The Linux Moderate

One Man Standing Up for Computers That Get Work Done

Installing OpenOffice.org in Xubuntu

with 2 comments

Xubuntu comes with Abiword as its word processor and Gnumeric as its spreadsheet. I don’t like Abiword for long documents, because it always seems to slow to a crawl when the page count gets too high. Besides, I need a more complicated word processor.

OpenOffice.org, which is a lot like Microsoft Office, runs just fine in Xubuntu even on an anemic computer like my test machine. It does take a while to start up–I won’t hide that from you. But it works fine once it gets going, and it comes close to matching Microsoft Office in features, at least the ones you’re likely to use.

Standard Ubuntu, the Gnome-based version, comes with OpenOffice.org installed and configured. If you want to install it in Xubuntu, though, you need to make some selections by hand to get the same functions. If you just install the OpenOffice.org package, you’ll get a stripped-down installation with no help and no thesaurus, and it won’t even use the “User Interface” theme you choose in the Xubuntu Settings Manager.

So here’s how to get a completely working OpenOffice.org in Xubuntu.

First, we’re going to use Synaptic Package Manager instead of Add/Remove. It’s not really any harder, but it does give you more options.

We’ll find what we need by searching for “openoffice.” It will go a lot faster, especially on a slow computer, if you search by “Name” instead of “Description and Name.”

Searching by name in Synaptic Package Manager.
Searching by name in Synaptic Package Manager.

First we find the “openoffice.org” package. Click the check box next to it and choose “Mark for Installation.” Synaptic will ask whether you want to mark the additional packages required for installation. You do.

Marking the "openoffice.org" package.
Marking the “openoffice.org” package.

Now we’ve marked a bunch of packages, but they’re not enough yet.

Next we’ll find the package “openoffice.org-gtk,” which will teach OpenOffice.org to use the theme we choose in the “User Interface” setting.

This package adapts OpenOffice.org to use the "User Interface" theme you choose.
This package adapts OpenOffice.org to use the “User Interface” theme you choose.

I plan on using the “Industrial” theme later on, so I’m also going to install “openoffice.org-style-industrial.”

Installing the "Industrial" theme.
Installing the “Industrial” theme.

To install the help files, mark the help package for your language–in my case, “openoffice.org-help-en-us.”

There's no help for you without this package.
There’s no help for you without this package.

For the thesaurus, I install “openoffice.org-thesaurus-en-us.”

I feel baffled, bemused, bewildered, confounded, confused, mazed, mixed up, at sea, and perplexed without a thesaurus.
I feel baffled, bemused, bewildered, confounded, confused, mazed, mixed up, at sea, and perplexed without a thesaurus.

There’s one important item that we didn’t find by searching for “openoffice.” We still need a spelling dictionary so that we can use the spelling-checker. Search for “myspell,” and choose the file for your language–in my case, “myspell-en-us.”

Marking the spelling dictionary.
Marking the spelling dictionary.

Now that we’ve selected everything, it’s time to apply those changes by pressing the “Apply” button.

Push the "Apply" button to install everything you've marked.
Push the “Apply” button to install everything you’ve marked.

There’s a lot to download and install, so you have time to make a pot of tea. By the time it’s ready, OpenOffice.org should be ready to run. Note that all the OpenOffice.org applications end up in the “Office” submenu except for OpenOffice.org Draw, which ends up in “Graphics.”

Advertisements

Written by cbaile19

July 30, 2008 at 10:36 pm

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] runs well even on anemic hardware. It’s a bit complicated to install the whole thing: see this article for step-by-step […]

  2. Unfortunately this no longer applies since OpenOffice has been replaced by LibreOffice in Ubuntu and Ubuntu derivatives. And installing the necessary debs from the official OpenOffice site doesn’t provide any sort of menu options (at least not for Xubuntu).

    I could make them myself, but can’t even find the damn commands to run the various OpenOffice components, like Writer.

    Tyler

    July 1, 2013 at 11:45 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: