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Microsoft Office to OpenOffice Migration Guide
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File management

Default locations

Use Tools > Options > > Paths to set the default locations for file storage. The two path settings of interest (at this stage) are My Documents and Templates.

My Documents only allows one location. It is not possible to have a separate folder for each of the applications. This folder is the default location for File > Save As and is the folder that gets displayed in the OOo Open and Save As dialogs.

For templates it is possible to have more than one folder specified. These are the folders that are shown down the left side of the dialog that gets displayed for File > New > Templates and Documents (see “Creating new files” on page 10).

For more about defining default locations, see Chapter 5 “Setting Up” in the Getting Started guide.

Creating new files

In OOo, as with MSO, there are a number of different ways of creating new files. What is different is that you can initiate the creation of any OOo file type from any OOo application. For example, you can start creating a spreadsheet while working in Writer.

Different ways of creating a new document:

  • Select File > New.

  • Use the New icon on the Function Bar. This icon has a drop-down list on the right to select the type of document to be created.

  • From a “Quick start” program. Only the Windows version of OOo has a Quickstart icon in the system tray.

  • Press Control+N.

  • Using Wizards: select File > Wizards.

Template folder management

To make it easier to manage your templates, such as creating and deleting folders (categories), and importing templates into the folders, use:

File > Templates > Organize > Double-click the desired folder > Commands

Default templates

Each component of OOo has a unique default template. To change the default template for a component:

  1. Save the current template using File > Templates > Save.

  2. Select File > Templates > Organize,

  3. Double-click the folder in which you saved the template in step 1.

  4. Click on the template you want to make the default.

  5. Either right-click or select Commands > Set As Default Template.


The default template in MSO is always a file called In OOo there is no special name for the default template files. They can be called anything. If no template has been specified, the properties of the default template are those that are coded directly into OOo.

Open and Save As dialogs

Under Microsoft Windows there is the option to use either the OOo Open and Save As dialogs or the ones provided by Windows. To view or change which type of dialog OOo is using, select Tools > Options > > General > Use dialogs.


The dialogs provided by Windows are not the dialogs used by MSO!

This section discusses the Open and Save As dialogs. See Figure 7 for an examples of the Open dialog; the Save As dialog is similar.

The three buttons in the top right are, from left to right:

  • Go Up one level in the folder (directory) hierarchy. This is a long-click button if you want to go up higher than just one level

  • Create New Directory (folder).

  • Go to the Default Directory as specified in Tools > Options > > Paths.

For OOo documents that have been saved as more than one version, you can use the version drop-down to select the version you want to open in read-only mode.


For Microsoft Office documents, only the current version can be opened.


The File type field has the same concept in OOo as in MSO; use it to specify the type of file to be opened or the format of the file to be saved.

The Read-only checkbox opens the file for reading and printing only. Consequently most of the toolbars disappear and most menu options are disabled. An Edit File button is displayed on the Function Toolbar to open the file for editing. The opened file cannot be saved over the previous filename.

It is possible to open files from the web using URLs.

File management within an Open or Save As dialog

To rename a file:

  1. Right-click on a file name to display a context menu.

  2. Click Rename and the file name will be selected.

  3. Typing replaces all or part of the selected name.

To delete a file:

  1. Right-click on a file name to display a context menu.

  2. Click Delete and you will get a confirmation dialog.


Instead of Right-click > Delete, you can select the filename and press the Del key.

It is not possible to move files around by copying and pasting them within the dialogs.

Password protection

To protect an entire document from being viewed, there is a checkbox in the Save As dialog to Save with password. This option is only available for files saved in OOo formats.

Privacy options

To include or remove personal information (for example, the author’s name) in the Properties dialog with the document, go to File > Properties > General. The Delete button removes information. The Apply user data checkbox includes or removes information such as “Author”.

Digital signatures

OOo provides digital signatures to ensure the integrity of the file, as do recent versions of MSO.

Portable Document Format (PDF) file creation

All of the applications in OOo have the built-in ability to export documents as PDF files. Click on the Export Directly as PDF icon on the Standard toolbar, , or use File > Export as PDF. The second method provides access to choices that include the print quality and the range of pages to be printed to the file.

Creating web pages (HTML files) overview

All of the OOo applications can be used to create web pages. This section introduces their HTML capabilities. For more details, see Chapter 16 “Creating Web Pages” in the Getting Started guide.


Writer’s HTML capabilities include saving existing documents in HTML format, creating new documents as HTML and creating several different types of web pages using a wizard .


Calc can save its files as HTML documents. If the file contains more than one sheet the additional sheets will follow one another in the HTML file. Links to each sheet will be placed at the top of the document. Calc also allows the insertion of links directly into the spreadsheet by using the Hyperlink dialog.


It is possible to export drawings as Macromedia Flash files: File >Export and choose Macromedia Flash for the file type.

The drawing program also allows you to turn your drawings into a series of HTML web pages.


Exporting presentations from OOo’s Impress application is similar to exporting a drawing from Draw. Use File > Export and select HTML document as the file type. The only difference is that there is an option to display each slide’s notes along with the slide.

Document properties

Some differences in document properties are:

  • Summary (MSO) or Description (OOo): OOo does not include fields for manager or category.

  • Statistics: Writer includes the word count (also available in Tools > Word Count).

  • Custom (MSO) or User defined (OOo): OOo provides only four fields. To name the fields as you like, click the Info fields button.

  • Use the Internet tab to set the refresh and redirect options for an HTML page.

Searching for files

There is no Find Files command built-in to OOo for finding files that contain specific text. However a component has been written that can be installed to provide this functionality. See

Object linking between files

For information on Object Linking and Embedding (OLE), and what happens with imported files containing DDE links, see Chapter 2, “Sharing Files with MSO Users” in this guide.

In the Windows version of OOo you can copy and paste-special cells from a Calc spreadsheet into a Writer document as a Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) link. In the Windows version you can create a DDE field. Neither of these options is available in the Linux version. Opening a file from the Windows version in a Linux version works, although some modification of the file location may be necessary. If you would like to know more, see

Regardless of operating system, it is not possible to have a link to a chart.

AutoRecovery saves

To turn on/off AutoRecovery saving and set the time period between saves, use:

Tools > Options > Load/Save > General > Save AutoRecovery information every


AutoRecovery saves will not allow you to return to the original version of a document. AutoRecovery saves save the current document at that instant. If you want to save a backup copy that you can return to in case you make a mistake, check the Always create backup copy checkbox in the Load/Save options. This will created a backup copy every time you click Save. However, it only saves one backup per filename.

Version control

With version control you can save more than one version of a file under one file name. In MSO each version contains all of the changes that have been made to the document (like fast saves). In OOo each version is complete. Use File > Versions.

To save a version of a file, see “Open and Save As dialogs” on page 11.

Microsoft Office to OpenOffice Migration Guide
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