Now moved to

We have moved! [Guide2Office]

On November 19, 2010, in General, by stephanie

In line with some of the changes and growth in the office application space, this site is moving to its own domain name at

I will continue to offer support to, however now this will be expanded to include some of its derivatives including LibreOffice and NeoOffice! Of course, sometimes this even expands into Microsoft Office. I continue to do this through tutorials, downloadable templates and answers to questions from readers!!

I thank you all for your support so far, however I would appreciate it if you could adjust your bookmarks to

For those that are getting updates via RSS, please use the new subscription link.

As a result of this post, this site has been moved to Please update your bookmarks!

After seriously reconsidering and reflecting on this site is about, please excuse me while I do some design and layout changes, and get ready to expand this site into other productivity suites, including Google Apps, Libre Office and

Don’t worry, I’ll still be doing the tutorials and templates that you are enjoying so far, however some things have changed with and it makes sense to support other forks of this fantastic office productivity suite, as well as adding some other free and/or open projects.

Hopefully the transition will be smooth, however if you notice a glitch or two here and there, please hold on to your comments until Sunday – then fire away if I haven’t got to it by then.

Update: more opinion on OOo and LibreOffice fork

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A year ago on this blog, I looked at a method for forcing line breaks in your table of contents.

An alternative method for this is to make your Table of Contents editable. The steps are outlined below, however I caution you with this method – if you Update your Table of Contents, then you will lose your edits (see last screenshot below).

After you have added a table of contents in your document, you may find that you have long headings that require line breaks in better places than those imposed by OOo Writer.

Edit the Index

Right-mouse-click (or Ctrl-click) and select Edit Index/Table.

You will see the window below.

Right mouse click on the table of contents and select 'Edit Index/Table'

On the Index/Table tab, you will see the tick box labelled ‘Protected against manual changes’.

Untick this.

Edit the Index/Table Text

Now you can edit the text in the table

Add breaks (Shift+Enter) or change text as desired.


It is important to note that if you update the Index/Table, the changes you have just performed will disappear.

If you Update Index/Table, the changes will be removed.

The table of contents will revert to the original.

The Table of Contents will restore any changes if you update the TOC

Let’s say you have a number of rows of data, and you need to be able to scroll or search up and down them, but whenever you do, you lose sight of the headings.

These instructions work for Calc in both AND NeoOffice.

Many rows of data to be viewed in your window

In order to freeze the header rows so that they don’t move and you can scroll up and down, simply click on the first cell in the row immediately below the row(s) you want to freeze. In this example, I would click on cell A2 in row 2, as I want to freeze the header row – row 1.

Click on the cell in column A in the row BELOW the header

From the menu, select Window >> Freeze

You will then see that you can scroll up and down, but the header row will remain where it is.

In the example below, I have scrolled down to show Row 40. Rows 2-39 are hidden, but you can still see the header row (row 1).

Rows 2-39 are not visible

Unfreeze / Unlock

To unfreeze, just select Window >> Freeze (you will notice that there is a tick next to Freeze – clicking on this will remove it).

Window >> Freeze

Freeze / Lock Columns and Cells

You can use this method to freeze both columns and rows.

For example, let’s say you want Row 1, and Column A to be frozen.

Click on cell B2 (one row immediately below the rows to be frozen, and one column immediately to the right of the column to be frozen).

Click on cell B2

Again, from the menu select Window >> Freeze

Select Window >> Freeze

And you will notice that the first column (A) and the first Row (1) do not move, allowing you to scroll up and down, left and right.

The first row and column is now frozen.

To unfreeze, simple select Window >> Freeze

Window >> Freeze

The tick will be removed, and your spreadsheet will return to normal.

Click on the picture above to get this really cool Dracula to colour in!

Some downloads in preparation for the Halloween weekend. Get your freak on and put those finishing touches on your Halloween projects with the following downloads.

  1. Happy Halloween Address Labels – from the Template Repository. I thought they were really cute! These could also be re-purposed into name stickers in case you want to name your guests at your party.
  2. Halloween Pumpkin Impress Powerpoint Template – black background with a cool pumpkin for any presentations or slide shows you want to put together for your freak-night!
  3. Halloween Colouring pages – OK, so these are PDFs, not odf documents, but they are really cool and good for kids… just in case they get rained in over the Halloween weekend.
  4. Freaky fonts for your Halloween documents. Try Fontenstein or the Halloween category on
  5. Spooky spectres are a must for your Halloween projects and you can download pictures of these from, Classroom Clipart and

    BugfixEarlier this week I posted 3 Options for Java Issues on for Apple Mac Users [Show Stopper].

    I’m happy to report over at the reported bug page this is now solved, and for those that are experiencing difficulties you can apply a patch.

    If you find all the tech-speak a little intimidating, then please proceed to the page of Raphael Bircher who has a handy set of instructions on applying this patch and returning your goodness to situation normal. :-)

    Click on the link below:

    In OpenOffice and NeoOffice, you can show and hide rows and columns. This is useful as you may want the data to be included in the sheet, however you may not necessarily want all the data viewable. Note that this does NOT delete the data. It merely hides the column.

    Columns of data

    You may have columns of data and wish to hide one column from view.

    Hiding a Column

    To hide a column, right mouse click (or Control-Click for Mac users) on the letter at the top of the column. This will highlight the column, as well as make a menu appear.

    Select ‘Hide’ from the menu.

    Right click on the letter at the top of the column (header) and select 'Hide'

    The column should disappear from view.

    Note in the image below, you can see column C and column E, but column D is not visible.

    Column D is not visible

    Showing a Column (Excel: unhide)

    To make the column visible, click on the C and E columns, highlighting them both, and then right click (or control-click) and select ‘Show’ from the menu, like this:

    Highlight the columns on each side of the invisible column, then right click (Control-Click) and select 'Show' from the menu

    You should now be able to see your column.

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    Update – Random Number Generation [RANDBETWEEN]

    On October 27, 2010, in Beginners, by stephanie

    As an update to my previous post on generating random numbers, I have included a reference to the function RANDBETWEEN(a,b).

    Thanks to Jason for pointing out this formula.

    RANDBETWEEN() Function

    Check out the previous post on random number generation, which includes more detail.

    Update: This issue has now been solved. :)

    I have been on leave for a month, and came back to a software update for Java 1.6 on my Mac. As usual, I installed it.

    Unfortunately, the next time I opened OOo to put together a tutorial, I was met with this message:

    Mac JRO issue

    It is a known issue with OOo. You can see more information about this at the issue 115180 webpage.

    At this time, if you haven’t already, don’t install the latest JRE (Java) update from Apple until Issue 115180 is resolved.

    If you have already (like me), there are a couple of options available to you.

    Option 1 – Disable JRE

    Disabling the JRE (Java Runtime Environment) in OOo might be an option for you if you don’t use the features that require Java. For a full list of these features, check out the Java and page.

    In OpenOffice (quickly before this error kicks in, or hit the escape key until you don’t see it any more – I had to hit it 20-30 times), select the menu: OpenOffice >> Preferences. preferences

    Then click on ‘Java’ under ‘’ on the left panel, and then deselect (remove the tick) next to ‘Use a Java runtime environment’ on the right side.

    Java Preferences in

    Restart (not 100% necessary all the time, but I found it just a reassuring step).

    Option 2 – Install NeoOffice

    According to this forum, NeoOffice has fixed the JRE issues caused by the latest upgrade.

    From the NeoOffice website:

    NeoOffice is a full-featured set of office applications (including word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation programs) for Mac OS X. We have created an office suite that is adapted to the unique needs of Mac users by taking the features in Oracle’s office suite and adding improvements.

    You can download and install NeoOffice from:

    Option 3 – Workaround implemented using Terminal **Unstable

    This is not for the faint-hearted, and has mixed results of working or (worse) crashing. If you don’t know what the Terminal is, this is probably not the best thing to learn on.

    The Issue # 115180 reports that the JavaVM can be picked up by if you enter the following lines in the Terminal.

    cd /System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines
    sudo ln -s ../../Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/JavaVM JavaVM

    After doing this, my OOo installation crashed, so I reversed it with:

    sudo rm /System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/JavaVM

    For me, I am now using NeoOffice, and as soon as there is a fix, I’ll post it here.


    Some users have reported success with resetting their profiles. Please comment below if this works for you.

    Recently I had a colleague that wanted to define multiple print ranges on a sheet, and have each separate range print out and fit one to page.

    I’ve put together a tutorial for this below, and please note the behaviour of the scaling with the print ranges under Step 4.

    Step 1 – Define the first range

    Click and highlight the range that you want to include in your printing. The select Format >> Print Ranges >> Define.

    Step 2 – Add the Second Range (and any other ranges that you wish to include in your printing)

    Now go to the second range and highlight it (click and drag).

    Select Format >> Print Ranges >> Add

    So in the above, my first range was cells A1:I31, and my second range was cells A46 to I 79.

    Step 3 – Format Page

    From the Format Menu, select “Page…”

    Step 4 – Scaling

    Navigate to the “Sheet” tab, and then select your scaling mode. It is important to understand how the scaling mode works. looks at each range as a separate ‘page’.

    For example, in this example I have highlighted 2 ranges. For these 2 ranges, I need to decide how I want them to appear – I could ask OOo to fit it to 1 page wide by 1 page high and it will fit each range on a single page – regardless of the size of the individual ranges. What I will end up with is 2 pages. Using this scaling mode, if I highlight 7 ranges, I will get 7 pages.