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6 Advanced OpenOffice.org Extensions - page 2

Readability Report, Alternative Find & Replace, Text Effects

  • May 17, 2010
  • By Eric Geier

TradutorOOoText 1.0.0 by infocla

If you work with varying languages, this is a must-have extension. Its great when learning a new language or for periodic reference. It works with all the languages supported by Google.

You simply select the desired text and hit the Translate button on the toolbar. Then you can choose the desired language, and its displayed in the status bar. It supports selection of sentences or paragraphs, up to 1900 characters.

CompPad by muddybeemer

If you're an engineer, student, or otherwise work with advanced mathematical calculations, this extension is for you. It lets you write and compute advanced mathematical and engineering calculations within Writer documents. It's somewhat similar to the long-lived Mathcad application by Mathsoft.

CompPad provides a toolbar field similar to Calc (or Excel) for quicker expressions, in addition to an editing environment with a menu of shortcuts. It supports real and complex numbers, booleans, vectors and matrices. Supported operators include arithmetical, exponential, comparison, rounding, trigonometric, logarithmic, and exponential. It also features user-defined functions and basic X-Y plotting.

MLA Paper Template by Paul Johnson

If you need to use the MLA format for a paper, whether you're a high school student, undergrad, or researcher, this is a must-have add-on. Unlike most of the extensions, its a simple OpenDocument Text Template. The template is loaded with all the proper MLA elements, prefilled with example content and notes that can easily be deleted or replaced.

The template sets up the proper formatting for the pages, headings, body, and works cited. It even inserts your real name and date. Overall, the template is a huge time saver and will save you head-ache each time you need to write in the MLA format.

Installing the template is easy: open it, click File > Templates > Save. Then give it a name and hit OK. Now you access the template: click File > New > Templates and Documents. Then select Templates > My Templates and you should see it listed.

Testing 'em out

Installing the extensions isn't difficult. Start by bringing up the Extension Manager from the Tools menu. Then click Add, select the .oxt file, and click Open. Then close and reopen the OOo applications and find the new toolbar or access from the Tools > Add-Ons menu.

If you download extensions in Windows and they're downloading as Compressed Files (.zip), you probably need to change them to the OpenOffice.org Extension format (.oxt). Simply rename the file and change the .zip to .oxt. Then you'll be able to add it with the Extension Manager.

Eric Geier is a freelance tech writer. He's authored many networking and computing books for brands like For Dummies and Cisco Press. He is also the Founder and CEO of NoWiresSecurity, which helps businesses easily protect their Wi-Fi networks.
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