Thursday, 25 February 2010

OpenOffice Keyboard Shortcuts

Writer, the word processor in, uses many of the same keyboard shortcuts as MS Word. The shortcuts for selecting, editing and formatting text follow established standards. Whereas Writer has a keyboard shortcut for 'Paste special' (Ctrl + Shift + V) - something missing in Word - it does not have one for changing the case of selected text. It is possible to set up new shortcuts in Writer, and I will show you how to set up one to make the selected text upper-case and another to make it lower-case.

In Writer pull down the 'Tools' menu and click 'Customise'.

Select the 'Keyboard' tab, as shown below.

You can see all the default keyboard shortcuts, and some spare key combinations.

I have chosen Ctrl + Shift + U to make selected text upper case, and Ctrl + Shift + L to make it lower case.

Find Ctrl + Shift + U in the 'Shortcut keys' list. Select 'Format' from the 'Category' list, and then 'Uppercase' from the 'Function' list. Click the 'Modify' button to make the change.

Repeat the process selecting Ctrl + Shift + L, the 'Format' category, and the 'Lowercase' function, not forgetting to click the 'Modify' and then the 'OK' buttons when you are done.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Open new tabs on the right in Firefox 3.6

Mozilla have changed the way that new tabs operate in Firefox 3.6. When opening a new tab from a link on a web-page, the new version of Firefox will place it to the right of the current tab, rather than at the far right of the list as it did in previous versions.

To revert to the old functionality type about:config in the address bar and then click the "I'll be careful, I promise!" button if it appears.

In the filter type tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent and then right-click on the entry and click "Toggle".

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Linux Applications: Part 3 - Web Browsers

There are many different web browsers available for Linux. These include Firefox and Opera, but not Safari nor Internet Explorer; however, a Linux version of Chromium (the open-source browser on which Google Chrome is based) is in the pipeline. A number of less well-known browsers are also available for Linux. In this post I will list a few of these.

This is the web browser for the Gnome desktop environment. It uses the WebKit layout engine, as used in Safari.

This browser specialises in social networking facilities and is based on Mozilla Firefox.

This browser also doubles up as the file manager of the K Desktop Environment (KDE). It uses the KHTML layout engine from which WebKit was developed.

This lightweight web browser also uses the WebKit engine. It is now part of the XFCE desktop environment project.

Like Flock, this is based on Firefox and is my browser of choice. It is a lightweight browser optimised for various processors that supports Firefox extensions and plug-ins.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Linux applications: Part 2 - Music Players

In response to my last post listing Linux applications, I received a couple of comments asking whether there are any applications like iTunes for Linux. There are a number of applications that offer many of the features of Apple's music player. Here are a few of the most popular of them.

They all include roughly the same set of features such as support for audio file types and digital audio players, including the iPods. They retrieve album, submit played track information to, and supports podcasts. With such software, look and feel are all important, so I have included screenshots and links to the homepages of each. Since they are all free why not audition them all and find the one that best suits your requirements.

Personally, I prefer a more svelte audio player like Winamp. Since there is no native Linux version of that, I use Audacious, which supports some Winamp skins. That is probably just as well because the default skins are not great.

More Linux applications soon.