Although OpenOffice.org is a competent productivity suite, you can add some nifty features to it using extensions. There are hundreds of nifty extensions available in the official extension repository. Some of them add a feature or two, while others take OpenOffice.org to a whole new level. The AuthorSupportTool (AST) extension belongs to the latter category. AST not just adds some random features to OpenOffice.org Writer, it dramatically enhances the word processor’s functionality, turning it into a powerful tool for working on research papers and complex documents.
Since AST is a standard OpenOffice.org extension, installing it is easy. Grab the latest .oxt package, launch OpenOffice.org, choose Tools -> Extension Manager, press Add, select the downloaded extension, and press Open. Restart OpenOffice.org and you are done.
Once installed, AST adds a separate AuthorSupportTool menu which gives you quick access to all the extension’s features. So let’s take a look at the most interesting tools on offer. Continue reading.