OOo Off the Wall: Combining Documents with OOo
This isn't the only work-flow model that you could follow. Some people prefer to select the whole of the new document once the components have been pasted in, strip out all of the formatting using Ctrl+Alt+Backspace and then apply their own styles with constant references to the original documents. Such a method may be appealing especially to those who want to control every aspect of their work. Although it may be a surer method, this model also is much slower than the steps outlined above.
Some might argue that people used to manual overrides deserve to work the way that they prefer and deserve a Reveal Codes feature. As deserving as this argument is in theory, in practice it seems perverse. It means ignoring the differences between Writer and WordPerfect. Furthermore, in this case, it means preferring to take two or three times the work to get the results you want, because you don't understand the tools at hand. OpenOffice.org is far from perfect, and I like to think I'm among the first to criticize it when necessary. However, in this case, it has all the tools needed for the task--if only people would bother to take the time to learn how to use them.
Find all of Bruce Byfield's OpenOffice.org articles here.
Bruce Byfield is a computer journalist and course designer. His articles appear regularly on the Linux Journal and Newsforge Web sites.
-- Bruce Byfield (nanday)
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