Name: [002] Ian Ozsvald
Member: 128 months
Authored: 181 videos
Description: I am the co-founder of ShowMeDo (see, author of `The Screencasting Handbook <>`_ and the founder of the professional screencast production company `ProCasts <>`_: .. image:: ...

OpenOffice Writer 3.1 for Microsoft Word users [ID:750]

a series of video-tutorials by Ian Ozsvald

If you're moving from Microsoft Word to then you'll want to know how to work with .doc files and use all the common tools that you're used to. In this series we quickly get you up and running with OpenOffice 3.1 Writer. This series is aimed at regular computer users who want to learn how to use OpenOffice and how to answer their own questions. It assumes that you've already used another word-processing tool like Word so you're familiar with tasks like writing a simple letter.

Video Tutorials

1. Series Overview in 4 minutes (OpenOffice 3.1 for Word users)

In this series we help you move from Microsoft Word (2003 is our example) to OpenOffice 3.1. We show you how to use both Word and Office to edit the same document and how to do all the usual functions in OpenOffice, as well as where to go to get your questions answered. Visit to get started, see the live download counter and read more background at WikiPedia.

2. Installing OpenOffice 3.1 on Windows XP

In just over 2 minutes we run you through the installation of OpenOffice 3.1 on Windows XP. We also show you how you can download a version of OpenOffice for Windows, Mac or Linux in different languages. Visit to get started.

3. Working with Word (.doc) files

An early hurdle when switching to OpenOffice will be the question of whether you can still share documents with MS Office users. Of course you can! Here we edit a document in both MS Word 2003 and OpenOffice 3.1 Writer to show that all formatting is preserved. You can read a bit more about MS Office and OpenOffice.

4. Working with an OpenDocument Format (.odt) file

Now let's look at a native document - OpenOffice works with .odt files (OpenDocument Text). Normally these are zipped structures that contain xml and binary data - here we look at what's inside an .odt file. If you're curious, you can poke inside your own .odt files using my instructions. You'll find more tips at at 3monkeyweb.

5. Help! Manuals, Forums and Mail lists

For help, the first place to start is TutorialsForOpenOffice. The official documentation is complete but a bit heavy. OpenOffice's Support section gives many links which include free material, courses and books. If you have questions the most active forum seems to be the independent OpenOffice Forum and although a little bit less active, the official forum should be your other port of call. If y [...]

6. Basic Formatting (bold, italic etc)

Now let's look at basic editing features - we'll cover: bold, italic, underline, font size, formatting characters and paragraphs and bullet points. You'll find the links to text formatting tips and formatting at TutorialsForOpenOffice useful.

7. Exporting to PDF, HTML, MediaWiki

Having created a document you'll want to share it - here we look at exporting to PDF, HTML and MediaWiki (the format used in WikiPedia). You might like these pdf export tips and the PDFImport project is worth watching.

8. Printing

Printing on Windows is easy. We take a quick look at the Print Preview and I show you two guides that will help with things like printing evelopes (OpenOffice Wiki, TutorialsForOpenOffice).

9. Word-completion

Enabling word-completion lets OpenOffice suggest completions of the word you're typing. This is useful if you're typing lots of long words - learn how to enable it and customise it.

10. Find and Replace, Undo

We quickly cover using Ctrl F to configure a search and replace operation and Ctrl Z to undo the changes, just in case you don't know these useful keyboard short-cuts.

11. Spell Checker

Have you ever wondered how to remove a word from the custom dictionary that you'd added by mistake? Let's take a look at how the dictionary works, how to add to it and how to remove entries. These two sites will help you configure the spell checker and your language options.

Showmedo is a peer-produced video-tutorials and screencasts site for free and open-source software (FOSS)- with the exception of some club videos, the large majority are free to watch and download.

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Educating the Open-source Community With Showmedo

Although as important as the software it supports, education and documentation are relatively neglected in the Open-source world. Coders love to code, and explaining how best to use or improve the software tends to be deferred or even sidelined.

At Showmedo we believe the community can play a vital role here and also say thanks for the tools and software that make our lives easier. If you have a piece of software you love or a programming langugage you are enthusiastic about, why not make a screencast showing others how to use it? All the stuff you wish you'd been told, the tips, tricks, insights that would have saved you time and frustration.

Screencasting is easier than you think, and we're happy to help you. You can emailus for advice or just use some of the how-to screencasts on the site. This screencasting learning-pathis a good place to start.

Kudos and Thanks for Ian

3 Minute Oveview (What Does Python Look Like?)

simple and informative. you draw me in
70 months ago

Learning Paths

This series lies on the following learning-paths. Learning-paths are a new initiative at Showmedo, to start structuring our content better. You can find out more here.



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