring enhancements that are great for editors or writers. Keep in mind, it doesn't replace the existing dialog; you can use the one you choose. It adds a shortcut to the Edit menu, right under the existing Find & Replace shortcut. You'll also find a new button on the toolbar.

The biggest addition is the ability to save the find and replace settings. These are called batches and are basically mini macros. If you regularly perform the same types of searches and/or replacements, this feature will be a godsend. Examples of preconfigured batches include converting date formats and creating a list of hyperlinks.

The Alternative Find & Replace dialog also features predefined regular and extended expressions you can choose from for doing advanced searching and/or replacing. Additional enhancements include the search and/or replacement support of multiple paragraphs.

Text Effects by deye

This extension adds a variety of text effects to OOo Writer, which manipulates text to make colorful or neat creations. It can color letters, words or paragraphs according to the color palette you choose. It can draw shapes (and even Tux) by coloring text. You can also change text brightness, make anagrams, create inversed text, make uneven text (mixing upper and lower case), and remap text.

Once you install the extension, you can access the features by clicking Tools > Add-Ons > Text Effects. To use most features, select the text and then run the tool.

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