[Solved] Finding and editing the default template(s)

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[Solved] Finding and editing the default template(s)

Postby Djehuty » Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:34 am

Greetings,

I would like to make some minor changes to the default Writer template (most importantly, I would like to change the margins from the inexplicable 0.79" to 1"). I have tried following the instructions I've found online. I've created a new template, saved it, and used the Organize Templates dialog to set it as the default. Unfortunately, this only lasts until I restart my computer. After a reboot, if I right-click on the OpenOffice quickstarter and choose Text Document, I get the same old default template with the 0.79" margins.

How can I find the template actually being used as the default by the quickstarter, and change that?

EDIT: I've marked this "solved," but it really solved itself.
Last edited by Djehuty on Thu Aug 20, 2009 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Finding and editing the default template(s)

Postby Hagar Delest » Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:56 am

See [Tutorial] The OOo user profile.

If you open OOo and hit the New text document button, do you get the same problem?
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Re: Finding and editing the default template(s)

Postby Djehuty » Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:25 pm

Yes, I do. Is there any cure for it?

I just tried resetting my profile, as that tutorial suggested, and it didn't help.

Where is the template Writer is using as its default-default stored? Some searching has led me to believe that it should be C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Templates\soffice.odt, but editing that didn't work, either.
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Re: Finding and editing the default template(s)

Postby acknak » Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:37 pm

It doesn't pay to bend over backward to work around something that's supposed to work. It's better to fix the actual problem than to compensate for it. If you create a fresh profile and configure a custom default template correctly, it really should work. If that's not working correctly, the most likely explanation is that you missed a step somewhere--the process is not as easy as it might be.

What do you see when you go back to the File > Templates > Organize window? Is your custom template still in the list there? Is it still set as the default?

You can see what the default template is if you use File > New > Text Document, then File > Properties > General; at the bottom there, it shows what template was used in creating the new document.

If that all looks fine, use File > Templates > Organize > Command > Edit to edit the template and check the margin settings--maybe the changes didn't get saved properly somehow.

If that all looks right, set the default template again, check it by creating a new document, then exit OOo completely--including the quickstarter in the system tray--then restart.

I would do all that starting with a fresh profile, just to be sure, but that may not be necessary.

The path that you mentioned, under "Documents and Settings", is (I believe) the template that's used when you create a new document from the Windows desktop or file manager. It is not used when you create a document from within OOo by File > New > ...
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Re: Finding and editing the default template(s)

Postby aukejan » Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:39 pm

0.79 inches equals 2 centimeters. Don't know where it comes from, but my OOo version also has margins of 2 centimeters. If you want another template, you can always create one and make it the default template by following the instructions in viewtopic.php?f=71&t=1161 .
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Re: Finding and editing the default template(s)

Postby TheRealOrion » Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:40 pm

The sequence is a little tricky at first, but if you work at it it becomes pretty familiar. Go to:

File -> Templates -> Edit

From there, pick your default template: "Normal.ott"

Make changes directly to that file, and then save it.

It's that easy.
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Re: Finding and editing the default template(s)

Postby pingju » Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:57 am

TheRealOrion wrote:The sequence is a little tricky at first, but if you work at it it becomes pretty familiar. Go to:

File -> Templates -> Edit

From there, pick your default template: "Normal.ott"

Make changes directly to that file, and then save it.

It's that easy.

I do not have a file called "Normal.ott" in the folder of Template. Actually I did not find it on my disk. XP SP3 EN OOo 3.1.
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Re: Finding and editing the default template(s)

Postby Hagar Delest » Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:41 am

It can be any other name but with the .ott extension. "Normal.ott" is just an example (like Normal.dot for MS Word).
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Re: Finding and editing the default template(s)

Postby pingju » Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:47 pm

In the Template folder, such as /OpenOffice.org/3/user/template, there is not any *.ott file.

However, I have lot of *.ott files on the disk, I think I would not touch any of them before I know which is the default template file I want to modify. Then the file name is significant. I was aware of that it is Normal.dot for MS Word. But any one can tell me what is the file name of default template for OOo?

I am not the person who first raised this question. But I am interest in knowing the solution.
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Re: Finding and editing the default template(s)

Postby acknak » Tue Aug 18, 2009 3:05 pm

As I understand the situation, the installed default template is only relevant if you are installing OOo to be shared by a number of people and everyone needs to get the same customized template. If you are the only person using OOo on the computer, or if you are the only one who needs the customized settings, then the regular instructions for making a default template are most appropriate.

For shared installation templates, see the OOo Administration Guide: http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Documentation/Administration_Guide
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Re: Finding and editing the default template(s)

Postby TheRealOrion » Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:13 pm

The default template file is "Normal.ott". To create new templates, you have to create new ".ott" files. To alter your default, you need to edit "Normal.ott", but you must go through the Template submenu in "File." If you try to do it manually you confuse Writer. If you don't have a "Normal.ott" file then... well I'm just flummoxed. Perhaps you should reinstall Open Office? I don't know. Maybe Vista keeps them somewhere else. What ".ott" files do you have and where are they?
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Re: Finding and editing the default template(s)

Postby Hagar Delest » Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:01 pm

TheRealOrion wrote:The default template file is "Normal.ott".

No. OOo doesn't install any template by default. For a new installation, the template directory is empty. Any template added here is added by the user (through the File>Templates dialog) and he can call it whatever he wants (my default template has a specific name).

In addition to the information given above, see:
- [Tutorial] Creating a new default template
- [Tutorial] The OOo user profile
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Re: Finding and editing the default template(s)

Postby Djehuty » Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:53 pm

When I check the document properties, there is no template listed. "Template: " That's all.

My template is not retained as the default template.

I have no "Normal.ott," nor do I have any other OpenOffice-installed default template. The only one I could find, soffice.odt, has no effect on anything as far as I can tell.

Is there anything at all that I can do to make a custom default template work?
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Re: Finding and editing the default template(s)

Postby Hagar Delest » Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:29 am

Djehuty wrote:I have no "Normal.ott," nor do I have any other OpenOffice-installed default template. The only one I could find, soffice.odt, has no effect on anything as far as I can tell.

soffice.odt is not a template. It's used for new documents created from right click in the Windows Explorer.

Do you confirm that you've saved a template (as xxx.ott) with the File>Templates>Save dialog then set it as default with the Organize dialog? Then you should see it in your user profile.
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Re: Finding and editing the default template(s)

Postby Djehuty » Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:58 am

I saved a template as you say, and marked it as the default, but that setting is not retained. I wind up with no default template, and with new documents created without a template.
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Re: Finding and editing the default template(s)

Postby Hagar Delest » Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:59 am

Any security application that could prevent OOo from writing the new configuration file? You don't have to restart OOo (or the quickstarter) so it must be something in the user profile.
:shock:
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Re: Finding and editing the default template(s)

Postby Djehuty » Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:25 pm

I'm not aware of anything that could be preventing this. I use Eset NOD32 Anti-virus, but it has never registered any sort of alert for OpenOffice. Also, I do have to restart OpenOffice for the default template to lose its status. That's when it happens -- until I restart, everything is fine.
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Re: Finding and editing the default template(s)

Postby pingju » Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:57 pm

To me, there is not a solution, as least no simple solution as that of MS Office: modify Normal.dot & done.
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Re: Finding and editing the default template(s)

Postby Hagar Delest » Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:05 pm

When you change the template, you should get its reference in the Application Data/OpenOffice.org/3/user/registry/data/org/openoffice/Setup.xcu file. Here my template is "Texte.ott":
Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
<prop oor:name="ooSetupFactoryTemplateFile" oor:type="xs:string">
   <value>$(user)/template/Texte.ott</value>
</prop>

Look at the time stamp of that Setup.xcu file. Now restart OOo and check again that file and its time stamp. What are the changes?
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Re: Finding and editing the default template(s)

Postby Djehuty » Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:43 pm

I don't have that line in the Setup.xcu file. The closest I have is this:
Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
  <node oor:name="Factories">
   <node oor:name="com.sun.star.text.TextDocument">
    <prop oor:name="ooSetupFactoryWindowAttributes" oor:type="xs:string">
     <value>202,221,1252,722;4;0,0,0,0;</value>
    </prop>
   </node>
   <node oor:name="com.sun.star.frame.StartModule">
    <prop oor:name="ooSetupFactoryWindowAttributes" oor:type="xs:string">
     <value>70,89,1252,722;4;0,0,0,0;</value>
    </prop>
   </node>


Should I try adding that line, or would that be likely to cause irreparable harm?
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Re: Finding and editing the default template(s)

Postby Hagar Delest » Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:01 pm

Really strange. In this case, how OOo can know what template has to be used? It may be stored somewhere in the volatile memory of OOo and written when it's closed (hence the immediate change without the restart needed).

Here is the beginning of the factories node:
Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
<node oor:name="Factories">
  <node oor:name="com.sun.star.frame.StartModule">
    <prop oor:name="ooSetupFactoryWindowAttributes" oor:type="xs:string">
      <value>136,155,952,533;4;0,0,0,0;</value>
    </prop>
  </node>
  <node oor:name="com.sun.star.text.TextDocument">
    <prop oor:name="ooSetupFactoryWindowAttributes" oor:type="xs:string">
      <value>4,23,952,533;4;0,0,0,0;</value>
    </prop>
    <prop oor:name="ooSetupFactoryTemplateFile" oor:type="xs:string">
     <value>$(user)/template/Texte.ott</value>
    </prop>
    <prop oor:name="ooSetupFactoryStyleFilter" oor:type="xs:int">
      <value>3</value>
    </prop>
  </node>

Make a copy of your setup.xcu file to have a backup and try to add the line about the template (use your template name of course).
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Re: Finding and editing the default template(s)

Postby aukejan » Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:37 pm

I don't have a Normal.ott or something similar either, nor do I have the line you described in setup.xcu. I do have a fresh install from Sun's OOo 3.1. I did find an html.stw in /opt/openoffice.org/basis3.1/share/template/en-US/internal/, but that file doesn't contain all the styles I get with a new, regular (non-HTML) document. The default template file cannot be in my profile folders either, because when I create a new user, that user cannot be affected by the mess I may have created in my profile.

The default style definitions must be stored somewhere else. Hagar, have you created your template (Texte.ott) yourself or did it come with your OOo software?
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Re: Finding and editing the default template(s)

Postby Hagar Delest » Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:34 am

aukejan wrote:I don't have a Normal.ott or something similar either, nor do I have the line you described in setup.xcu. I do have a fresh install from Sun's OOo 3.1. [...]

The default style definitions must be stored somewhere else. Hagar, have you created your template (Texte.ott) yourself or did it come with your OOo software?

Of course I've created my template, see above:
Hagar de l'Est wrote:OOo doesn't install any template by default. For a new installation, the template directory is empty. Any template added here is added by the user (through the File>Templates dialog) and he can call it whatever he wants (my default template has a specific name).

The default template by default must be coded somewhere, taking into account the changes made in the Tools>Options settings.

Just forget about the Normal.ott file, this is just a user who has used that name for his template, this is not part of any OOo install.
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Re: Finding and editing the default template(s)

Postby Djehuty » Thu Aug 20, 2009 12:53 pm

Now this is strange, to say the least.

After my last post, I was away from the computer for a while. When I returned, the Setup.xcu file had been modified. It still didn't list the default template, but when I created a new Writer document, it showed up as I wanted, based on my template! I restarted OpenOffice, and it was still working. I rebooted the computer, and still it worked. Just in case it was some bizarre fluke, I decided to wait until this morning and check again -- and it still works!

I didn't do anything or change anything. As far as I know, all I did was look at that Setup.xcu file. I made no changes, and didn't save it when I exited the text editor. Yet somehow, that was enough.

Sometimes, computers worry me....
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Re: Finding and editing the default template(s)

Postby pingju » Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:24 pm

Djehuty wrote:When I returned, the Setup.xcu file had been modified.

An angel is around you. :)

Seems that to modify the Setup.xcu is the trick.
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Re: [Solved] Finding and editing the default template(s)

Postby Hagar Delest » Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:29 pm

Perhaps there were wrong permissions on that file and they have been reset when you've opened it. Really strange.
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Re: [Solved] Finding and editing the default template(s)

Postby Djehuty » Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:59 pm

Pingju, the only problem with that scenario is that I didn't modify the file. I opened it, looked it over, and closed it. Hagar, you may be right -- I checked, and didn't see any odd properties (like read only), but who knows what Windows is really thinking?

Thanks, everyone, for all the help! :)
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