Using extendedPDF with OpenOffice.org/X11

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There is a separate version of this tutorial addressing NeoOffice, which behaves differently in a number of key places.

The extendedPDF macro is used to create structured PDFs (those with bookmarks, sections, etc.) in OpenOffice.org. Marc Liyanage has a tutorial on configuring this macro for use with OpenOffice.org Mac OS X (X11), but there are some additional details and steps needed to catch "gotchas" and produce better results. (The best-looking PDFs can be obtained by using NeoOffice/J, however.)

Contents

[edit] Initial setup

  1. Download the extendedPDF macro from the JDiSoftware site and install as instructed.
  2. If you do not have a printer connected to your Mac, you will need to set up a "dummy" PostScript printer. (Acrobat’s "Adobe PDF" dummy printer will not work.) Using a real printer or a "dummy" printer will improve the quality of your PDFs over those generated by OpenOffice.org's "Generic Printer".
    1. Quit OpenOffice.org and your X11 app, if they are running.
    2. Open Print Setup Utility (/Applications/Printer Setup Utility) and click "Add" to set up a new printer.
      1. Choose "IP Printing" from the drop-down list.
      2. Choose "Internet Printing Protocol" as the Printer Type.
      3. Enter localhost as the Printer Address; leave the Queue Name blank.
      4. For Printer Model, select a recent HP LaserJet, like the LaserJet 4050 Series.
  3. Launch OpenOffice.org and open the Print dialogue; verify that your printer, or <localhost> if you added a dummy printer, is listed among the printer choices. (OpenOffice.org 1.1.2 should see these printers automatically.)

[edit] Configuring extendedPDF

You can set up extendedPDF according to Marc Liyanage’s instructions, with the following changes:

  1. Configuration pane:
    1. For the printer name, insert the name of your default printer, or the "dummy" printer you created in step 2.2.3 above, as it appears in the OpenOffice.org print dialog box, i.e., <hp_LaserJet_1300> or <localhost>. The brackets are required.
    2. For the path to GhostScript, enter the path to your copy of Marc Liyanage’s Acrobat Distiller helper script (e.g., /Users/macuser/bin/ooo_pdf_helper.pl) if you use Distiller; if you will be using GhostScript, leave the setting as gs.
      • If you use Acrobat Distiller, be sure the name in Marc's script matches the name of the Distiller app on your Mac—without the .app extension, e.g., Acrobat Distiller 6.0.3.

[edit] Invoking the extendedPDF macro on a document

Once you have set up the other extendedPDF options to suit your needs and have created a properly styled document, you are ready to invoke the macro. At this point, there are no special steps required for using extendedPDF with OpenOffice.org/X11.

extendedPDF and Distiller or GhostScript now do their magic and the PDF is saved in the location you specified, if any, in the "Output folder" field of extendedPDF’s File Settings pane.

[edit] Known Issues

  • The quality of PDFs produced via OpenOffice.org does not match the quality of PDFs produced by applications using Mac OS X’s native PDF generation (like NeoOffice/J). If you do not need to use GhostScript to create the final PDF, your PDFs will be of much higher quality if you use NeoOffice/J instead.
  • There are reports that link boxes are poorly-rendered and mis-aligned.

[edit] Further Reference

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