Tweaking OpenOffice for NZ English

November 18th, 2009

Last month I bought an HP Mini 5101 netbook computer, and was particularly pleased because I managed to buy it without Windows. It came running SUSE Linux Enterprise Edition (SLED), which I used for the first month while I was waiting for the next release of Ubunutu: Karmic Koala, in particular the Netbook Remix. There was nothing particularly wrong with SLED, but it was a bit too ‘corporate’ in look and feel for me. I also wanted to have the sense of ‘ownership’ that comes from choosing (and installing) my own operating system.

Last week I installed UNR 9.10, and so far I’ve been happy with it. Overall the installation process was fast and smooth, with just one annoyance. I needed to install a proprietary driver for the wireless card, and that didn’t go quite as smoothly as it should have. Fortunately someone else has already documented what to do on the Pass the Source blog: Koala Bites Man (thanks, John).

Most of the time I’ve been writing plain text using gedit (it’s easy to use, came as part of the basic installation, and I’m lazy), but yesterday I decided to try OpenOffice Writer. The first thing I discovered was that the spell checking didn’t work—I’m not sure if I missed a step in the installation process because it was new to me, or if it happens to everyone. This post documents how I fixed it.

The first thing I did was install a New Zealand dictionary. This involved:

  1. using the Extension Manager to download the file (via Tools -> Extension Manager -> Get more extensions online -> Dictionaries),
  2. choosing the New Zealand dictionary and downloading it,
  3. activating the dictionary in the Extensions manager, and finally,
  4. setting the locale to New Zealand (via Tools -> Options -> Language settings -> Languages).

I’m not completely sure if the last step is necessary, but everything is working now, and I’m happy.

Entry Filed under: Free/open source


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