OpenOffice.org - One Barrier Down
Posted on 2006-11-04 (Updated on 2019-01-21)
I've been trying to phase out my use of proprietary software like Microsoft Office, just because it makes a lot of sense to me. Not paying for software, supporting open source, using open document formats: all wonderful things. But, using products like OpenOffice.org has a few disadvantages: one of which I have overcome today.
One of the things I really enjoy about Microsoft Excel is it's well-placed hot key to bring up the 'Cell Formatting' dialog. By pressing CTRL+1, you are given all the options you need for the cell you're currently working in.
OpenOffice.org, however, does not have any default hot key set to the 'Cell Formatting' dialog. I didn't lose sleep or anything over this, but it was definitely the raspberry seed in my rectum - err, wisdom tooth - for quite a while now. Often I could be heard in the office, swearing a dark oath to my pagan computer gods, that I would do anything for that simple shortcut. Well, the dark lords have heeded my call, and I will share their sweet, forbidden knowledge with you.
OpenOffice.org, being cooler than sliced bread, allows you to customize your keyboard shortcuts. To do this, go to the 'View' menu, and under the 'Toolbox' sub-menu, select 'Customize...'. From there, if you click on the 'Keyboard' tab, you can assign all sorts of keyboard shortcuts to all sorts of functions. The particular one I was interested in was the CTRL+1 combination. To change that shortcut, I simply clicked on the combination, and chose the dialog box I wanted. In this case, it was under the 'Format' category and the 'Format Cells' function.
The only difficulty I ran into was due to a misunderstanding on my part. At first, I was looking for 'Cells...' under the function section, because that's what it says in the 'Format' drop-down menu. Instead, functions are either sorted by the name of the function, or the dialog box they call up. When you click on the 'Cells...' menu option, it brings up the 'Format Cells' dialog box.
One more step on being completely happy with free and open source software. It's the little things that keep me going.