Writer's Tools


Warning message

This extension was not updated recently. It might not work with latest versions of OpenOffice.

Primary tabs

Dmitri Popov

Average: 3.9 (31 votes)

backup, extension, writer, extension, writing, extension, references, extension, tasks, extension, notes, extension, freelancer, extension, research, extension
Source code:
Post date:
Monday, 10 September, 2007 - 10:48
Week: Not tracked - Month: Not tracked - Year: Not tracked
Download extension
System Independent version - All releases
Compatible with OpenOffice 4: Unknown
User feedback:
Compatible with OpenOffice 4.x?

Writer's Tools is a set of utilities designed to help OpenOffice.org users perform a wide range of tasks. Using Writer's Tools, you can back up documents, look up and translate words and phrases, manage text snippets, and keep tabs on document statistics.

Writer's Tools includes the following utilities:

  • Lookup Tool lets you look up the currently selected word in several online references, including Cambridge Dictionaries, WordNet, and Google Define.
  • Google Translate tool can help you to quickly translate selected text fragments between different languages using the Google Translate service.
  • Show on the Map tool allows you to select a city, a street name, or a post code and map it using Google Maps.
  • Email Backup tool can be used to quickly send a backup copy of the currently opened document to a specified email address.
  • Multi-format Backup tool saves the currently opened Writer document in the Word, RTF, and TXT formats. The backup files are stored in a zip archive with a date stamp.
  • Remote Backup allows you to quickly save a backup copy of the current document on an FTP server.
  • Amazon S3 Backup tool backs up the currently opened document to Amazon S3.
  • Start/Stop Timer tool can be used to keep tabs on the time spent on the currently opened document and save the time data (the document name, used time, and date) in the accompanying WriterDB database.
  • Text Markup formats the document using the DokuWiki markup.
  • Shorten Selected URL tool lets you shorten the currently selected URL using a link shortening service of your choice.
  • Bookmarks tool allows you to bookmark often-used documents, so you can access them with a few mouse clicks.
  • Add to Noteboook tool is designed to quickly add text snippets, links, and notes to the supplied database.
  • Database tool opens the WriterDB database, where you can use the available forms to manage notes and tasks.
  • Visual Word Count tool shows the current word count and lets you monitor your writing progress.
  • Tasks tool is a no-frills to-do manager that allows you to quickly add, view, and export tasks.

Writer's Tools

Version Operating system Compatibility Release date
1.9.1 System Independent -- 09/09/2010 - 11:00 More information Download
1.7.7 System Independent -- 06/08/2010 - 06:48 More information Download
1.7.5 System Independent -- 04/08/2010 - 16:47 More information Download
1.7.3 System Independent -- 05/04/2010 - 10:31 More information Download
1.5.9 System Independent -- 10/03/2010 - 10:25 More information Download
1.5.7 System Independent -- 01/12/2009 - 06:03 More information Download
1.5.5 System Independent -- 26/11/2009 - 06:08 More information Download
1.5.3 System Independent -- 02/08/2009 - 15:57 More information Download
1.5.1 System Independent -- 14/05/2009 - 16:23 More information Download
1.3.9 System Independent -- 19/04/2009 - 10:23 More information Download
1.3.7 System Independent -- 15/04/2009 - 06:33 More information Download
1.3.5 System Independent -- 06/04/2009 - 11:50 More information Download
1.3.3 System Independent -- 21/03/2009 - 12:42 More information Download
1.1.9 System Independent -- 25/01/2009 - 05:26 More information Download
1.1.7 System Independent -- 15/11/2008 - 07:51 More information Download
1.1.5 System Independent -- 02/09/2008 - 08:06 More information Download
1.1.3 System Independent -- 27/08/2008 - 11:43 More information Download
1.1.1 System Independent -- 24/08/2008 - 09:56 More information Download
1.1.0 System Independent -- 19/08/2008 - 20:24 More information Download
1.0.0 System Independent -- 03/08/2008 - 16:46 More information Download
0.9.47 System Independent -- 27/07/2008 - 07:43 More information Download
0.9.45 System Independent -- 11/07/2008 - 00:52 More information Download
0.9.43 System Independent -- 26/06/2008 - 09:58 More information Download
0.9.41 System Independent -- 09/05/2008 - 02:08 More information Download
0.9.39 System Independent -- 07/04/2008 - 15:35 More information Download
0.9.37 System Independent -- 07/04/2008 - 15:07 More information Download
0.9.35 System Independent -- 07/04/2008 - 13:15 More information Download
0.9.33 System Independent -- 07/04/2008 - 11:45 More information Download
0.9.31 System Independent -- 06/04/2008 - 18:22 More information Download
0.9.29 System Independent -- 06/04/2008 - 12:44 More information Download
0.9.27 System Independent -- 01/04/2008 - 09:07 More information Download
0.9.25 System Independent -- 19/03/2008 - 11:18 More information Download
0.9.23 System Independent -- 18/03/2008 - 18:34 More information Download
0.9.21 System Independent -- 18/03/2008 - 12:16 More information Download
0.9.19 System Independent -- 18/03/2008 - 11:17 More information Download
0.9.17 System Independent -- 18/03/2008 - 07:14 More information Download
0.9.15 System Independent -- 17/03/2008 - 11:50 More information Download
0.9.13 System Independent -- 15/03/2008 - 12:47 More information Download
0.9.11 System Independent -- 10/03/2008 - 19:18 More information Download
0.9.10 System Independent -- 08/03/2008 - 07:46 More information Download
0.9.9 System Independent -- 06/03/2008 - 05:54 More information Download
0.9.7 System Independent -- 27/02/2008 - 05:38 More information Download
0.9.6 System Independent -- 30/01/2008 - 07:04 More information Download
0.9.5 System Independent -- 11/12/2007 - 05:06 More information Download
0.9.3 System Independent -- 13/10/2007 - 06:47 More information Download
0.9.1 System Independent -- 10/10/2007 - 05:19 More information Download
0.9.0 System Independent -- 08/10/2007 - 04:55 More information Download
0.8.9 System Independent -- 04/10/2007 - 06:24 More information Download
0.8.8 System Independent -- 29/09/2007 - 09:30 More information Download
0.8.7 System Independent -- 25/09/2007 - 05:15 More information Download
System Independent -- 10/09/2007 - 10:52 More information Download


I attempted to join the Writer's Tools Google group to ask my question, but for some reason I am not given permission to join. Is there a way to save or back up an odt document automatically in Writer's Tools or another extension? So far I haven't been able to find anything. The computer freezes at times and the recovery feature of Open Office sometimes fails. I'm using Windows XP Pro in a very old laptop and I use a browser when working. I don't always have the computer functioning optimally, though I try. If there was an auto save feature, it would probably warn me if the save could not be done. Then maybe I could save manually before losing my work.

hi all
I have a problem for download ...please anybody explain it for me...after I have clicke on button "get it" it goes to the google page
Open source your projects using Google Project Hosting"
and in this page i couldn't access to my account in gmail
please help me...

I have version 3.9.3 installed in NeoOffice.
1) Where do I get a copy of this version to install in LibreOffice?
2) If it is not a true version, where would I have got it?
Al Maloney
Using OOo_Dev_DEV300 on Mac OS X 10.6.8
"Velox Versutus Vigilans"

I had just one small problem, and that was setting the path for the browser, but I took a couple minutes to look up the problem on the help page and I had it solved in a matter of seconds..Now I love the tool, thank you..

Amazing extensions like Language Tool or Anaphraseus makes Writer powerful text processor. This one is not worth time you spend to configure database connection options. Can't figure out how timing sessions works - you can start/end session but you can't get any "summary", I think something is broken... but I can't check it out or figure it out (is something broken or option is unavailable - dunno) because author charges for documentation... Are you kidding me Dimitri?

If you want simple and *WORKING* evidence of time spend on document editing get MapleXP, if you want something more then simple backup option / check something at browser option... well you won't find it at this "tools" anyway, me thinks...

If you would have bothered to read the supplied user guide or online documentation, you wouldn't have had any of these "problems." Yes, you don't have to buy the Writer's Tools manual, all the information you need is supplied with the extension -- for free. You only need to RTFM before you jump to conclusions.

This feature is exactly what i think a word count tool should look like. I wonder if there is a way to write while the word count is still visible. Because when i open the visual word count now i can not continue writing.

Thank you for this great tool


I agree, it would be great if we could edit the document while Visual Word Count is open. Maybe it can even be made into a toolbar, like the Word Count toolbar in Microsoft Word 2003. I'm currently trying to make the switch from Word 2003 to OpenOffice.org, but this is one feature I'm really starting to miss.

Thanks for considering! I'm hopeful this will be implemented in a future update.

Zip file wouldn't open in Open Office. Not a very savvy user here. any help will be appreciated and mentioned to Santa next July.

Unpack the .zip archive, then install the WriterTools.oxt extension. If you have any further questions, please post them in the Writer's Tools group.

Hey Dmitri, thanks for the extension. I appreciate all of the work you put into it. In turn, it has saved me work and added to my productivity. I don't know the first thing about writing code I'm just an end user. So, as a user my opinion is that Writer's Tools is a valuable addition to OpenOffice.Org Writer.


This is an excellent tool that has saved me many clicks!

Thank you for the hard work put into it.

The only suggestion I have is to make the interface larger. For some reason on my vista system the text on and in the interfaces is very small. Very close together also. My old eyes can barely make it out.

If there is a setting to change this, have not found it yet.


Thank you very much for taking your time to write this Extension!

This is a welcome addition, even though I have yet to use most of the features. And if I could offer more suggestions (and thinking of Firefox here), one would be adding small tabs on/below the toolbar for each opened document, rather than having to go to the Taskbar in Window to switch btwn many open documents. (I do use Alt+Tab).

In addition, while the Last Session extension is a blessing for good for saving sessions, what might also be helpful for people who have multitudes of documents they are working on is an option to manually save all open work (rather than doing so individually) when a shutdown is needed, and which could also help avoid Auto Recovery (which can lose data) having to kick in case of a crash or forced shutdown.

I thank God for OOo and good developers like yourself who improve this already good software.

I don't understand why you, the creator, would publish a manual for this free software and then charge money for the manual. It doesn't seem in the spirit of open source at all; I am disappointed.

Especially when, you ask for people's technical feedback on your own discussion page - then you make money from their freely contributed information by using it in your manual.

Why should anyone give you feedback about the software you've created when you won't even use that feedback to give back to the OOo community.
You have something really wrong with you.
'Kind regards'

Firstly, may I suggest that you read definition of open source and the terms of GPL? Here a hint for you: open source is not about giving everything for free, it's about sharing the source code.

Secondly, no one expects you to buy the manual. There is the WriterToolsUserGuide.html file supplied with the extension which covers all the basics. I spend hundreds of hours developing the extension, and I give it away free of charge. The basic documentation is free, too. I provide free support to the best of my abilities at the Writer's Tools group. In return I offer a manual for users who want to get the most out the extension at a fair price (most of which covers the printing costs). Yes, users provide feedback which I use to make extension better. Then I give the improved extension back -- still free of charge.

If you feel disappointed, here is an idea for you: grab the extension, write a better manual, and share it with the rest of use free of charge.

Kind regards,

I have had nothing but troubles with this extension and I really want this extention. I
have actually managed to fix some of the errors myself but I had no idea how to use this program so when it asked me for the browser I (brainlessly) typed in www.firefox.com and now I get errors when I even click on the 'look up tool'! and it takes me to the program to create macros, whereupon I get the message 'basic run time error'. And that is it. I have uninstalled and re-installed the extension three times with no luck. This is highlighted in the macro program. Shell(DefaultBrowser, 1, FinalURLString) AND this is what I get for 'show on map' Shell(DefaultBrowser, 1, )

I really like the look and idea of this extention can someone please help me. Step-by-step if possible. I am NOT computer illiterate but I sure feel that way with this program!

thank you

Generally, it's a good idea to read the supplied documentation before you start tweaking the extension. So reading the WriterToolUserGude.html file would have saved you all your time and troubles. Also, before you'd posted your question, you should have checked the FAQ section on the project's Web site (http://code.google.com/p/writertools/wiki/FAQ). The answer to the second question is what you need. Lastly, if you'd read carefully this page, you would have discovered that you should post you technical questions to a dedicated discussion group (http://groups.google.com/group/writertools/).

Kind regards,

wow, i feel stupid, but i cant figure out for the life of me how to set the email address for the email backup..... any help?

Please post your question at http://groups.google.com/group/writertools/ But before you do that, please read the WriterToolsUserGuide.html file that comes with the extension.

As a professional writer, I'm not sure how I ever lived without it.

I followed the instructions on page 5 of your Writer's Tools Manual, but received an error message from Extension Manager:

(com.sun.star.ucb.ContentCreationException) {{ Message = "No Content Provider available for given URL!", Context = (com.sun.star.uno.XInterface) @0 }, eError = (com.sun.star.ucb.ContentCreationError) NO_CONTENT_PROVIDER }

I look forward to hearing from you.

Ed Isenberg

Please post your question at http://groups.google.com/group/writertools/ Also, you need to provide more information such as: 1) What version of OpenOffice.org you are using, 2) What platform you are using (Linux, Windows, Mac), 3) Describe your exact steps that lead to the error message.

Kind regards,

Two questions:

1) Is there a way to set the timer to start automatically and then stop when a document sits idle for, say, 10 minutes?

2) Is there a way to integrate the timer function and miniInvoices so that if you are creating/working on a document, is possible to record the amount of time spent on the document and its cost?


1) Is there a way to set the timer to start automatically and then stop when a document sits idle for, say, 10 minutes?


2) Is there a way to integrate the timer function and miniInvoices so that if you are creating/working on a document, is possible to record the amount of time spent on the document and its cost?

I'm considering adding this feature sometime in the future.

Kind regards,

I was not able to open the default web browser with WritersTool.
It got resolved with dmpos's tip on the site below.
It says:
"_ _ _
Navigate to: C:\Documents and Settings\USER\Application
Data\OpenOffice.org\3\user (replace USER with your actual user name)
and delete the writertools folder. Next time you use Writer's Tools,
you'll be prompted to enter the path to a browser. On My Windows XP
machine, this path works fine:
C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe _ _ _"

Others may too benefit from this and save time hunting for solution.

Compliments to Dmitri Popov.
Dr. Ashok Koparday

I could not change "user" but removing the writer's tool file and entering the windows xp path did the trick! Thanks. Ambimom

I use the English version and I have problems using files with German Umlauts in their file name.


The tools that require the default browser to open did not work on my opensuse 10.3 systems. After following the instructions for mac users in the help file to change the default browser, I noticed that the link to the linux default browser in the Openoffice.org basic file was given as:

Global Const DefaultLinuxBrowser="/etc/alternatives/x-www-browser"

This is certainly the case on Ubuntu and Kubuntu, but does not apply to opensuse, as the x-www-browser link does not exist in /etc/alternatives, at least on my systems.

However, I found I could get it to work quite easily by replacing the above line with:

Global Const DefaultLinuxBrowser="firefox"

(or "opera" or "konqueror")

Perhaps this could be added to the help file as not everyone uses ubuntu!

Good idea! I'll add this to the manual. Thanks!

Kind regards,

As a professional writer i am really thankful for this great tool. Among lots of other features I like the easy email-backup feature very much. Thanks for this extremely usefull addon!

Do you think you could add an option, similar to the 'Email Backup' feature, but uploading to google docs, like http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/project/ooo2gd ?

There is a separate extension for that. Why reinvent the wheel?

hardwiring the path to Firefox is not such a good idea. Especially since not on every Windows version the program files are actually under C:\Program Files . Can't you pull the path to the default browser from the registry instead?

On my system (German) it's C:\Programme, so after installation, many of the writer's tools don't work, and it takes quite a while to find out how to fix it. Why not include a link to the solution in the error message??

All the best,


This problem has been fixed in Writer's Tools version 0.9.31.

Kind regards,

I have a doubt with minInvoices. It doesn't install normaly so it must be either have a different installer procedure which I ignore or must be placed into some folder inside openoffice.org
Can somebody please help me with this issue?

Thank You!

miniInvoices is just a plain OpenOffice.org Base file, so you don't have to install it. Just double-click on it to open the database, and that's it.

Thanks for this wonderful extension Dimitri!

I needed three attempts before I got it running (winXP) Thanks to your excellent manual, I found the problem:
The macro assumes the HD where OOo is installed is "C", while in my case it is "H". Changing this one letter in the macro solved it all! Maybe this can be helpful to others.

Thanks again,
best regards,


I've tried this extension two or three times. I'd really like to use it but have not been able to make it work. I'm running it on two computers, WinXP and Kubuntu. Both are using the latest version of Openoffice.org.

How about a Writer's Tools for Dummies manual?


First, there is a manual: unzip the downloaded archive and look for the WriterToolsUserGuide.html document. alternatively, you might want to read the Writer's Tools Manual. Second, if you have problems, questions, and comments, the right place to post them would be the Writer's Tools website (the Issues section).

I am trying this great extension in a Windows 2000 installation where the applications aren't installed in the "Program Files" folder, but in a custom folder. When I try to use the lookup (or translate, or map) tool, I get a "file not found" error from the Macro management utility of OpenOffice.org.

Searching the source code, I see that the extension considers Firefox as the default browser, and searches for it inside "Program Files":
Global Const DefaultWindowsBrowser="C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe"

I see several problems with this line: localized operating systems, custom installation of firefox, and use of other browsers will lead to errors.
I changed the line into this:

Global Const DefaultWindowsBrowser="cmd.exe /c start "

This line works for any Windows installation, any language, any browser. The windows shell, given the URL, will open the default sysem browser.

Probably, the same issues can be considered valid for Linux, because firefox is not always the default browser. I haven't tried it, but a fix that considers /etc/alternatives/x-www-browser might be a viable solution.

Finally, I would like to translate this extension in Italian.
Let me know if you are interested, I will send you the translated version to be uploaded here.


Global Const DefaultWindowsBrowser="cmd.exe /c start " doesn't work with some of Writer's Tools commands: for example, Show on the Map. Also, the manual clearly explains how to change the default browser on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows.

Thanks for making this--here's some ideas that I wish someone would do:
--bibiliography tools (For me that would be APA style, but MLA is very popular I understand)
--comment tools. I dont think the comment toosl built into OO.org are as good as the ones for Microsoft and that pains me.
----the compatability between the comment tools in OO.org Writer and MS Word just doesnt work. If I make a comment then a co-author opens that document, they can only see a little highlighted area, not the comment.
*If these were fixed, I could confidently promote OO.org to everyone I know in academia as being far superior to MS Word.


For a really excellent bibliography tool that supports OOo, try Zotero:
Check out this screencast to get an overview of how Zotero works:
Zotero is free, open source software.

The notes (comments) feature is being improved right now and a first release of the new version, Notes2, should be included with OOo 3.0, expected in a Beta release sometime around April 2008. More information here:
Ubuntu Linux (7.10)