Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Thinking about OpenOffice Authoring

While we're on the subject of frustration. I had a problem with the help files in OO last night too. Now the thing about OO is that you can't really get mad at them. It is completely FREE open source software and is worked on my volunteers. It has improved tremendously since I began using it.

For that alone, I bow to their feet!

Still though, regarding help files, I get anal about how things are worded and whether or not it applies to the situation at hand. I also believe that users should be able to quickly find the answer they are looking for.

So the situation for me was this: I have a spreadsheet I'm working on that cannot span across two pages. Come hell or high water, it must be printed all on one page. I remembered an option, somewhere, which allowed you to set OO to be scaled to fit the page. I even thought I knew where it was, but alas, I did not.

Keep in mind that I'm using version 3.1.1, the latest stable version. I opened up the help file, typed scaling, and found this little tidbit:

Defines formula settings that will be valid for all documents.

To access this command...
Open a Math document, choose Tools - Options - Math - Settings

Print options...

Reduces or enlarges the size of the printed formula by a specified enlargement factor. Type the desired enlargement factor directly in the Scaling control, or set the value using the arrow buttons.
I posted this in the forum over at OO:
This makes no sense for a variety of reasons. First off, I have no option to open a Math document. Additionally, I see no such Tools > Options > Math > Print. I can only assume that Math is instead Calc, in which case I still see no such Scaling option under Print either.
After much discussion, I got my answer which was
Format > Page > Sheet brings you to the print scaling options,
A big duh! I looked there several times and never even saw the thing. Sheesh.

Still though, I was upset about the bad advice the help files were giving. There is NO "Tools > Options > Math > Print" at all!

So I surfed around and found that there is an author's group for OO. They say
We are a group of volunteer reviewers, writers, editors, proofreaders, indexers, and translators producing documentation for Writer, Calc, Draw, Impress, and Base.
I'm not exactly sure this is the group that I need to belong to. They have a mailing list and for now I'm lurking on it. We'll see how that goes.

In any case, I really have a ton of ideas on user help for OO. I wonder how open they are for suggestions?

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