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Monday, August 31, 2009

Open Office needs document themes

I just spent a few minutes looking over the latest pile of poop included with opensuse 11.2 M6. My goodness, this is a poorly thought out user interface design. The application I am talking about particularly is writer.

So I want to make a nice looking document with a decent title page and some nicely coloured headings all laid out with matching font choices. I do not want to spend more than a minute or two thinking about these things either. Please just make this the default. I have to say I deeply prefer using the latest microsoft office compared to openoffice. Document themes is a brilliant feature of office 2007 and it takes away the vast majority of mucking around that I have done with open office.

To make a document in open office look pretty this the primary styles dialogue that you are given to work with:

Like seriously, what the hell is this. What the hell am I supposed to do here? Why am I shown this window, I can't do a freaking thing with it?

So I double click on the the first thing that jumps at me in the list, nothing happens... hmmm ok, so I right click on it and I am presented with a deeply useful menu saying two things

  • new...

  • modify...

I can figure out the "modify..." item, it probably modifies what ever the default is, but what the hell does new... mean? Why are there trailing dots? If I click new... does it make a new default?

Anyways, I don't want new things, I just want a pretty document, so I click modify with the hopes of encountering a switch somewhere which says enable pretty document. No such luck. I am presented with a second almost utterly useless window.

Now seriously, what the hell am I looking at here? Look at all those damn tabs up there!

Moral of the story is I really don't like to use open office, it is effectively a poor clone of an older microsoft office in the ui realm. Am I a microsoft guy? No. Have I hunted for things in their new ribbon layout thing? yes. Their office suite does what I need of it and makes an honest attempt to get out of my way.