OpenOffice.org Spreadsheet

These steps are provided as a courtesy. Open Dental support technicians do not assist with Open Office Spreadsheets.

You have a couple of options for using your data in an OpenOffice.org spreadsheet, the Free alternative to Word/Excel. You can either perform User Queries 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 then Data Sources.

Click New Data Source at the top, then name your data source 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 and 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 then 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.