Creating full-featured PDFs in OpenOffice

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The PDF format has many useful features that make it easier for readers to find their way around large documents, but the native PDF export function in OpenOffice doesn’t allow many of these elements. We’ll show you how to create better PDFs in OpenOffice with the ExtendedPDF macro.

Today’s PDF files not only include text and images, but also features such as links, bookmarks, and author’s notes that will not appear in the printed version. These goodies are not intended for printing, but they do improve the user experience for someone who is viewing the file on screen with Xpdf, Kpdf, or Acrobat Reader. Unfortunately, the native PDF export function in OpenOffice [1] is very simple and does not include some of these advanced PDF features. OpenOffice 2.0 will provided enhanced PDF export features ([2] and Box 1), but in the meantime, if you want to create more user-friendly PDFs in OpenOffice 1.1, you can use an OpenOffice extension

called ExtendedPDF [3]. ExtendedPDF is implemented as a macro. The Open edition of ExtendedPDF is released under the GPL. The commercial “Professional” and “Universal” versions cost GPB 20 each and add copy protection (PDF refers to this as “Document Security”), email support by the manufacturer, and a simpler installation procedure, but the free Open edition has everything you need to create attractive PDF output.

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