OpenOffice Notes

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OpenOffice, by Sun Microsystems, looks like a potential replacement for Microsoft Word, although possibly not quite yet. This means it’s probably well worth learning to use and keeping an eye on. (It’s also quite good enough for most word-processing purposes as it stands.) Version 2 has just come out and seems greatly improved on Version 1.

The autocorrect options have a similar curly quote replacement to Word.

Regular Expressions

To find and replace non-printing characters in OpenOffice, you need to tick the Regular Expressions checkbox, then use the search/replace codes listed in the Help menu under ‘List of Regular Expressions’. For a logical search expression with nested AND and OR operators, use parentheses.

\n    In the Find field this represents a soft return. In the Replace field, this represents a hard return.   

\t    Represents a tab in both Find and Replace fields.   

^.    Finds the first character of a paragraph in the Find field.   

$    In the Find field, this represents a hard return.   

^$    Finds an empty paragraph.   

There seems to be no easy way to replace straight quotes with curly ones — single or double. The best I’ve been able to figure out is to replace all straight quotes preceded by a space with opening curly quotes and then to replace all other straight quotes with closing curly quotes.

Note: even when you have chosen to replace all straight quotes with curly quotes in the Autocorrect… menu, the Find & Replace tool will still insert straight quotes.

Regular Expression Links

The ‘Save As’ Function

One can make documents that PalmReader will read by using the Save As option on the File menu.


Styles work much the same way as in Word, but the style palette, Stylist, is much easier to use than the one in Word — if it’s visible, you can select styles for the paragraphs you have selected just by double-clicking on them. There are clear distinctions between paragraph styles, character styles, and numbering/bullets, and there's an excellent thing called page style, which seems to replace the page setup and section parts of Word.


Use Enter to accept a word that is autocompleting, or just keep typing if it’s not the word you want.

The autocorrect options have the same curly quote replacement as Word.
Regular Expressions
The 'Save As' Function

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