Automating tasks in OpenOffice
You don't have to be an expert to get started with OpenOffice's Basic programming interface.
OpenOffice.org comes with its own Basic-based programming language. Although OOo Basic is not the most difficult programming language, it still requires some time and effort, especially if you are not a programmer. However, reading documentation and fiddling with code might not be necessary if you only need to automate a specific task now and then. In this article, I will provide a few pointers and code snippets, so you can put OOo Basic to some practical use without learning the language from scratch.
Launching External Apps
The ability to launch external applications and pass data to them is one of the most useful features of OpenOffice.org. Using the Shell command, you can launch virtually any application installed on your machine. The command has the following format: Shell (Path, Windowstyle, Parameter). Path defines the path of the program. Windowstyle defines the window in which the program is started, and Parameter specifies the command-line parameter. For example, the Shell statement below opens the http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn URL in the Firefox browser and brings it to the foreground:
Shell ("firefox", 1, "http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn")
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