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Open Office
Looking Things Up In The Manuals

You may find that the database included in OpenOffice delights you as much as it has me. This page tries to help you use it.

Remember that Open Office, including ooBase, is free. Don't let that fool you, though. Big organizations, governmental and civilian, have adopted it as their standard office suite... and saving million$, but still Getting The Job Done. And making things easy for users on different platforms... Linux, Mac, Windows all spoken here!

There's more about ooBase in the main index to this material. Adabas? Star Office? Ancient history.

This page is "browser friendly". Make your browser window as wide as you want it. The text will flow nicely for you. It is easier to read in a narrow window. With most browsers, pressing plus, minus or zero while the control key (ctrl) is held down will change the texts size. (Enlarge, reduce, restore to default, respectively.) (This is fully explained, and there are more tips, at my Power Browsing page.)

Page contents © TK Boyd, Sheepdog Software, 2/06-10/12.



Looking Things Up...

Hey! I hate to ask for directions when I'm lost as much as the next (male?) person... but sometimes you just have to RTFM. ("Read The... famous?... Manual")

When you reach that in extremis moment, the following places can help....



First Consider...

The source of help I usually consult is.....

The Open Office Forum

They have separate sections for all manner of Open Office issues. If you search pervious discussions before posting your "How do I put a field on a form?", you will probably get your answer more quickly. Alternatively....



Reference manuals for the Open Office database...

(There's more general Open Office help further down the page.)

The HSQLdb website online documentation... in frames

Alternatively, go to....

The HSQLdb website online documentation... frameless

... for the same information in a format I prefer... but if you use that, you'll have to know that it is often worth going to the root of a site, in this case....

http://www.hsqldb.org/

... to see what other Good Stuff someone has posted for you.

If you start using things from the HSQLdb manual, the time may come when you need to learn the details of turning off ooBase's SQL checking mechanisms.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"What?", I hear you exclaim. "HSQLdb? I want the ooBase manual!" Well, yes... but ooBase is based on the HSQLdb engine. Now you see?

The link I gave above is for the table of contents. It tells you everything. "Too Much Information", big time.

If you just want to look up, say, what the rules are for the CONCAT function, you may want to head straight to the section about the built-in functions (frameless) and stored procedures.



Help with other aspects of Open Office...

(The following also offer further help with ooBase.)

The documentation can be extremely frustrating. I must confess that my failure to navigate it easily has lead to me being not very familiar with it. Perhaps if I used it more I would learn to love it. Searches for things which I know are present, e.g. "ConvertFromURL", seem to be finding the excellent relevant pages better than once they did.

If using the site's own search tools turn up nothing, you can try giving Google something like...

site:wiki.services.openoffice.org ConvertFromURL

It turned up the right page... along with 7 other hits.

* Guide to ooBasic.... the language of OpenOffice macros...

The OpenOffice.org page where the ooBasic guide starts. The flawed search engine remains a problem. You may find that digging in the "Runtime library" section turns up Good Stuff, depending on what you are looking for. (A lot of what I wanted was there.)

* Guide to OO API.... the "things" Open Office is built from, e.g. getByName. They (I'm pretty sure) underlie all of Open Office. How you get to them, directly, with ooBasic I'm not so sure about.

The "things" include what I would call objects, methods and properties. The nice people at Open Office use the term "service" for some things I think of... quite possibly ignorantly... as objects. Not everything I call an object is a service. Some of the things I call methods they call functions. We both use "property" the same way... I think! The API guide also tells you about other useful things. If you want to become a skilled OpenOffice programmer, it would probably be very wise to attempt to master "What is a thingie", where "thingie" can equal...

Don't be overwhelmed by that list. It really isn't as bad as it seems.

The Guide is at this OpenOffice.org page

There's an overview of the Open Office "official" documentation at, sensibly enough, documentation.openoffice.org. There you will find search tools for different sections of the material.





Editorial Philosophy

I dislike 'fancy' websites more concerned with a flashy appearance than for good content. For a pretty picture, I can go to an art gallery. Not everyone has fast broadband.

I present this material in a format aimed at to helping you USE it. There are two aspects to that: The way it is split up, and the way it is posted. Details at my page about how the material is split up and how it is posted.

Please remember the material is copyright. (TK Boyd, 2006 and later) The procedures in the page just cited are suggested only for convenient personal use of the material, however, also....

Feel free to use this information in computer courses, etc, but a credit of the source, quoting the URL, would be appreciated. If you simply copy the pages to other web pages you will do your readers a disservice: Your copies won't stay current. Far better to link to the original pages, and then your readers will see up-to-date versions. For those who care- thank you. I have posted a page with more information on what copyright waivers I extend, and suggestions for those who wish to put this material on CDs, etc. (There is at least one prison using the material for inmate education. Situations do exist where good internet connections are not possible!)

Translations are welcomed. Tell me about yours, so I can post links to it. (More information at the page about copyright waivers.)


Ad from page's editor: Yes.. I do enjoy compiling these things for you... I hope they are helpful. However.. this doesn't pay my bills!!! If you find this stuff useful, (and you run an MS-DOS or Windows PC) please visit my freeware and shareware page, download something, and circulate it for me? Links on your page to this page would also be appreciated!

PLEASE >>> Click here to visit editor's Sheepdog Software (tm) freeware, shareware pages <<< PLEASE


If you liked this ooBase tutorial, see the main index for information other help from the same author.

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