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OpenOffice.org Spreadsheet  

You have a couple of options for using your data in an OpenOffice.org, the Free alternative to Word/Excel. You can either do a query and export the result, or you can link directly to the database.

Query Export
You can do a query from within Open Dental and export the resulting table. It will normally be saved as a text file in your OpenDentalExports folder on your local C:\ drive. The first row of the text file will contain the names of the columns, and the fields are separated by tabs. This makes it very easy to open in OpenOffice.org. First, open a new Text Document. Select Tools | Data Sources...

Click New Data Source at the top. Then, name your datasource whatever you want, set the type to Text, and select your OpenDentalExports folder as the source using the search button to the right. You will also need to go to the Text tab and change the field separator type to {Tab}. You can also select which tables(files) you want to be made available from the ones on the list.

Direct Link
Another way to use the data is to directly link to the database. You would not normally need to do this since the text export is simpler, but here are instructions in case you need to. First, set up the ODBC data source on the computer where you want to access the data. Then, open a new Text Document and the Data Sources as shown above.

This time, select the database type as ODBC. Then use the search button at the right and select FreeDental from the list.

Inserting Data into the Spreadsheet
If you are opening a text file, one way is to select File | Open

First, go to the 'Files of type' list at the bottom. Select 'Text CSV', which is about half way down the long list and might be difficult to spot. Then, find the file you want to open and click Open.

Another alternative for either text file or database link is to view the data sources as shown below by selecting View | Data Sources, or pressing F4.

The bottom 2/3 of the screen is now the original spreadsheet, and the top 1/3 is the data sources, which are browsable, including all your text file data sources and ODBC data sources. When you find the table you want to load into your spreadsheet, grab and drag the table from the list view at the upper left to the first cell on the spreadsheet below. You can now work with and further manipulate the data.

 

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