OOo Off the Wall: Macros and Add-ons

The OOo community has begun to release some macros and add-ons to extend the functionality of the office suite.

These are only a selection of the macros and add-ons available for I have picked ones that are tools for Writer, because that is the most heavily used application in the OOo suite. The OOo Macros Page lists a number of tools for other OOo applications. In particular, Calc users might be interested in downloading David Hitchcock's OOo Statistics, which resembles MS Excel's Analysis ToolPak, while Draw users might find some inspiration for further macros at Danny Brewer's Danny's Draw Power Tools site.

Developers interested in writing their own macros might want to look at the developer's page, OOoMacros or at Andrew Pitonyak's home page. Pitonyak is the author of the recently released Macro's Explained. Although largely an unstructured brain dump, Pitonyak's book still is a valuable collection of tips from an acknowledged expert on OOoBasic.

The possibilities of macros and add-ons for still are being realized by the Open Source community. Although recently completed its fourth year as a project, few of the tools available are more than a year old and many are less than half that. As an outsider observing this sub-community, my impression is the community is only starting to come into its own. Resources finally are starting to become available, and the first results of collaborations are starting to be seen. If this community's potential is realized, the next year should see a thriving community and an endless set of new resources for end users.

Bruce Byfield was product manager at Stormix Technologies and marketing and communications director at Progeny Linux System. He also was a contributing editor at Maximum Linux and the original writer of the Desktop Debian manual. Away from his computer, he listens to punk-folk music, raises parrots and runs long, painful distances of his own free will.


-- Bruce Byfield (nanday)


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The figures for

Anonymous's picture

The figures for ReferenceManager and OutlineCross-Referencer are switched (as of June 2006). This makes the text descriptions a little confusing. I find OutlineCross-Referencer extremely useful and wish its functionality was hard-wired into OOo.

Pitonyak's book and macro document are different

Russ Phillips's picture

In the article, it states:

Although largely an unstructured brain dump, Pitonyak's book still is a valuable collection of tips from an acknowledged expert on OOoBasic.

which is a reasonable description of Andrew's macro document. However, his book is much more organised, and a better bet for anyone wanting to learn how to program OOo, as opposed to someone looking for example code. Sample chapters are available if you want to see the difference before you hand over any money.


Re: OOo Off the Wall: Macros and Add-ons

Anonymous's picture

I installed History Manager following the instructions in the INSTALL
file, but nothing changed in the menus.

How do you use this add-on?

OOo Computer Assisted Translation tool

Anonymous's picture

You should also mention the brilliant OOxlate plugin which is a
simple Computer-Aided-Translation (CAT) package. It is composed of two packages, a Translation Memory server (tmdaemon) written in Perl, and an OpenOffice client (OOxlate), written in OpenOffice Basic.
Definitely worth a try

Re: OOo Computer Assisted Translation tool

Anonymous's picture

I've been wrestling with this plugin for quite a long time now and I can't get it to work. I seem to have a problem with the Java WebServices thingie and I haven't found a valid solution for it yet. (Any suggestions? please, pretty please...)

Lucas _at_ asixinformatica _punto_ com


distortion's picture

am struggling with it right now. have no idea how perl works and all i can find for tmdaemon is packaged for redhat and doesn't want to work in debian, however (after saying a small prayer) i removed the debian ooo packages and downloaded the ooo2.0 tar.gz. its all rpm's but they converted ok with alien and installed ok. time i got to the point, it seems to have all the needed java built in. if your using debian too, there is a brief but very helpfull howto on converting and installing 2.0 linked in the online installation instructions.