I was writing a paper today, and was groping for words. So I Alt-Tabbed to my thesaurus (Microsoft Encarta Dictionary) and punched in “thought”. I then Alt-Tabbed back to ooWriter and changed “thought” to “reflection”. On further reflection, I thought, “Surely there’s a thesaurus add-on, plugin, or extension for OpenOffice.” I searched high and low and finally through much Googling and scrounging through OpenOffice’s rather poorly designed site and series of wikis I finally discovered a thesaurus add-on. The download link didn’t work. So I Googled the file name and found a mirror. Then I went to the install instructions which told me to use the Open Office “Install new dictionaries wizard”. I opened this up which re-downloaded the thesaurus (as well as two other dictionaries) and installed them. So, all that to say, if you want a thesaurus in OpenOffice, do this:
Go to File–>Wizards–>Install New Dictionaries…
Follow the instructions.
To use the Thesaurus, put your cursor on a word and hit Ctrl-F7. Or go to Tools–>Language–>Thesaurus. Somehow I prefer Ctrl-F7.
Memo to OpenOffice team: It probably shouldn’t take a computer programmer an hour to install a thesaurus.