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OpenOffice.org 3.x tricks

1. Styles

You are using the styles dialog (F11 or Format -> Styles and Formatting) to keep all your paragraph/character/page styles straight, right?

2. Headers and footers with text specific to each document section

Say you're doing the layout for a fiction anthology and you need to have the story name and page number on the recto and the author name and page number on the verso for each story. Each story has a different title and is written by a different author.

No, you don't have to set up different page styles for each story/author combination. Custom variables to the rescue!

Insert -> Fields -> Other -> Variables -> Set Variable (or Ctrl+F2)
Insert -> Fields -> Other -> Variables -> Show Variable (or Ctrl+F2)

Use set variable to create your own variables that will be linked to the header (or footer) display. For example, if you create a text field variable named "author" (on the novella's opening page, where you want the author's name to display) and fill it with the name of the author who wrote the first novella in the anthology, you can then use show variable in the verso header and it will correctly display the author's name on the pages for the first story. Ditto for the recto header: create a variable named "title" at the beginning of the story using set variable, then use show variable in the recto header and it will display the correct title.

You'll need to re-set the title and author variables as you get to the title page for each new story, but you won't need to redo header references–they'll update themselves. :)

3. Table of contents

The table of contents setup in OO is a royal pain in the ass. The user interface is not intuitive at all, and there are no instructions on how to do a TOC in the help file buy kamagra oral jelly online uk. (Online yes, but not in the basic user documentation.) Also, every time something changed and the TOC had to be updated to reflect changed page numbers, it erased the custom layout I'd created. Wow, that's helpful. NOT.

So I used references instead.

Insert -> Fields -> Other -> Cross-references -> Set reference (or Ctrl+F2)
Insert -> Fields -> Other -> Cross-references -> Insert reference (or Ctrl+F2)

Highlight the title and author variables you set earlier, and choose set reference. You'll end up with multiple similarly-named references (I did title 1, title 2, author 1, author 2, etc.), but if you only have a few items, it shouldn't get too clunky. Use insert reference on your TOC page (make sure "insert reference to" says "reference" to display the text, or page number to display the, you got it, page number). I also used these references to list the titles and authors on the copyright page for their copyright statements. Simple, yes?

qmail + vpopmail + ezmlm + mysql: ezmlm list-making notes

I've been setting up nginx, qmail, vpopmail, ezmlm-idx, etc., on my new VPS on slicehost (yay, slicehost!), and figured I'd post my notes in case they're useful to anyone else, since finding even tiny bits and pieces helped along the way and kept me from tearing my hair out while trying to work out how everything fits together. *vbg*

These are my (very brief) notes about how to set up a new mailing list in ezmlm, when using vpopmail's virtual domains with a mysql backend. (Yes, I realize I haven't posted about the parts of the server set up that came first, but these are the most complete notes I have at the moment. *g*)

Continue reading 'qmail + vpopmail + ezmlm + mysql: ezmlm list-making notes' »

Installing symfony on Dreamhost using PEAR

I tried to get all of the commands put down in this how-to, so that people of all skill levels could follow the instructions. Be sure to let me know if I missed any or something needs clarified. :) But as usual, use at your own risk, yadda, yadda. Continue reading 'Installing symfony on Dreamhost using PEAR' »