Wednesday, August 19, 2009

OpenOffice Impress + OOoLaTeX = Presentations on Steroids!

Okay, I got carried away with the title, but occasionally things happen, which forever change the way you do many regular tasks. And some irrational exuberance is warranted.

I've successfully weaned myself away from non-free software, over the last decade. So no, I don't use MS Windows, MS Office, Mathematica, SigmaPlot, Material Studio, Fluent, Matlab etc. anymore. Instead, I use Linux, LaTeX+OpenOffice, Maxima, gnuplot+xmgrace, LAMMPS, OpenFOAM, Octave etc. In most cases, my choices are superior, and in some cases, despite their flaws, they are adequate for the types of things I do, and the kind of person I am [I like command lines, can compile things from source, don't mind hacking around a little bit if short term inconvenience ensures long-term peace]. So this entry is heavily biased by my computing habits and temperament.

I've never really liked how equations turn up on MS Office or OpenOffice (without paying for MathType - I'm cheap I told you!). Presentations using a LaTeX class like beamer or seminar, is an option, but most of my presentations unlike my documents don't have too much cross-referencing, structure, etc. What I really miss is professional layout of mathematical formulae. Recently, I started using this plugin called OOOLaTeX. Installing it on OOo 3.0 was a breeze. This is on a Linux machine, on which LaTeX and ghostscript were already installed.

1. Just go to Tools -> Extension Manager -> Get More Extensions here.
2. Search for OOOLaTeX
3. "Get It", which allows to download an "oxt" file.
4. Install it, by choosing "Add" in the extension manager.
5. Download "Bakoma" fonts (which look like the Computer Modern fonts in standard LaTeX documents) and push them into your fonts directory.

You're set. The following is my own document. The one above, obviously, is not mine. I got that from the official Screenshots (the writer is French).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Giving it a try! thank you so much!

Regards, Enrique (Chile)