DocBook from OpenOffice documents

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OpenOffice.org 1.9 (supplied with Fedora Core 4) and above supports exporting to DocBook, the file format used by the DocsProject for master copies of all Project documents.

If you're using Fedora Core 4, and you have the openoffice.org-javafilter package installed, you will find that you can write the body of your document with Writer, the OpenOffice.org word processor, and save a copy as a DocBook file after you're finished.

Since almost everyone has access to OpenOffice.org, this makes early collaboration very easy, just by emailing drafts back and forth.

Once you're happy with a draft, you can use the OpenOffice.org DocBook XML filters to save the document.

Important.png
Avoid converting a document until you're really ready to switch to DocBook for future work; the filters for importing XML to OpenOffice.org's OpenDocument format are really not that good yet.


Installing DocBook Support

The standard Desktop and Workstation installations of Fedora include OpenOffice.org by default.

To install the additional openoffice.org-javafilter package:

su -c 'yum install openoffice.org-javafilter'

Enter the root password at the prompt.

~-Note from PatrickBarnes: Do we need openoffice.org-xsltfilter to be installed, too?-~ ~-Reply from PaulWFrields : Yes, but this is a required piece of the "Office/Productivity" group, and installed by default with OO.o in Fedora. Do you think we need to mention it?-~

Writing the Document

Now, write, import or edit your document in Writer as normal.

BIG TIP: Use the Stylist to select styles for your headings. When you select Heading 1, you open a first-level section. After you type the heading title, just hit Enter, and the style changes automatically to make the following paragraphs part of that DocBook section (<sect1>). If you select Heading 2, and type a title, the following paragraphs are part of that DocBook second-level section (<sect2>).

Although DocsProject authors use <section> tags for marking document sections rather than the <sectN> tags that OpenOffice.org produces, that's very easy to fix later.

The main point of doing this is that it makes writing easier for you, and should make the DocBook conversion relatively easy for other contributors when it's time to add the document to the Project CVS.


Saving and Exporting the Document

When you're finished:

1. Select File -> Save As... and choose the "File Type" option 1. Select DocBook from the list 1. Give a name to your file.

If you have Automatic file extension selected, Writer adds the .xml extension to the file name.