OOo Off the Wall: Macros and Add-ons
These are only a selection of the macros and add-ons available for OpenOffice.org. 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 OpenOffice.org 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 OpenOffice.org still are being realized by the Open Source community. Although OpenOffice.org 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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