Tutorial Solutions

Prepared by Colin Charles, – An Introduction

This open source productivity suite has the technology of Sun Microsystems's StarOffice Productivity Suite. It has a word processor, a spreadsheet, a drawing tool and even a presentation suite. In short, its a competition to Microsoft's Office package, and would generally win hands down since it supports running on Linux, Windows and even MacOSX. – Writer

This portion of the package is the equivalent to the popular Microsoft Word from the Microsoft Office package. Functionality wise, most of the features are similar to Word's abilities, with just a few minor differences between the two applications.


  1. Open up Writer.sxw in the OOo folder.

  2. Change the background color of the whole table to a color of your choice. Do not save the file yet.

Select the whole table (from left to right). Once the entire table is highlighted, right-click on the table – a pop-up menu is displayed. Click Table there, and then go towards the Background tab. Now, choose a color, and if you want it to be suitable for the entire table, in the For pull-down menu, select Cell (and not Row, for instance). Click OK, and now all the selected cells will be colored in the color of your choice.

  1. Save the file as Writer-myedit.sxw. Now continue editing.

File -> Save As. Enter the new filename, and save the file as such.

  1. Change the font color of the whole table to a color of your choice.

Select all the text in the table. Right-click, and select the Character option. Click the Font tab, and change the Font Color to an appropriate color of your choice. Click OK, and now all the selected text (characters really) will have the said font color.

  1. Use Search and Replace the string “Microsoft ®” with “Microsoft®” (notice that there's no space between the two). Also make sure that the ® is super-script, and aligned similarly to the others.

There are several solutions to this problem, and the one presented here may not be the most elegant, but it works. Select the “Microsoft ®” string, then click Edit -> Find & Replace (Ctrl+F). The “Search for” field should show “Microsoft ®” at this stage, and the “Replace with” field should currently be empty waiting for some input. So, firstly, we'll remove the space between the word Microsoft and the registered trademark sign (®).

This is done by copying the text from the Search for field to the Replace with field, and just removing the space in-between (Ctrl+C copies, Ctrl+V pastes). Now, click the Replace All button and all will be replaced. Now, just select the ® sign, and the Find & Replace feature again. In Replace with, paste the ® sign again, but this time click Format – click the Position tab, and select the fact that it will be Superscript. Now click OK, and do another Replace All. Now all the ® signs will be super-scripted.

On other notes, to change the ® to become ® , in regular text, select the sign, and click Style. Then select Superscript (Ctrl+Shift+P) – a shortcut is provided (this is the alternative method of doing the Find & Replace).

  1. In the MSOffice folder, open up the Writer.doc. Compare the two files – are there any significant differences?

  2. Go over to the Alternatives folder and check out Writer.rtf. Now compare the three documents, and check to see if you notice any difference.

There should be no difference with all three files. – Calc

This portion of the package is the equivalent to the popular Microsoft Excel from the Microsoft Office package. Upon first glance, one would notice that the spreadsheet look and feel is all available; with saving to and from Excel files, with or without macros, this software is generally safe to run, free from Excel macro viruses. Having only one major difference in the sense that Excel supports 64,000 rows, while OOo's Calc only does 32,000 – a change that will be implemented soon enough.


  1. Open up Calc.sxw from the OOo folder. We will be playing with a semi-actual sheet that we use to check on OSS-101 trainers!

  2. In cell C5, there is a sum of 24 in the total. To achieve this sum, the results from cell's B6 to G6 should be computed. For sanity checking, this should go till B18 to G18. Create the total sum of students in column H.

Doing the sum is rather simple: it is performed by the =SUM(start:end), so in this case, simply entering =sum(b6:g6) as entered in cell H6, you'll notice the number 24 (which is the sum). Case is not important here, since =sum(b6:g6) will be changed to =SUM(B6:G6).

Instead of retyping this for each row, you can copy the formula and make it relevant to other rows. In cell H6, if you notice at the bottom, there is a little square that is highlighted. Moving the mouse pointer over it, tends to make the mouse pointer look like a cross – this is to suggest there is something that can be done with it! Click the box, and drag it down till the end (cell H18 in this case), and you'll notice the red color outline on the columns – this means the formula is being exported to the preceding cells.

Letting the mouse pointer go, should now give the same exact total (24).

  1. Save the file as Calc-mystuff.sxc. Now continue editing.

File -> Save As. Enter the new filename, and save the file as such.

  1. Now that you know the total number of students is correct, let's do a little bit with the median. In column I, create the median value of the response on a per response basis.

There is a function called =MEDIAN(start:end). Use it with the same range as with the sum, and you'll notice the most “middle” (or median) value that has been given.

The median is not to be confused by the average (=AVERAGE(start:end)), which takes all the values, and divides it by the amount of variables.

  1. If you notice in cell B26, there's a formula there. Cell B27 doesn't quite have it, neither does cell's B33-37 have it. Create an appropriate formula that basically sums up what it's meant to. Don't forget to make them percentages. (Hint: look at what C33-37 have, and so on!)

    To create the formula, it's a rather repetitive solution. An example would be something like =SUM(B13/D4). Just always remember that in this case, the “end” range should always be D4 – thats where the total number of students really are.

    As for creating a percentage, in terms of making the cell(s) all percentage compliant, you will select the cell (or cells), right-click, click Format Cells, then in the Numbers tab, select Percent and the method of it being a percentage (currently, the chosen one is -12.95% so there is decimal support).

  2. Add a table border to the entire spreadsheet – so all rows and columns have bold lines in between them.

Select the entire table using the mouse. Right click, select Format Cells, then click the Borders tab. Basically, when it comes to the Line Arrangement option, click the last two icons, and generally the entire spreadsheet with characters in it will have bold lines in between them.

  1. Go to the MSOffice folder and open up the Calc.xls file. Do you notice its similarities?

  2. Save the Calc-mystuff.sxc file (the one you've just been doing) as an Excel document and later (most likely when you're home), see how it would open up in Excel – it should be just fine!

  3. Go to the Alternatives folder and notice the Calc.csv file? Thats a standard among all spreadsheet applications to use – comma separated values.

The files are the same, as long as there are no macros within the Excel files. Comma Separated Value files are great for importing into other unsupported formats like Lotus 1-2-3, a still fairly popular spreadsheet application. – Draw

Draw is a simple line drawing application that generally has many of the same features Impress (your next topic) has. Some may say that Draw is the cousin to Microsoft's Visio, something that is not part of their Office offering.


  1. Open up Draw.sxd from the OOo folder.

  2. Things are divided into layers in Draw. Get to the layer view, copy the picture of the penguin, and paste it in the document again. You should now see two penguins.

View -> Layer. Now, click on the penguin logo, copy it (Edit -> Copy or Ctrl+C), then paste it (Edit -> Paste or Ctrl+V). Click the penguin again, and move it – now there are two penguins!

  1. Save the file as Draw-mystuff.sxd and continue with this exercise.

File -> Save As. Enter the new filename, and save the file as such.

  1. Add some text to the document. (Hint: The text insert button is on the left pane)

Left pane, that has the “T” icon. Its for text input.

  1. Change the properties of the existing object – the big yellow bubble.

If you click the big yellow bubble, you could change its color from the top pull-down menu. Or you can right-click the bubble, and select Area – its more configurable here.

Right-clicking here can also Edit Styles, Flip the text (vertically/horizontally), align, arrange (if there's plenty of text in many layers), and many more options. – Impress

Impress is what we'd describe as the PowerPoint killer. It may be missing out on templates by default, but if the power of the Internet is harnessed, all will be well in the world of Impress. Its presentation software with all the bells and whistles that any other package can offer you.


  1. Open up Impress.sxi from the OOo folder.

  2. You'll notice a simple presentation that doesn't quite need much changes. Let's change the background color of all the slides.

Right-click the slide, and select Slide -> Page Setup. Now, click the Background tab, and change the color. A pop-up appears asking if you want to implement the change on all pages – agree to this.

  1. Save your file as Impress-mystuff.sxi.

File -> Save As. Enter the new filename, and save the file as such.

  1. Change the color of the headings from Slide 2 onwards (its currently a tinge of red).

Select the text. Right-click, and select Character. Change the font color. You have to do this for each individual slide.

Assuming that you currently have no text, but just want a uniform title color. You could just make a duplicate slide, done by Insert -> Duplicate Slide.

  1. Re-label the Slides from Slide 1 – 5, to an appropriate name (the title could be placed here, so its easier to find which slide has what content from the tab itself).

Right-click the current titles (located below your screen). Then select Rename Slide. You have to do this for each individual slide.

  1. On the last slide, with the Thank You notice, change the slide format, so the “Click to add outline” is not displayed anymore.

Right-click on the slide, click the Slide pop-up, then the Modify Slide option. Choose the Title Only option, and a pop-up appears. It warns that you can't undo any longer – say OK to this and the “Click to add outline” is not displayed any longer. There are many other slide designs to choose from, based on what the content is.

  1. Go to the MSOffice folder and notice the Impress.ppt – thats the PowerPoint equivalent to the file.

And it should open up just fine in PowerPoint as well.