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StarOffice 6.0 Office Suite Companion Paperback – September 24, 2002
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From the Back Cover
The user-friendly guide to mastering StarOffice Office Suite and OpenOffice.org.
- The user-friendly, task-based guide to StarOffice 6.0 Office Suite and OpenOffice.org 1.0
- For Windows, Linux, and Solaris OE platforms
- Covers Writer, Web, Calc, Impress, Draw, databases and formulas, and more
Imagine an inexpensive office productivity suite that's powerful and easy to use, and includes great extras like a drawing program and database connectivity. StarOffice 6.0 Office Suite and the open source equivalent OpenOffice.org 1.0 deliver all of this and outstanding Microsoft Office compatibility at an amazing low price for millions of Linux, Windows, and Solaris Operating Environment users.
Learn StarOffice for the first time, or get to know the great new features in the latest release, with StarOffice 6.0 Office Suite Companion, the comprehensive, insider's guide straight from Sun Microsystems, developer of StarOffice Office Suite.
StarOffice 6.0 Office Suite Companion also incorporates solutions to questions from hundreds of new and expert StarOffice Office Suite and OpenOffice.org users, making this the most practical, task-based book around. It delivers clear, step-by-step instructions, focusing on what you need to do to get your job done.
StarOffice 6.0 Office Suite is a Sun ONE Software Offering.
You'll find comprehensive coverage of all of the following and more:
- Great information across applications: Conversion to and from Microsoft file formats, as well as opening nearly 200 other file formats.
- Migration from StarOffice 5.2, and what's new in StarOffice 6.0 and OpenOffice.org 1.0.
- Tips on using OpenOffice.org, the open source version of StarOffice, and the minor details in which it differs from StarOffice.
- Answers to hundreds of frequently asked questions, including how to print spreadsheet headings on multiple pages, automatically converting from and saving to Microsoft formats, and migration tips.
- Quick Start tutorials that teach you the key features of each application, plus procedures on customizing StarOffice to make using it simple and productive.
- Comprehensive coverage of each application:
- StarOffice WriterEditing, formatting, mail merge, printing to postscript and PDF, long documents, version control, comparing documents.
- StarOffice WebCreating Web pages with the AutoPilot, hotlinks, viewing and editing source. animated GIFs, and marquees.
- StarOffice CalcFormatting, everything about data entry and calculations in spreadsheets, including the function AutoPilot, scenarios and goal seek, exporting to HTML and inserting spreadsheets in other documents.
- StarOffice ImpressCreating, designing, and delivering presentations, including custom presentations and animation.
- StarOffice Draw and image editing featuresUsing the vast array of drawing tools, including 3D, distorting and manipulating shapes and text, editing raster graphics like photos, exporting to formats like GIF, EPS, and SVG.
- Connecting to data sourcesBringing in the data from spreadsheets or databases, plus using the Web form AutoPilot.
Want to learn how to get things done with StarOffice? Here's the practical, direct, expert guide you've been searching for: StarOffice 6.0 Office Suite Companion.
About the Author
Solveig Haugland has been writing, editing, and training for eleven years, helping newbies and techies alike learn about Java technology, accounting software, WebLogic, and, of course, StarOffice Office Suite. She's currently a documentation and training consultant for www.lastturtle.com
Floyd Jones has nine years of experience creating documentation and training materials for a wide range of software products, including accounting software, golf course management, and WebLogic. He currently does project management and documentation for WebLogic and StarOffice Office Suite.
Top customer reviews
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Devoting the necessary time for this comprehensive text would ensure that you get the most from the software. Your work will become easier and more efficient. You will discover how to correlate various Application Programmes in order to generate optimum productivity. This book is voluminous and versatile. Each section was structured independently; thus, you can start from any chapter of your choice and still feel at home. Information blending was superbly done, although that most advanced StarOffice 6.0 users may not be amused to see simple definitions stretching into paragraphs.
This book doesn't just tell you how StarOffice is supposed to work, it also tells you about some of its quirks and peculiarities. The book doesn't assume everyone uses Windows and includes information on the Unix/Linux versions. It gives pointers to other resources, such as websites with templates and macro programming information.
The Getting Started section covers the "why" of StarOffice and the "how" of Setup. The "why" includes "Ten reasons to Use StarOffice". This includes "Bill Gates has enough money, Do you?" and "It has the best drawing program you've never used". Of course the authors are slightly biased but the list contains more fact than propaganda. The Getting Started section also covers differences between StarOffice and OpenOffice.org, comparisons with earlier versions and a summary of features. It then moves on to the more gritty details of installation, configuration and trouble shooting.
Not just for beginners
My main exposure to StarOffice was with the incredibly powerful Word Processing feature (Writer) I have written a 280 page book about Java Programming and have found that module to be excellent. Despite having considerable experience with it, even a brief reading of the Writer section gave me some ideas about my further use. Notably I am going to remember to use captions for figures and tables in documents in future, so I can automatically generate lists of them for the table of contents. It is interesting to note that the authors describe the Master Document Feature in Writer as being a lot closer to FrameMaker than to Word. If you don't know about it, FrameMaker is a tool used for creating industrial strength documents such as technical manuals and full sized books.
The book covers the dull but very important details of areas such as page numbering and chapter settings. This was something that frustrated me when I was learning StarOffice 5.2 and I wanted to ensure that the pages in each chapter had the chapter name at the top. I had to blunder my way about experimenting and fiddling with this, and the vagaries of the Master Document system. My life would have been much easier if I had been able to use a book like this at the time.
In addition to the document management features the book covers the more "Page Layout" style features of StarOffice such as the ability to manage columns and to place vertical text running up the page. These are features I was not even aware existed in StarOffice before I read this book.
It's big and its packed with information
The StarOffice companion has over 1030 pages, but it is really bigger than it sounds because it is very dense. Although it has many screen shots, plenty of use is made of text based instructions. Instead of repeating instructions, the text will often point you to the page where a concept was first explained. This does break up the flow of instructions but it also means that the book contains more information than if they had repeated the text every time it was needed.
I found the section on the graphics module useful because I had not realised how StarOffice has some slightly non-standard ways of working with menus and selections. For example I spent quite a bit of time trying to get the 3d shapes menu to pop out and show all the possible shape options. It was only on a closer reading of the text of this book did I appreciate that you need to click and hold down the mouse for a few seconds before the menu pops out.
The writing style
The tone of the book comes across as being created by people who like the program rather than a creation of a faceless corporation. Thus in the graphics section they have included the amusing Moose with moving fly graphic that is used for the logo of the JavaRanch website. Here is an example of the text style from the section on macros. "Macros can do things like open a file when you do a particular task, process data, or take your grandmothers' credit cards and buy $3000 worth of cat toys".
If you use StarOffice you need this book
The StarOffice suite has a huge amount of functionality and this book covers most of the features you are ever likely to use. It doesn't try to do it in a visual style with a screen shot for every mouse click but includes plenty of text instructions. The book is in paperback and has a 40 page alphabetical index. I learnt a huge amount of new features despite having worked with the application for over two years. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who intends to use StarOffice.
I started with some 5.2 books but then found this 6.0 StarOffice Companion and I found EVERYTHING in this book. EVERYTHING.
You can use this at home and make yourself happier, but that's just you. Think about the big picture. If you use StarOffice in a business setting, and your salary actually depends on how the business does, and you go down the hall hearing people cursing at their computers, you will really understand how many thousands or millions of dollars it can cost to have your employees struggling with their software. So I'm paying the measly cost of the book for each of my 34 employees, and I'll get the cost back in about 14 minutes for each of them, because they'll actually be able to work well in StarOffice and they won't be going over my head to the VP.
If you're using StarOffice commercially, you MUST get this book. While it's fun to be snooty and talk about how you're Alternative and Open Source and all that stuff, it's really all about whether you can get work done and make money.
I was most delighted by coverage of setting up databases, which was clear and provided me everything I needed without mistaking me for a system administrator who cares deeply about views and joins. The database works for StarOffice have changed in this version and I was rather alarmed at the prospect of learning a new system, but the instructions were quite nice and I had no trouble at all linking to my Access databases.
I strongly recommend this book to anyone who wants a supplement to the existing StarOffice manual, which is small and does not cover enough. This book also has many excellent illustrations while the StarOffice manual has almost no pictures.