OpenOffice Multiple Page Layouts in One Document

To Use Landscape and Portrait Page Orientation in the Same Document:

  1. Click on “Format” -> “Styles and Formating.” Then create a new page style with landscape orientation.
  2. Click on the first paragraph where you want the new page orientation to begin.
  3. Click on “Format” -> “Paragraph.”
  4. Click the “Text Flow” tab.
  5. Under “Breaks,” enable “Insert.” Then enable “With Page Style.” Select a page style that uses the page style you created in step 1.

For more detailed info with fancy pictures and such, go to the LinuxTopia.org website.

mac, technology

Aqua OpenOffice is Shaping up

The Mac OpenOffice team released the second snapshot of the Aqua (X11 free) version of OpenOffice today. While there is more to be done before it is ready for people to use in a reliable and easy fashion, it is really making headway. The big thing is that you can print from OpenOffice now. That’s important. The print dialog isn’t Mac’s so that still needs work, but gosh it’ll be there soon enough.

At this point it is still too early to review the new OpenOffice, but it looks like it is on its way to becoming the same great free office suite on Mac that it is on every other platform. Mac users, get ready to throw your copy MS Office in the trash. You can open and save Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents, or use safer open formats.


Aqua OpenOffice Around the Corner

Well, it’s slightly old news but the day mac users see an aqua version OpenOfice is getting closer. The timeline that was updated on 2007, March 24th, says we’ll be seeing the earlier version soon.

May 2007

  • Present a downloadable public Aqua version, working as alpha (not complete, with missing features to be implemented later)
  • Start QA using user’s feedback

Yeah, April is only like half over and the alpha could be out in late May, but it is closer. I’ve been wanting a nice aqua-ed version of OpenOffice since 2002. To my chagrin early efforts to bring OpenOffice to a wide (non-x11) Mac community were abandoned, but now the new effort is in full swing.

There is still a bunch to do, but I am eager to get in line and test the alpha.  For those less willing to have “fun” with an alpha, a beta is due by the end of the year… which is still a ways away, but at least it looks like it will really happen this time!

OpenOffice is great, making it work on a mac how you’d expect will be amazing.

technology, whatnot

Open-Source is Good for Students (Paris gets it)

This is news from last week, but it’s something worth thinking about. The Ile-de-France district in Paris is giving away 175,000 USB memory sticks load with open-source software to students. CNet reports:

The portable office will include the office software suite, an Internet browser, an e-mail client, an instant-messaging client, and audio and video player software, according to the Ile-de-France regional council. The open-source software will work in the Windows environment.

With the rising cost of education the question become, when will America embrace open-source? OpenOffice has become over the past few years a very capable MS Office alternative, in fact some people make a good argument that it is better. The cost of education, especially for families sending kids to college, is expensive. Open-source software can help a little by giving students mature feature-rich applications that they can use to get their work done. The real problem is that people perceive it as different and different means bad. Nonsense.

OpenOffice writerOpenOffice isn’t for everyone, but it is for the majority of people and it is free. I offer this challenge, try OpenOffice for a month and see how you like it. Sadly Mac users will probably find that OpenOffice isn’t quite as nice just yet because it requires something called x11, but that is set to change very soon. So, if you are a Mac user, just wait a little to take up that challenge. Once an aqua version is out there will be no compelling reason for vast majority of MS Office users to continue paying for buggy overpriced software.

Lots of businesses are starting to make the switch to OpenOffice, why should educators lag behind? After all graduating college with less debt (or if you are lucky, with more money) means a better footing getting out into the post-college world.