Giving OpenOffice a “not disgusting” New Word Document

OpenOffice is great. It has flaws. One of the most insidious is that the “new document” settings for Word/Letter documents is vile. It has truly awful formatting – ARGH! MY EYES!

Today I was writing a doc to put down some thoughts for colleagues, and I realised that the formating is so unbearable it was actively blocking me from thinking or expressing myself clearly. Every glance at the words in front of me was corrupted.

So, I’m going to do some experiments in replacing it with something … “not s**t”.

Download a template

Not possible. The OpenOffice.org website has never worked – I’ve been using it for 10 years, and the Template Search is still 100% broken. “Sort by rating, Descending” and the top-rating is often … 0/5 stars. Um. No. Guys – can you please learn how to count to 1?

Screencap from today:

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 14.11.44

Make a template

Here’s the steps, if you want to do one yourself: How can I change the defaults for a new Writer document?

Attempt 1: Verdana, indents

Arial – especially using Arial Bold for every-other-heading – is painful on the eyes when a document has more than about ten words. Let’s dump that and – sticking with a common font everyone has installed, but is similar in look – go with Verdana.

I do not enjoy using Arial, Verdana, Helvetica etc in docs; but I have no idea how funky you can get today and still get 100% coverage of “this font is installed on everyone else’s computer, no download/import/conversion needed”

Looks like this:

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 14.07.59

DOWNLOAD LINK: Default Text (Verdana)

Aside

There’s a circle of hell set aside for the muppet working at WordPress who decided to block all files that he/she couldn’t be bothered to type into a pointless – BUT NOT UPDATEABLE – whitelist of filetypes.

That’s not what a filename extension is. It’s not what a filetype is for. Great example of “a little knowledge” (or in this case: no knowledge at all, just foolish assumptions) being a dangerous thing…

2 thoughts on “Giving OpenOffice a “not disgusting” New Word Document

  1. Andrew Crystall

    Out of interest, is there a reason you’ve stuck with OpenOffice over LibreOffice?

  2. adam Post author

    There was. I can’t remember now. It was something to do with incompatibilities – an exporter I needed, maybe? Or the OS X builds having a bug related to Java? Or both?

    …but whatever: probably fixed ages ago by now. I should try again. Thanks for the reminder!

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