OpenOffice.org documents within Firefox

OpenOffice.org logoIf you are running OpenOffice.org and Firefox at the same time you can view OpenDocument and other OpenOffice.org supported file formats using the provided Mozilla plug-in.

First you need to activate the plugin. To do so, in OpenOffice.org, select Options… in the Tools menu. Expand the Internet item, select Mozilla Plug-in and check Enable.

OpenOffice.org activate Mozilla plug-in

You’re ready. OpenOffice.org will now register the document extensions it can handle and Firefox will use the plugin to display them, as shown in the screenshot below.

Along with the content, you can perform basic operations like save the document in any of OpenOffice.org supported formats including Microsoft Office and PDF, send it by email, open it in OpenOffice.org for full edit options, zoom it in or out, print or navigate it.

OpenOffice.org activate Mozilla plug-in

31 thoughts on “OpenOffice.org documents within Firefox”

  1. What is the point of doing this? Why not just view the document in a new OO window?
    I do not see why people want to see everything in their browser, especially as the browser will crash if the plugin crashes.

  2. Options in the Tools menu? Say what? Last I knew (by looking at my browser), Firefox runs on Linux. Those instructions show a lack of acknowledgment that a fair number of your users and supporters use Linux. It’s a small issue really, but it bugs me… a lot.

  3. Richard, I appreciate your comments and will take them in consideration for future articles. Note however a couple of things: my main OS is Windows XP so it is what is the easiest to me to describe. Coincidentally it’s the same OS the majority of Firefox users run it on. So it takes me more time to check where exactly something is or looks in an Ubuntu VM for helping a small part of users which are at the same time, in average, more knowledgeable.

    There are however some small differences I know that would cost very little to include, like the one you mention, that I will try to include.

  4. Will this work in Seamonkey and other Mozilla-related tools? And is there some kind of safety to it to keep auto-running macros and such – the kind of thing that got us into such deep do-do on Microsoft?

  5. Richard, Percy, I started OO v2.2 on Ubuntu and to my surprise there really is a Tools | Options menu option. It’s not Edit | Preferences as you might expect.

  6. “What is the point of doing this? Why not just view the document in a new OO window?”

    Because when you encounter such a link, you already have a window open: your browser window. Some people like not having to leave their browser, and instead they can take a peak at the document or even read it in full.

  7. In response to Richard Chapman, who wrote “Options in the Tools menu? Say what? … Those instructions show a lack of acknowledgment that a fair number of your users and supporters use Linux.”
    The option described is in exactly the same place on my copy of OOo on Ubuntu. The only difference (irrelevant in this context) is that on Linux, there is a fourth choice (E-mail) on the Internet menu on the left-hand side of the dialog.

  8. Follow-up to my previous comment: It’s possible that the versions of OOo that are shipped with various Linux distros don’t have all the same options in the same places. I use a copy of OOo downloaded from the OOo website, not the one that ships with Ubuntu.

  9. “Options in the Tools menu? Say what? Last I knew (by looking at my browser), Firefox runs on Linux.”

    Actually, in my version of OpenOffice.org (on openSUSE), Options is in the Tools menu. Of course, it may have been changed (since this is Novell’s version of OpenOffice.org, slightly different from Sun).

  10. My fault. I thought the Tools/Options thing was about Firefox which in Linux is Edit/Preferences (which is mentioned nowhere in the article).

    I know even less about OOo on Linux. Thanks to all for the clarification.

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  12. Ughhhh… How do I turn this off? I want OO to open in an OO window, not in a seamonkey window… I’m running Fedora9, Seamonkey 1.1.9, and OpenOffice 2.4.1. I hate having my open office documents open in a limited functionality seamonkey window, I’ve unchecked the internet option box in OpenOffice to no avail.

  13. I want to register my OpenOffice 3.0, but the Registration link in the Help menu opens with Internet Explorer, which, in my personal case, is still 6.0, and won’t open correctly. (And I cannot upgrade it to 7.0 because I installed SP3 before). How can I manage to register it with Mozilla Firefox 3.0? Thank you in advance for your guidance.

  14. I am running FF3.0 & OOo 3.0 on Kubuntu 8.4.1. I tried it and the enable does stick. I launched OOo as root but still does not run. I will investigate it when I go home. If anyone has more ideas to resolve this issue I appreciate very much.

    Thanks,

  15. How do I make the plug-in work? I enabled it in OOo, closed and restarted it, checked plug-ins in Firefox and saw that the plug-in is enabled, but when I click a .doc link, it still asks me if I want to open in OOo Writer or Save to disk. I even tried restarting Firefox and it still doesn’t open the document in a browser tab or window.

  16. I’m trying to send a PDF using OO. Outlook Express keeps coming up as the pdf sender. I now have a queue of 12 pdf files and it keeps resending them every time I try to send a new file. I’d rather use gmail anyway but I don’t know how to set it as my default. I downloaded the mozilla plugin for OO. I also don’t know how to get into Outlook Express and clear my queue.
    Help.
    Sarah

    1. Have you tried modifying your default mail client in open office? Try Tools, options, Internet, Email. Change your email program from the default to the mail client you want to use.

  17. This is a nice feature, but unfortunately, edited documents cannot be saved under the same filename they were opened with, regardless of the file’s permissions. I typically get an error stating that the object has already been opened for editing. Does anyone know how to get around this?

  18. How can I get Mozilla to ask what to do with an Open Office document. Without the plugin it does nothing and with opens it in a tab. I would like it to ask me if I want to open it in another tab or in the native software for editing and in Mozilla for reading.
    Many thanks

  19. I do not see this as useful as having a “edit with OpenOffice” in the Firefox File menu, as IE enables. That is what i would like to see, as then you can edit you own web pages therein. Pray and press.

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