May 16, 2015 · Books, Copyediting · (No comments)

Science editor Geoff Hart’s book, Writing for Science Journals: tips, tricks, and a learning plan, is available from his website.

This book is very useful for both editors and writers. I really wish it had been available when my main job was editing scientific papers for journal publication. Here is a review (not by me).

July 4, 2014 · Careers, Copyediting · Comments Off on KOK Edit Blog and related resources

Two resources from the fabulous Katharine O’Moore-Klopf:

Katharine specialises in helping non-native speakers of English polish their articles for submission to US and UK medical journals. She happily shares her knowledge and experience through her blog and other places.

May 15, 2013 · Books, OpenOffice · Comments Off on New book: Taming Apache OpenOffice

Taming Apache OpenOfficeThis book is for anyone who wants to get up to speed quickly with Apache 3.4. It introduces Writer (word processing), Calc (spreadsheets), Impress (presentations), Draw (vector drawings), Math (equation editor) and Base (database), as well as common features including styles, templates, printing, a gallery of graphics, and macros.

Printed copies of Taming Apache OpenOffice 3.4: Getting Started are available from for US$20.78. Pay at


If you prefer, you can download the PDF here. Cost is US$5.00, on the honor system. Please pay using the button below (Paypal or credit card). This book has no DRM; you may copy it onto as many of your devices as you wish. If you buy a printed copy, you are welcome to a free copy of the PDF.


You can also download individual chapters (PDF or ODT) free from this website. These files may differ slightly from the content of the printed book and full PDF.

March 17, 2013 · LibreOffice, OpenOffice · Comments Off on Two free alternatives to MS Office

The Windows Secrets newsletter has an article by Fred Langa dated March 14, 2013, titled Two free, full-blown alternatives to MS Office that features LibreOffice and OpenOffice.

The article mentions several features that particularly appeal to users of older (pre-2007) versions of MS Office who have been reluctant to move to newer versions: unlike Office 2013, LibreOffice and OpenOffice “live and work entirely on your PC’s hard drive — there’s no prodding you toward cloud storage or app rental. Both suites use traditional toolbars (no Ribbon interface) and come with six business apps: word processor, spreadsheet, presentation creator, drawing/desktop-publishing tool, database manager, and mathematics tool…

“Although the two suites are similar, LibreOffice is a bit more evolved… For example, LibreOffice now supports more file formats than Open Office does…” (including opening, but not saving to, Microsoft Publisher files).

Lange says, “Is either of these open-source MS Office substitutes right for you? If your office-suite needs are relatively modest, the answer is most likely yes. On the other hand, if you’re regularly collaborating with businesses that use Office 2010 or 2013 and exact reproduction of spreadsheets, presentations, and text documents is essential, it’s safer to stick with Microsoft’s suite…

“I think LibreOffice is currently the better choice. It nicely does what I need done, quietly and without fanfare. It supports more file formats, including those used by the newest versions of Microsoft Office, and it has more developer momentum behind it. But that’s me; Open Office might work just as well or better for you…

“Bottom line: If you’re looking for an alternative to Microsoft Office that isn’t cloud-oriented, that uses traditional toolbars, and that’s totally free, you probably won’t go wrong with LibreOffice or Open Office!”

January 2, 2013 · Information design · Comments Off on Rethinking communication and information design

David Sless of the Communication Research Institute (in Australia) is publishing a series of blog posts on the topic of rethinking communication and information design: the big shift. The series starts here and contains much food for thought.

December 8, 2012 · Books, LibreOffice · Comments Off on New book: Self-publishing using LibreOffice

Self-Publishing using LibreOffice WriterSelf-Publishing using LibreOffice Writer:
How to use free software to write, design, and create PDFs for print-on-demand books

You don’t need expensive software to write, design, and create PDFs for self-published, print-on-demand books. LibreOffice Writer is free, easy to use, and has powerful page layout features suitable for producing books such as novels and short story or poetry collections. This book explains how to write, edit, and design a book; lay out the pages using styles and templates; build a table of contents and index; include pictures, graphics, and special effects; and create a PDF for submission to POD services.

Printed copies are available from for US$15.37. Pay at

Download PDF here. Cost is US$5.00, on the honor system. Please pay using the button below (Paypal or credit card). This book has no DRM; you may copy it onto as many of your devices as you wish. If you buy a printed copy, you are welcome to a free copy of the PDF.

December 2, 2012 · Skills, Social media · Comments Off on Social media trends

Reading The Can’t-Miss Social Media Trends For 2013 reminds me how thoroughly behind I am on planning and implementing my personal use of social media for anything other than enjoyable goofing off. “Personal use” for me includes the groups for which I do volunteer work as well as things like this website.

7 Must Have Social Media Business Tools for Influence, Authority and Time Management is a related article. I am familiar with only one of the tools mentioned (Tweetdeck) although I may have heard of one or two of the others. I suspect this means I’m hopelessly behind the times.

December 2, 2012 · Conferences, LibreOffice, Tools & technology · Comments Off on Talk at LibreOffice Conference 2012

The slides from my talk “LibreOffice User Documentation: Successes and Challenges” are available from my website in ODP and PDF formats.

Presented at the LibreOffice Conference, Berlin, October 2012.

June 21, 2012 · Conferences, LibreOffice, Tools & technology · Comments Off on Talk at OpenHelp Conference

I presented a talk about LibreOffice documentation at this conference:

Open Help Conference & Sprints
I did not produce any slides for this talk. My rough notes are here: OpenHelp Talk (PDF).

May 5, 2012 · LibreOffice · Comments Off on I have resigned from the Apache OpenOffice project

Effective immediately, I have resigned from the Apache OpenOffice project.

An excerpt from my resignation letter, and related comments, are here.

I intend to become more involved with The Document Foundation and the LibreOffice project.