PDF Mojo in your word processor

In OpenOffice, the OpenSource office suite that beats the pants off of Microsoft Office in so many ways it is not funny, has long been able to save documents as pdf files. “So what?” you say, “I’ve always been able to do that with thisorthat add in.”

Don’t interrupt me. OpenOffice has always done this seamlessly and flawlessly out of the box as a simple menu item under ‘file.’ .. file –> save as pdf.

Now there is an extension (like an add in) that will allow PDF editing in the works. Its inbeta stage now as Sun and only works on certaindeveloper buidls fo OpenOffice, so nobody can see it very easily. But if you want to learn more and maybe play around with it, go here for instructions. This is very preliminary technology, but as long as Sun does not get any crazy ideas like charging for it, it could be worthwhile and fun.

Remember, OpenOffice is not exclusive to Linux. It runs on Windows and Macs.


  1. #1 Tony P
    July 3, 2008

    I’d ditch MS Office but I do a lot of development work in Access so that’s the holdback for me. Granted I’m moving more toward web base databases using PHP and MySQL but a lot of them still use Access as the data entry side.

    That said I’ve resorted to an application called PDF Creator that just installs as a printer on my system. Any application that can print can use it.

  2. #2 mlf
    July 3, 2008

    In XP I use PDF Creator as well as PDF-Xchange Editor which is an excellent free editor.

  3. #3 Alan Kellogg
    July 3, 2008

    Note that the Mac version of Open Office you want is Neo Office. The Mac OS also includes the option to save as PDF with just about every app. You can print, you can save as PDF.

    Where editing is concerned, I edit the original, then save the edit as a PDF. Saves on time and trouble.

  4. #4 JanieBelle
    July 3, 2008

    Would not for any reason go back to MS Office.

    All I want from Open Office now is an extension to break the finger of the little hand that’s flipping me off from the toolbar.

    I want to break it, then have it heal over a day or two so I can break it again. Bastard.

    Other than that, I am in love with my Open Office.

  5. #5 Kevin
    July 3, 2008

    Seems like the comments on this blog are leading towards beefs wtih Open Office, so I would just like to add that it would be nice if I could use endnote with openoffice in linux (i know that oofice now interacts with endnote, but there still isn’t a linux version of endnote – at least that I know about.

    This combo of software is really the only reason I have windows let alone MS office.

  6. #6 Orac
    July 3, 2008

    Actually, in the Mac OS, you can save any file from any application as a PDF. It’s built into the system. So this bit on Open Office is not a particularly compelling feature. Personally, I tried Open Office on the Mac. It’s pretty clunky there. I didn’t like it.

  7. #7 Alan Kellogg
    July 4, 2008


    Near as I can tell, Windows was made for IBM engineers, Linux for breadboard engineers, and Mac for common clods like me.

    Then you have Unix, which was made for engineers who actually get paid for what they do. Open Office is a Unix philosophy app. It is user friendly, it’s just particular about who its friends are. Once you learn how things work, it does a ton of stuff, it’s the learning that gives you the headache.

    Really, if all you need is word processing, go with Nisus. Not all that much easier to learn than the Open Office word processor, but tons more features. You really use the double OO for those times when you need output compatible with Microsoft Office, without having to deal with Windows style imbecility.