Ten Productivity-Boosting OpenOffice.org Extensions

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 04, 2009

OpenOffice.org is a terrific suite of office applications in its own right, but it's out of this world when paired with extensions that add extra functionality. There are plenty of extensions to choose from, but let's take a look at a few that will really make your productivity soar.

Writer's Tools - You don't have to be a professional writer to appreciate this extension packed with loads of handy utilities. In fact, there are too many to mention, but here's a glimpse: Remote Backup lets you quickly shoot a backup copy of a working document to an FTP server, Quick Converter helps you perform metric-to-imperial system conversions on the fly, and the Lookup Tool checks word definitions from multiple online sources all at once.

Pagination - This handy tool helps users easily insert page numbers in documents. It's available in 19 languages and is compatible with OpenOffice 2.3 and StarOffice 8, update 8 or higher.

Gallery for Danger Signs - This is one of those odd extensions you never realize how much you'll use until you have it. Use these vector graphic images of fire, evacuation, warning, and first aid signs in ODF format to dress up presentations, add to documents, or print individually as safety signs.

EuroOffice Online Clipart - Sure, surfing Flickr for Creative Commons photos is fun, but shoehorning them into your documents is time consuming. Instead, easily add free images from the Wikimedia Commons collection with this super extension that automatically captions photos with author credit and a link to the original Web page.

Alternative Dialog Find & Replace for Writer - The name of this extension is as huge as its functionality. Replace Writer's native Find and Replace tool with this macro that can perform multiple search and replacements at once, count found occurrences, search tables, and more.

eFax for StarOffice and OpenOffice.org. With the proliferation of scanners and email, faxing doesn't get the attention it once did but it's not altogether obsolete. If you the online service eFax to send and receive faxes right from your computer, then you need this extension. It integrates directly into StarOffice or OpenOffice.org to convert faxes into document files that can be saved locally or emailed to others.

OpenOffice.org2GoogleDocs - In the age of cloud computing, you probably bounce back and forth between OpenOffice, Zoho, and Google Docs, depending on what you're working on. Use this extension to export, import, and update all your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations so they're all right at your fingertips whenever you need them.

Readability Report - Make sure your documents make sense with this neat tool that analyzes what you've written to ensure it doesn't contain too many fancy or unusual words that might confound readers. Use it to generate an approximate reading age required to understand the text so you don't talk up or down to readers. This tool also provides an optional detailed report that examines the readability of each sentence so writers can learn how to fine-tune their writing for their intended audiences.

Do you have a favorite extension for OpenOffice.org? Talk about it in the comments.