Converting OpenOffice documents using command line 2.0 splash screenNow that 2 is getting more and more popular, people is starting to migrate and to write documents in ODT format. However, for people who still aren’t able to install OO2 on their machines (outdated distros, outdated hardware or whatever) it’s a pain to receive such documents by email.

It would be nice to have a tool that allows command line document conversion. So, a company can have that tool installed on a centralized host and the users would ssh into it in order to convert documents. to old formats or even to PDF.

Browsing the web, I have found an article telling exactly how to do that. I’ve tried the instructions and all worked fine.

I went beyond and move the macros to a common place (/opt/openoffice.org2.0/presets/basic/ConvertidorPDF), so they can be used by all users without the need to install them in every account. You may need to edit some script.xlb files to make it work, just have a look about how it has been done for the other macros and macro libraries.

In addition to that, I wrote a script and put it in /usr/local/bin, so all users can now convert documents to the format they like without the need to launch any window.

I stopped here, but I’ve great ideas in mind: create a kind of CGI, maybe in PHP, and publish a webpage in our intranet, so everyone could go there, submit his or her document, and receive a PDF or an older format.

2 thoughts on “Converting OpenOffice documents using command line”

  1. Hello I am writing to you from Toronto, Canada. I have had something similar in mind (converting openOffice files programatically) but simply do not have the necessary information. Would you be so kind as to point me in the right direction? I see your reference to /opt/openoffice.org2.0/presets/basic/ConvertidorPDF but I’m not sure how access it. Is there a link?

    Thank you kindly,


  2. I wrote this post so much time ago that I can’t remember exactly what I did, sorry. 🙁

    I’ve just tried to reproduce my own instructions in my current OpenOffice 2.4.1 installation (Ubuntu Hardy) and I could create the macros but couldn’t make them available for all the users of the computer as I stated in the post, just for me, as already said in the “article telling exactly how to do that” (see the link in the post).

    I recommend you to have a look at the two pages of the article, because it explains clearly all the steps.

    Again, I’m really sorry for not being able to help you more.

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