openoffice writer

Any advice on how to import to and export from openoffice writer's bibliography table?

Many thanks,
  • A few options here...

    * You can use an intermediate program, such as jabref or refbase, which can import what Zotero outputs & export to ODF.

    * You may be able to massage the SQLite table into OO.o by using ODBC or JDBC (OO.o 2 uses Base to store the bibliographic data & base can use ODBC/JDBC as backends). Careful if you try this--SQLite doesn't like multiple programs mucking with the data at the same time.
  • I have made some suggestions on the OpenOffice Bibliographic Project's
    Hints and Tips wiki page -

    8 How to load Zotero reference data into Openoffice.
    9 How to use Zotero to format your OOo Bibliography


  • David - thanks for your help - and Zotero is a GREAT product for capturing bibliographic records! However, I can't get your Item 8 (Zotero into OO bibliography) to work, and I need to put the bib records into a database which can later become a small library catalog. I have no need for or knowledge of citation management or formats, so exporting Zotero collections into the choices offered doesn't seem to be the answer. Or am I missing some major concept here that would pull this together?
  • With the current version of Zotero, you have two options to get data out easily:

    (1) Create a formatted bibliography (described in the 9th question on David's page)
    (2) Export bibliographic information (described in the 8th question of David's page)

    Since you want to later generate a small catalog from this information, (1) is not sufficient.

    Despite your aversion to bibliographic formats, exporting your Zotero collections into some intermediate format is your only real option to share the data with other applications.

    So: What problems are you having in getting David's instructions to work? Have you tried exporting to bibtex and using JabRef to convert that data into an OpenDocument spreadsheet which you can import into OO.o?
  • Well, it's not exactly "aversion" so much as ignorance. I don't know bibtex or JabRef or the various formats that Zotero exports - though I can certainly learn if the results will get to what I need.

    As for David's instructions -- I tried using his command to import RIS data using, and got a text file showing And I have no as is referenced in that command... don't know where it comes from. Is python something I need to install?

    Then -- instructions are meager for OObibliography -- and I'm not sure that one can change the field names. However, that might be for the next round of questions...
  • You do not need to install python as it comes with OpenOffice and is in the /openoffice.org2.0/program/ directory which is where I suggest you put the file as well.

    Also I only have a Linux version of OpenOffice, on a Windows system you may have a python.bat file (rather than a .sh) - have a look in the openoffice.org2.0/program/ directory.
  • edited November 14, 2006
    1. Export a file from Zotero (I assume you are able to do this)

    Now you must use an intermediate program or script.

    Choose from:
    2. Save
    3. Launch so that it accepts connections. On Windows:
    "\Program Files\ 2.0\program\soffice.exe" "-accept=socket,host=localhost,port=2002;urp;"
    4. Launch a shell/terminal/command prompt. On Windows, Start->run->cmd
    5. 'cd' to the directory you saved and your exported RIS file to. (e.g. 'cd Desktop')
    6. Run On Windows:
    "\Program Files\ 2.0\program\python.bat" "My Library.ris"

    ==JabRef (stand-alone desktop application) ==
    2. Download JabRef from <>;
    3. Launch JabRef
    4. File->Import into New Database->Autodetect & select your exported bibliography.
    5. File->Export->OpenDocument Spreadsheet
    6. Import this spreadsheet to a new OO.o biblio database.

    ==refbase (web-based)==
    This requires a working Apache+MySQL+PHP setup. I only mention it because you say you eventually want to create a catalog & refbase may serve this purpose for you.
    2. Download refbase from <>;
    3. Extract this to your web directory & load install.php in your web browser to install.
    4. Login, click "Import," browse to your exported Zotero file, and select Import
    5. Select all entries & choose to export to ODF XML
    6. Follow instructions at <>;

    2. Download bibus. For windows: <>;
    3. Install bibus.
    4. Launch bibus
    5. File->Import & select the type and file
    6. You can either use bibus to directly insert citations or you can use the bibus database as a OO.o data source.
  • edited August 9, 2007
    If you just want to convert your Zotero data (exported, say, as RIS) to an OpenDocument Spreadsheet that's suitable for use with OpenOffice, you could also goto the refbase online demo at:, then perform steps 4-6 from noksagt's refbase list above.
  • I have just produced a OpenOffice Bibliographic database export filter in RIS format and I managed to import the data directly into Zotero. It is my first python program and rather basic and crude.

    See for details.

    Suggestions for improvements are welcome.
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