July 31, 2014
 
 
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Integrating Writer into Your Business - page 4

Writer Has The Right Stuff

  • January 5, 2004
  • By Rob Reilly

To do a simple three-, four-, or five-column report in OpenOffice.org Writer, we'll again turn to the AutoPilot.

If you didn't configure JAVA when you loaded OpenOffice.org, that's OK, because the AutoPilot will check for you. When I first built my system, SuSE Linux 8.0 Pro loaded a JAVA Software Developer Kit and runtime environment, by default. You can find a runtime environment by using the whereis command. On a command line type:

whereis java

My JAVA directory turned out to be /usr/lib. The AutoPilot will ask for the directory. Type it in and then restart OpenOffice.org.

If it turns out that you don't have JAVA, you'll have to load it on your machine before you can use the reports in Writer.

With Writer and JAVA working, click File, AutoPilot. Just like in the mail merge for the letter, you'll need to select a database to use. For my story I selected my Mozilla addresses as the database source and personal address book for the table. After, that you just need to go through the report wizard and fill out your selections for field labels, grouping, field sorting and layout theme. If your database changes periodically, you can also choose to generate your report dynamically. In other words, whenever you print a new report, it will reflect the most current data in the database.

When you're all finished with your selections select Create and your data will be nicely formatted into neat columns with labels and everything. You can then edit or print the report.

Letters, envelopes and reports are cool, but you might need some advertising to help your business get going. Why not do a neat little tri-fold brochure?

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