OpenOffice.org has an extension system just like the Firefox browser. One of the recently released extensions is for the Writer component of the office suite, and it adds a new menu option with some useful tools.
It’s cleverly called Writer Tools, and the installation process couldn’t be any simpler. You just have to download the ZIP file from Google Code, extract the contents, and double-click on the
WriterTools.oxt file that it contains. This will automatically begin the installation process in OpenOffice.org, and after it’s done just restart Writer.
Writer Tools contains all of the options you see pictured to the right, and here’s some details on what each of them does:
- Lookup Tool – defines a word in your default browser using Cambridge Dictionaries, WordNet, or Google Define.
- Google Translate – translate selected text fragments using Google Translate service.
- Show on the Map – select a city, a street name, or a postal code and map it using the Multimap service.
- Email Backup – send a backup copy of the currently opened document to an email address.
- Multi-format Backup – macro saves the currently opened Writer document in the Word, RTF, and TXT formats. The backup files are stored in a separate folder with a date stamp.
- Remote Backup – save a backup copy of the current document on a FTP server.
- Wikify Word – links a selected word or text fragment in the current document to a created on the fly Writer document. For example, if the word “Monkey” is selected, the macro automatically links it to the created
- Start/Stop Timer – keep tabs on time spent on the currently opened document and save the time data (the document name, used time, and date).
- Word Hunt Game – guess the word randomly picked by Writer.
- Word of the Day – picks and displays a random word and its definition from the from the accompanying WriterDB database.
- Add to Basket – text snippets, links, and notes to the supplied database. You can also categorize and tag the added entries.
This also comes with a template extension for Writer, but it’s a bit disappointing. If you plan on writing a book it might be useful, but other than that you’ll probably never use the templates that it comes with.