Extending OpenOffice.org: Creating template and AutoText extensions

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One of the great features of the current version of OpenOffice.org is the support for extensions, which allow you to add to the office suite's functionality. Every day this week we'll look some of the most useful OOo extensions available. Today, we'll look at ways you can improve the way the office suite handles templates and AutoText.

While you can manually add templates and AutoText entries to your copy of OpenOffice.org, packing them as extensions makes them portable. This means that you can easily install them on multiple machines and share them with other users.

Usually, extensions act as small programs, but you can also build so-called non-code extensions that contain document templates, AutoText snippets, and even gallery graphics. Non-code extensions can come in handy in many situations -- for example, if you want to easily exchange your AutoText snippets with other users, or if you want to keep tabs on all your Writer templates. Instead of having templates scattered all around your hard disk, you can create a template extension and use it to access the templates directly from within OpenOffice.org. Creating a template extension doesn't require any particular programming skills and can take only a few minutes.

Start by downloading an empty template extension from the OpenOffice.org wiki.

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