I began using Openoffice.org (Oo.o) as a graduate student as Linux became more and more feasible for regular use. Today, this suite continues to blow me away and improve my daily productivity. Each and every release represents a steady increase in the usability and universality of the suite. Kudos are demanded for the developers.
However, what makes me happiest is the number of Openoffice extensions by which I can add new functionality. By the implementation of Openoffice extensions, I become more productive and therefore reduce the amount of my life consumed by work.
Available at http://extensions.services.openoffice.org is a long list of Openoffice extensions (some more usable than others). My favorites included:
- PDF import functionality (now, no longer necessary)
- the Google Docs extension (you can edit and upload Oo.o docs to Google Docs, seriously)
- ooolatex-with this extension you can implement LaTeX formulas in both the presenter and the writer instead of the equation composer
- Presentation Minimizer-reduces the size of the presentations
- Presenter Console-gives more control over the presentation
- writer2latex-just what you think, it converts writer files to .tex extension for compilation, and
- The Sun Report Builder-gives Oo.o Base the graphical functionality required to make excellent reports
These are by no means the only, productivity-increasing plugins for Openoffice.org. But, for those who work in the sciences and academia, these can definitely make your life easier. Remember that productivity means greater time for other aspects of our lives.
As an aside, one might also consider examining the LibreOffice project which is a fork of the OO.org project. This project, at one point, had much better MS Office integration than its counterpart. Yet, I say “well done!” to the developers on both projects.
If you have plugins that you love, leave them below in the comments! I’d love to hear what you have to contribute.