OpenOffice.org is a clone of Microsoft Office. OpenOffice.org cannot save or read the new Microsoft Office 2007 document formats, yet. It doesn’t even do everything Microsoft Office 2003 does but it does other things Microsoft Office doesn’t & some things it just does better. You can save & read many documents that were originally created in the Microsoft Office 2003 format. The conversion filters for Microsoft Office 2003 are not perfect. They are very good though. You can expect to partially reformat or even completely reformat some documents if the documents you are creating are very complex. Sharing documents between any Office-type suite can be a problem. (Opening a Corel WordPerfect document in Microsoft Word doesn’t work well either.)
OpenOffice.org is written by Sun Microsystems so it should be around for a while. Sun Microsystems is a very well liked company. They came up with Java, not coffee but the multi-platform programming standard, so you can be fairly sure updates will continue into the distant future. Most Linux-based system include OpenOffice.org for at least partial Windows compatibility. It gives Linux users a way to work together with Windows users resulting in less headaches.
Microsoft Word is replaced by Writer. Writer is very similar to Microsoft Word and for most features you can jump right in. Some things are moved around, some operate a bit different. It’s nothing to complain about though.
Microsoft Powerpoint is replaced by Impress. Impress might take a minute to adjust to but there are plenty of templates and wizards to get started. Also you can export your presentations to a .PDF file. I love that feature and makes e-mailing copies of the presentations a breeze.
In any case, you can even use OpenOffice.org to export files to a read-only .PDF format to preserve formatting in all the OpenOffice.org applications. If a Microsoft user needs to edit your OpenOffice.org documents, they can run OpenOffice.org along side any Microsoft Office product. Best of all OpenOffice.org is FREE to download and use.
OpenOffice.org includes Base instead of Microsoft Access. I wouldn’t expect much compatibility here. Base uses an HSQLDB database by default. Microsoft Access generally uses an Access/Jet or Microsoft SQL database. They are not easily compatible but it is said that it can be done.
Download Evolution for Microsoft Windows to begin using a powerful alternative to Microsoft Outlook Express. If you aren’t already using Microsoft Outlook then Evolution is worth a try. Evolution has an integrated contact manager, calendar, memos & task list just like Microsoft Outlook.
FreePrintablePaper.net is just that. They have free printable paper. There are many styles and variations available for download.
They offer: Graph Paper, Lined Paper, Logarithmic Graph Paper, Polar Graph Paper, Isometric Graph Paper, Hexagon Graph Paper, Octagon Graph Paper, Music Paper, Columnar Pad Paper, Dot Paper, Penmanship Paper, Note Paper, Printable Calendars, Score Sheets, Letter Paper, Legal Paper, Ledger Paper and A4 Paper.
Who should read this: Readers should have a computer loaded with Microsoft Windows Vista and need to capture part or all of their computer screen. The Snipping Tool let’s you save that screen capture to a .JPG, .GIF or .PNG file.
To activate the Snipping Tool in Microsoft Windows Vista:
- Single left-click on the Start button.
- Single left-click on the Control Panel.
- You must be in Control Panel Home mode.
- Type “turn windows features” in the Search box in the top right corner of the Control Panel window.
- Single left-click on Turn Windows features on or off under Programs and Features in the middle of the Control Panel window.
- Single left-click Continue in the User Account Control dialog box.
- Single left-click on Tablet PC Optional Components.
- Single left-click on OK.
To find the Snipping Tool in Microsoft Windows Vista:
- Single left-click on the Start button.
- Single left-click on All Programs.
- Single left-click on Accessories.
- Single left-click on Snipping Tool.
Personally I use Gadwin PrintScreen to make my screen captures. They offer a freeware version that works great. It doesn’t do certain things the Snipping Tool does but it does many other things better. They also offer a professional version, that does more of the things the Snipping Tool does and then some. I just don’t really need all that.
I do not have a constant need to convert scanned documents into editable text. SimpleOCR lets me do that occasionally without spending a $150 to get started. SimpleOCR exhibits the typical troubles competing commercial optical character recognition (OCR) software has recognizing certain fonts. They make errors like reading an 1 as a l, etc. I don’t use OCR software often enough to care. SimpleOCR saves me a ton of time when I do need it.
From the SimpleOCR website:
“If you have a scanner and want to avoid retyping your documents, SimpleOCR is the fast, free way to do it. The SimpleOCR freeware is 100% free and not limited in any way. Anyone can use SimpleOCR for free–home users, educational institutions, even corporate users.”
- Open OpenOffice.org Writer.
- Left-click on Insert from the menu.
- Left-click on Envelopes.
- Left-click on the drop down menu just below Database and select the database that holds the table containing your contacts.
- Next left-click the drop down menu just below where it says Table and select the table containing your contacts.
- Now left-click the drop down menu just below where is says Database field and select the first field you want to use on your envelope.
- Left-click the button with the arrow pointing to the left to insert the current selection from the Database field into the Addressee section.
- Now left-click after the <contacts.business_contacts.0.Title> entry and insert a space with the keyboard.
- Again left-click the drop down menu just below where is says Database field and select the next field you want to use on your envelope.
- Left-click the button with the arrow point to the left to insert the Database field into the Addressee section.
- Now left-click after the <contacts.business_contacts.0.First Name> entry and insert a space with the keyboard.
- Rinse and repeat for each piece of information you want to appear on the envelope after printing.
- How you set up each field inside the Addressee section of the Envelope window should look similar to this.
<contacts.business_contacts.0.Title> <contacts.business_contacts.0.First Name> <contacts.business_contacts.0.Last Name> <contacts.business_contacts.0.Company Name> <contacts.business_contacts.0.Address Line 1> <contacts.business_contacts.0.Address Line 2> <contacts.business_contacts.0.City>, <contacts.business_contacts.0.State> <contacts.business_contacts.0.ZIP>
- You may want a variation and proper placement from what I show above but this should suffice for standard correspondence. You can copy this code line for line if you called your database contacts and called the table buisness_contacts.
- The format is of each database call is <DatabaseName.TableName.0.FieldName>.
- If the table is called contacts then remove the business_ so it looks like this below instead.
<contacts.contacts.0.Title> <contacts.contacts.0.First Name> <contacts.contacts.0.Last Name> <contacts.contacts.0.Company Name> <contacts.contacts.0.Address Line 1> <contacts.contacts.0.Address Line 2> <contacts.contacts.0.City>, <contacts.contacts.0.State> <contacts.contacts.0.ZIP>
- Next you should go to the Printer tab of the Envelope window you will see options for Envelope orientation so left-click to choose the position the envelope will be fed into the printer.
- Also make sure the Current printer is correct choice on this screen.
- Left-click on the Format tab.
- The next part is actually the hard part. Getting everything lined up so it prints correctly on the envelope.
- These are the settings I use for my envelopes. I use non-standard envelopes and I just had to play with the positions to get it right.
- Left-click on New Document and try the default settings for your envelope size.
- Change the sender/addressee fonts or lettering style now before printing, if you desire.
- There are two pages to this document. You can type or edit a form letter on the second page or just delete the blank page if you only need to print just an envelope.
- Save this document and next time when you need to print an envelope, you can select a different contact or group of contacts when you Print, using this document for a template.
- Left-click File.
- Left-click Print.
- Left-click on Yes when if get a warning that says Your document contains address database fields. Do you want to print a form letter?.
- Left-click in the empty box at the front of each row to select and print the information for each contact to print the envelope for.
- For testing the alignment of the addresses select only one for now.
- Hold the Ctrl key down to select multiple contacts for printing more than one addressed envelope at a time, only after you are sure the envelope template is correct.
- Left-click Insert, left-click Envelope and adjust the Format positions and try again, if the addresses don’t show or are cut off, by pressing Modify.
- Resave the envelope template when you get the positions lined up the right way so that both addresses are entirely showing.