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Microsoft Office to OpenOffice Migration Guide
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Side panes - docked or floating windows

MSO XP introduced the concept of side panes. These are the closest equivalent to OOo’s docked or floating windows. In OOo these windows include:

  • Navigator to help move around the document (the closest equivalent in MSO would be the Outline view in Word).

  • Styles and Formatting for managing styles.

  • Gallery, a clip art viewer.

  • Function Wizard, which helps you interactively create formulas; available only in Calc.

  • Data Source Explorer, from which you can drag and drop fields from registered databases into your documents; available in Calc and Writer.

There is no equivalent of the MSO Clipboard for handling multiple copies.

Docking and undocking

Some windows in, such as the Navigator and the Styles and Formatting window, are dockable. You can move, re-size or dock them to an edge.

To dock a window, do one of the following:

  • Click on the title bar of the floating window and drag it to the side until you see the outline of a box appear in the main window (see Figure 2), then release the window. This method depends on your system’s window manager settings, so it may not work for you.

  • Hold down the Control key and double-click on a vacant part of the floating window to dock it in its last position. If that does not work, try double-clicking without using the Control key.

To undock a window, hold down the Control key and double-click on a vacant part of the docked window.


It is possible to have two windows in the same area. For example, the Styles and Formatting window and the Navigator can be at the right edge with one above the other rather than side by side. Then the show/hide and stick/floating buttons work for both docked windows.


Docked windows can be resized by moving the border. When the mouse pointer changes to a double-ended arrow, click and drag the window to the desired size.


The Navigator (Figure 3) is activated and deactivated by F5, the Navigator button, , in the Standard toolbar, or Edit > Navigator. This window shows the different objects in the current document and enables you to move quickly among them. Details vary from one application to another. For example in Writer it shows the list of headings and has controls similar to Outline view in Word. The drop-down list at the bottom of the Navigator is for selecting which of the currently open documents has information displayed in the Navigator.

For more information, see “Using the Navigator” in Chapter 4, “Menus and Toolbars” in the Getting Started guide, and descriptions of the Navigator in the guides for each of the applications.


Styles and Formatting

The Styles and Formatting window (Figure 4) can be activated and deactivated by F11, the Styles and Formatting icon , or Format > Styles and Formatting.


To change the category of styles displayed, use the buttons across the top of the window. For example, in Writer the buttons are Paragraph, Character, Frame, Page, and List. The drop-down list at the bottom of the Styles and Formatting window determines which of the style types get displayed in the window. For example, in Writer for character styles the options are Hierarchical, All, Applied, and Custom.

The style of the current selection is highlighted in the list of styles.

See Chapter 6 “Introduction to Styles” and Chapter 7 “Working with Styles” in the Writer Guide for more information about style types and how the other icons in the window work.


The Gallery (Figure 5) is activated and deactivated by clicking the Gallery button , in the Standard toolbar or by selecting Tools > Gallery.


There is no default shortcut key to activate the Gallery.


The Gallery is OOo’s equivalent to MSO’s Media Gallery, except that it does not have ties to the Web and there is no search facility. In order to keep the OOo download as small as possible, very little clip-art comes with OOo. To download some public domain clip-art, see

Media in the Gallery is organized by themes. Themes are displayed down the left side of the Gallery window.

For information on how to use the Gallery, see Chapter 14 “Working with the Gallery” in the Getting Started guide.

Data Source Explorer

The Data Source Explorer is activated and deactivated by pressing F4 or by clicking the Data Sources button in the Standard Toolbar or by selecting View > Data Sources.


A common use for this window is in setting up a template for a mail merge letter. You can drag and drop fields from data sources in the Explorer to create fields in the current document.

The Data Source Explorer can only be docked at the top of the main window.

For more information on how to use data sources, see Chapter 10 “Getting Started with Base” in the Getting Started guide.

Microsoft Office to OpenOffice Migration Guide
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