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Contribute to the guide

How to contribute to the user guides for OOo version 3.x

Preliminaries

If you have not already done so:

  1. Please write to webmaster@odfauthors.org and request an account. (We had to stop self-registration because of too many spam accounts.)
  2. Join the ODFAuthors mailing list.
  3. If you don't have it already, download and install the latest version of OpenOffice.org. This may be a release candidate for a soon-to-be-released new version.
  4. Don't forget the resources section on this page.

What to do

See the Task list for user guides for work needing to be done. A top priority right now is to write the Base Guide, but there are many tasks suitable for people at all levels of knowledge about OOo. See below for more information.

Reviewing documents

Reviewing is recommended for new members. Reviewing a chapter is a short-term task, and it helps you get acquainted with the project. See also Checking chapters against the software below.

Peer review is an important part of writing high quality documentation. Remember, "there is no such thing as a well-written chapter, only a well re-written one".

Things to read

  1. Style Guide
  2. Writing OOo Guides

After reading this, you'll have a good idea of what to look for when you do a review. If you are not sure about something, ask!

Pick a document and review it

When you go to the front page and login, you'll see a review list on the left below the Navigation List. If there are no English documents on the review list, check the Task list for user guides for other work to be done, or ask on the Authors mailing list about other work in progress.

See the page on how the review process works for more detailed information about downloading and reviewing files.

What do I do with a reviewed document?

  1. Rename the file according to the naming conventions.
  2. Upload the file to the corresponding Feedback folder. Do not change the state of this file or the original file at this point.
  3. Send an email to the list to inform the team leader that you have reviewed and uploaded the file.

Checking chapters against the software

Chapters on the Review List must be checked carefully against the latest released version of OOo. Some screenshots may need replacing, and some instructions may be out of date.

In addition, you can help by (a) noting any questions you have that are not answered in the current chapter; and (b) doing some research in the OOo Community Forum and the OOo Users list to see what questions other people have. See Goals for OOo 3.3 for more information.

Checking chapters is a good job for newcomers who have not read the existing chapters before. If you want to do this, here's how:

  1. After logging in to the website, go to the Review List on the first page and find a chapter that interests you. Download the *.odt version of the file you choose.
  2. Continue as described in the Instructions for Reviewers section of the page about how the review process works, starting with step 2, Retract the chapter.
  3. Using the latest OOo V3 software, go through the instructions in the chapter you're reviewing. Follow the instructions exactly as they are written, so you can see if anything is different between the instructions and the software.
  4. Pay close attention to the screenshots. If anything is different, make a note of it. If you can capture new screenshots that will match the ones in the chapter, then you can replace the out of date ones with up to date ones. If you cannot match the existing screenshots, then leave a note in the file that "figure x needs to be replaced".
  5. Please also suggest other topics that should be included in the chapter, or better ways of explaining things, or any other improvements you can think of. Be aware that in some cases a topic may be covered in another chapter; in that case a cross-reference would be helpful... or in some cases duplicating some information might be the best solution.

Writing new chapters

If you wish to contribute a new chapter:

  1. Pick a topic you'd like to write about. If you need ideas, see the priority list on the first page of this website, or check the outlines for each guide, or ask on the list.
  2. Inform the list.
  3. Download the Chapter Template, import it into your templates, and use it as the basis for your chapter. Instructions are included in the template.
  4. Prepare an outline of your chapter and post it to the list for commentary.
  5. After writing a draft chapter, upload it to the main folder for the relevant book. Use our file naming convention.
  6. Submit the file for review, then tell the list that it is available for review.

Resources

Here are some resources you should be aware of while you work on the v3 guides.

If at any point you feel a little lost, ask!

User Guide HowTos


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