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Sharing Information the "Old-Fashioned" Way

When used in the standard way, sharing information with the cut- or copy-and-paste method is nothing special. Using the Cut and Copy commands (via the function bar, the Edit menu, or keyboard shortcuts), you can send selected information from a source to a temporary holding area called the clipboard (Windows) or general purpose buffer (Linux/ Solaris). You can send text, graphics, sound files, or anything else that can be selected and moved in the source document to this holding area. You can then paste the information into any application that understands the cut or copied data type.

When you choose Edit, Paste or press Ctrl+V to place the contents of the holding area into the destination document, one of two things happens:

  • If the source document is of the same type as the destination document, the information becomes merged with the target document, and all connection to the original document is lost.

  • If the contents of the holding area originated from an application that supports object linking and embedding, the content is automatically embedded as an OLE object—which means the object is still connected to the application in which it was created, but not to the source document (see "Sharing Information Using OLE" later in this chapter, for more details).

NOTE

One exception to this rule is when you are copying and pasting information between StarOffice applications. Here, an object created in one application may not be embedded as an OLE object in a document created in another application if the two applications share the same internal processes for handling the placed object (see Table 3.1 later in this section).

NOTE

When pasted into a document that was created in a different application from the source document, the pasted information may also appear completely differently because certain formatting attributes are not supported in the target environment and hence are ignored when you paste the information. (The cut or copied information still looks fine in the holding area, and you can paste it without loss of formatting into a document that has been created in the same application as the source document.)

If you choose Edit, Paste Special, however, you can control how cut or copied information reaches the target document by choosing a format from the Selection list of the Paste Special dialog box. In general, the list of available formats varies depending on the type and formatting of the cut or copied information, as well as on how the StarOffice application can translate this format into other supported formats, based on the installed conversion filters.

Figure 3.1 shows the Paste Special dialog box as you see it when information from a Calc spreadsheet is in the holding area waiting to be pasted into a Writer document. When pasting into an Impress document, your options are slightly more limited. (Note that the Paste Special dialog box looks completely different when you are trying to copy data from one worksheet to another, because Calc treats its clipboard objects differently; for details, see "Copying, Pasting, and Moving Cells and Data" in Chapter 16.)

Figure 3.1Figure 3.1 The Paste Special dialog box enables you to choose how an object created in another application is pasted into the current document.

Table 3.1 provides an overview of how content created in one StarOffice application and placed in the general holding area is inserted into a target document created in another StarOffice application when you choose Edit, Paste or press Ctrl+V. You can override this default behavior any time by choosing Edit, Paste Special and then selecting a different paste option or format in the Paste Special dialog box. (The default pasting method is listed at the top of the Selection list.)

Table 3.1 Copying and Pasting Information Between StarOffice Applications

Object

Source Document Created In

Target Document Created In

Result

Text (including text in cells)

Writer

Impress/Draw

Embedded OLE object

Text

Writer

Calc

Text in cell

Cells

Calc

Writer

Embedded OLE object

Cells

Calc

Impress/Draw

Embedded OLE object

Graphic

Impress/Draw

Writer/Calc

Copied drawing object

Selected text

Impress/Draw

Writer/Calc

Text/Text in cell

Text object

Impress/Draw

Writer/Calc

Copied text object


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