16 March 2007

Productive Day - and Productivity Software

Today was supposed to be my day off, but I spent a good deal of it working. I was inspired to work quite a bit by playing around with some new productivity software: Open Office 2.1 for Mac. My goodness! What a deal! It's free, and coolest of all? It does brochures. Pastor Heath Curtis first told me about it on Wednesday. I was lamenting that it seems one HAD to use Publisher to make brochures, and he told us: "Not any more. Open Office does it too."

Ah, but would it work on the Mac and my printer? Turns out the answer is YES. Pr. Curtis was kind enough to send me a bulletin from his church and I just saved it as a template setting, and voila! When I want to print a brochure and have all the pages come out where they need to be for printing up mass copies, I just use his template, and under the print menu select "options" and then click brochure, close that dialog box and print. THAT easy! Too cool.

Oh, and it is FASTER than MS Office - at least on my little iBook. MS Office often gives me the spinning beach ball as the program tries to decide what to do next, but so far, once Open Office is open, it just does what I tell it to do. Like right away. How cool is that?

I threw tons of things at it, and it all worked and worked well. The only downside for me is booting into X11, but that's relatively painless and then off we go. I think I agree with Pr. Curtis. Time to say "goodbye" to MS Office for Mac!


Sam said...

Thanks for this update Pastor Weedon. Unless MS does something to impress me with the new version of Office for Mac coming out.... I'm gone.

Chaz said...

I've been using OpenOffice for two years, but didn't know you could do brochures.

How'd you do it?

William Weedon said...

First, you have to create template with page size: 8.5 X 13. Set the margins for : .79, .79, .35, .20.

Use a type size of about Times New Roman 18 or 20.

Then when you go to print, under the first dialog box, select options. Then click brochure. Close the dialog box and print. Voila!

Sam said...

Pastor Weedon,
How does booting into X11 work? I've never worked with X11.


William Weedon said...


It's on Install Disk Three - just look for Optional Installs and then look for X-11. I think if you google it you can also find some info on how to install. But it's really pretty simple.

John Schuetz said...

I use OpenOffice on Windows, and enjoy it very much (I get frustrated with Word when I need to help the church secretary with it). Brochure printing is the cat's pajamas for doing bulletins. You really don't even need to scale; just set your paper size for half of the sheet (e.g. 8x5.5 for a 11x8.5 sheet of paper folded in half) set the margins just as you want them, and keep the font the same size as you want it printed out. Print it out in landscape, and everything works out fine. It takes a little more fussing if you're doing a 6-page bulletin (a full sheet and a half-sheet) but it's still not hard. It's free and it works great!

Yours In Christ,

John Schuetz said...


Of course, you still need to select the "Brochure" button on the "Options" dialog.


William Weedon said...


Thanks for the tips! They worked, of course. It just gets better and better. Yup, I DEFINITELY think it is "adios Microsoft!"

Rev. Christopher M. Fincher said...

And-- dare I say it? Cross-platform. Those of us who feel compelled to stay with M$ for love of BibleWorks can eventually haul our data over to Linux or Mac without messy conversions. What a beautiful idea.