Archive for the ‘Impress’ Category

January

04

by Kaj Kandler

My dialog from yesterday, regarding am OpenOffice.org document viewer for presentations, did continue today. The user explained to me "The need [for an OOo Impress viewer] arises when you prepare a presentation using OO and take it on a flash drive to client site where there is no OO already installed. Hence the need!"

I believe this is a case for OpenOffice.org Portable, a build in the Open Office Eco System that allows to run the full application set from a portable drive, such as a USB Stick or USB hard drive.

Incidentally, the PortableApps team has released the latest OpenOffice.org version 2.3.1 a couple of weeks ago.

January

03

by Kaj Kandler

Over the holidays, one of the users of Plan-B for OpenOffice.org asked me “Is there something equivalent to Powerpoint [Viewer]?” so you do not need to own the software to receive and view ODF files.

To the best of my knowledge there is not. Actually I would think there is not need. As anybody can download Open Office for free and install the full package it is about as much work as downloading the free MS Office PowerPoint Viewer.

One could argue that this is not equivalent, because you want to only install the viewer for presentations and not the whole application. However you can install only Impress the Open Office application for presentations and the difference in file size is minimal. You even get as a goody the presenter mode, allowing you to not only view the presentation but also present it on an external monitor. Free open source has its benefits I guess.

October

02

by Kaj Kandler

I just learned that one needs to be careful when installing OpenOffice.org 2.3 on SuSE 10.X. Aparrently the packaging has changed so that you can install the various applications, such as Writer, Calc, Base and Impress, separately.

July

13

by Kaj Kandler

Based on a tip from the Ubuntu Community I developed this guide how to improve Open Office performance and more responsive.

Set the Open Office memory options for improved performance as follows:

  • Reduce the undo stack from the default 100 to less than 50. Keep in mind your own work style. If you are experimenting a lot, a value too small might let you run out of “Undo” operations pretty fast. If you are a slow typist, a single “Undo” might just be a single character typed.
  • Increase the graphics cache to  ~10% of your main memory, but no more than 256 MB. Consider how often you use graphics. Heavy use of Impress or Draw will require more.
  • Set memory per object to between 10MB and 20MB. Again this depends on what you are doing. If you are using embedded Active-X controls or large images/graphics this should be larger.
  • Set the number of objects to ~20.
  • Enable the OpenOffice.org Quickstarter if you use OOo more often. For occasional use it will only block memory that you could use better for other applications.

Watch a screencast of these these tips here.

June

05

by Kaj Kandler

According to Susan Lister, OpenOffice.org is a good tool to convert your Powerpoint presentations into good looking web pages.

Susan is dissatisfied with “clunky ‘powerpoint to webpage’ slideshows”, produced by MS Powerpoint. so she looked for a better solution and found it in OpenOffice.org Impress. She discovered:

These experiments showed that I can make a better web page set up using Open Office – my final website was a smaller file size as well as smaller in the amount of screen real estate. I liked the fact that html wizard gave me control over whether I wanted frames, show notes included and a title screen as well the size of the final presentation (640×480, 800×600, 1024×768).

Susan discovered, that the HTML web pages created by Impress not only look better but are also smaller by a factor of 10.

June

05

by Kaj Kandler

Reading the Technology Enhanced Learning blog, today I discovered an open source web conferencing application, called WebHuddle.

To my delight WebHuddle does offer support for OpenOffice.org Impress files to share with the audience.

What type of content may I upload for my meeting?

You may upload any combination of Microsoft Powerpoint files, Open Office Impress files, individual GIF or JPEG images, and ZIP files containing GIF or JPEG images. Note that Powerpoint animations are not visible when displayed in WebHuddle.

WebHuddle is a server centric approach to web conferencing. It server is based on Java servlet technology. The client is a small Java applet of less than 175k. It provides the basic features of sharing presentations, the desktop, files, and interacting with questions to the presenter and questionnaires. Optionally it can add a Voice over IP audio channel. In addition the whole session can be recorded and played back virtually identical.

March

29

by Kaj Kandler

The OpenOffice.org community has released their latest version today.

The new release 2.2 has better integration of Microsoft Vista UI elements, as well as improved Apple OS X support, such as smaller installed size and many stability improvements.

On the functional side there are new features in Pivot tables and trigonometric functions for Calc spreadsheets. Spreadsheets also improve interoperability with MS Excel. For the database fan, Base got new “Query in Query” features and improved SQL editing in general. In addition, support for various ODBC drivers has been improved. Impress, the presentation application has improved handling of hidden slides.

All users might see improved character rendering, because the kerning feature, to boost readability of proportional fonts, is now on by default. Making documents look good also touches PDF with improved font handling and added bookmarks. You can now even add form-fields to your PDF.

With the latest update OpenOffice.org has also plugged some vulnerabilities to boost security from hackers.

January

16

by Kaj Kandler

ZDNet blogger Dana Blankenhorn points to new tutorials for OpenOffice.org by InPics.

InPictures covers several OpenOffice.org applications, such as Writer, Base and Impress.

While the tutorials are basic they are certainly helpful. Interesting is that Dana reports these have been made available with funding from the US Department of Education.

December

20

by Kaj Kandler

OpenOffice.org got me an early Christmas present this year. They released version 2.1.0 and included the feature I wanted most, presentation mode in Impress. Some call it multi monitor support for Impress, either way it is most practical for giving a presentation. It allows you to use your laptop and show on the external monitor, or projector, the slides, while you can see on your screen the slides plus your own notes and more. Thank You Santa, eh OpenOffice.org team!

Before I forget, OpenOffice.org 2.1.0 also includes the following:

  • Improved HTML export in OpenOffice.org Calc
  • Enhanced Microsoft Access® support for OpenOffice.org Base
  • Even more supported languages
  • Automatic notification of available updates
  • More extensions

November

11

by Kaj Kandler

Linux Journal, has announced it 2006 Editors’ choice awards. In three categories OpenOffice.org won the top choice.

OpenOpffice.org wins in the category office suite. “OpenOffice.org delivers just the right combination of openness, power and similarity to Microsoft Office that it provides the features and familiarity people want in an office suite without the drawbacks of proprietary document format or proprietary code.” write the editors of Linux Journal. They also note it is by far the most popular office suite behind MS Office.

OpenOffice.org Calc wind the category spreadsheet. They write “if you’re really serious about doing spreadsheet work, your best bet is with OpenOffice.org Calc.” Honorable mention in this category goes to EIOffice and KSpread. Interestingly they don’t mention neither Google nor other web based applications. Well they are probably not close enough to Linux.

The third category win goes to OpenOffice.org Impress as editors’ choice of presentation software. They state that offering “that optimal balance of features, power and familiarity for those who want to migrate from Microsoft Office” did convince them to prefer it over KPresenter or the EIOffice presentation component.

The word processor choice went to AbiWord. Often a word processor is all one needs and AbiWord apparently does a good job in that. LinuxJounal mentions that “AbiWord has all of what most people will need in a word processor and then some, without the bloat and long load times of OpenOffice.org Writer”. As LinuxJournal reviewd version 2.0.3, this category might change next year, as version OpenOffice.org 2.0.4 has much improved load times.

Congratulations to OpenOffice.org and the development team. I think these awards are well deserved.