View Full Version : OpenOffice needs tabs!

September 27th, 2007, 07:36 PM
Title says it all. With IBM releasing a beta of Lotus Symphony theres finally (correct me if Im wrong) an office suite with tabs. No I don't think its awesome if you have 4 or 5 documents open and they cluster up your desktop. At least we as Linux users have the advantage of having multiple workspaces.

But seriously, why not just include tabs. Problem with Symphony is the same as with all recent Lotus programms from IBM. For some reason they think its great to run their programm, coded in Java (luckily not known for being), in an eclipse plugin. This isn't just me being sarcastic, the official system requirements state that you need "512MB RAM memory minimum". I don't think thats anywhere near what a normal programm should use.

Anyways back to the original point. I think tabs in OOo would be great. And with the upcoming OOo 3 (1st or 2nd Quarter of '08) it thing its a good moment for the OOo devs to include something like this. I think it would increase useability and represent a nice feature to distingiush OOo from the other Office suites.

Blue Sky
September 27th, 2007, 07:57 PM
This seems like a good idea for the front-end.

In my opinion what OpenOffice needs most is some serious refactoring of the backend. It's still painfully slow, and should have a more modular design so programmers outside of Sun Microsystems and IBM can contribute without having to study the code for weeks first. Also they should get rid of the Java dependency.It's good to hear that 25 programmers from IBM will be working on it full time now - that's exactly what it needs.

September 27th, 2007, 08:02 PM
There is an ongoing project I believe, you can download a tabbed browsing add-on here: ---


I've downloaded it before, but it's still really buggy and is still in early development. You can check it out though. I think I read that they're having a problem implementing it as an add-on because they need to modify the program substantially.. so maybe they'll include this in future openoffice releases? Can anyone verify what I read on this?

But I agree with you, I really wish that there was tabbed browsing for openoffice! Unfortunately I'm just an amature programmer so I don't really know what the exact problems are in implementing it, so I can't really describe them in detail.

September 27th, 2007, 08:13 PM
I heard staroffice uses tabs, but I have yet to confirm it

September 27th, 2007, 08:20 PM
Sure why not, you dont have to use em if you dont like em. I say when in doubt, add tabs. It can only help.

September 27th, 2007, 09:08 PM
Blue Sky +1

OpenOffice is in serious danger of heading off into bloatware territory I noticed the latest release has a bunch of features that most of us will never use and yet no real moves to improve core speed.

September 27th, 2007, 09:36 PM
I was thinking this just the other day. I was opening a few things and wondered why there are no tabs. It would be best if the tabs could be different types too, like a writer tab, a calc tab, etc. And even better to be able to have them like split screen easily to drag and drop stuff from one type to another. I do a lot of scientific type work so I often have to embed spreadsheets in documents and so on.

September 27th, 2007, 09:46 PM
Blue Sky, I agree that they need to try and improve the speed. However, if I had to choose between tabs and more speed, I'd have to choose tabs.

September 27th, 2007, 10:00 PM
Lotus Symphony gives you that, doesn't it? Thats just IBM's re-rolled OpenOffice....

September 28th, 2007, 12:49 AM
great idea, ubun-two

September 28th, 2007, 12:58 AM
sorry i hit no thinking of the ribbons in Office 07. Yes tabs for multiple documents would be a good idea.

September 28th, 2007, 11:05 AM
I agree that OOo definitly needs a rewrite in the sense of getting more speed and better sperating the front and backend. Most preferably they could also get rid of the dependency on java (As you might have seen in the OP, I don't think Java is the best of all programming languages). But I think this a really huge and compley project. And I don't think it will happen over night. It should be something they set themselves as a target to for OOo 3.5 or 4.

Tabs I don't think would be that hard to implement. I especially like the idea of crashmaxx, that you could have a writer tab, a calc tab and so on, all in one window. Although that could be quite tricky to implement.

I ask all posters that have posted here so far or are going to post and all users who take intrest in this topic, to spread the word about it. I think we should try to get this "big" and a lot of people to vote in the poll. Then Ill try to get this to the OOo devs. I really think with the lastest releases the new things implemented haven't been really what users of the product are waiting for. Things as "OOo now uses some elements of the Vista" are a nice playtoy for users of one plattform. For example there is still no proper working version for the Mac. And I don't think something like is really deserves to be listed as a major "new" feature. And other things like a new system to make it easier to generate wiki pages in write. Well again a nice plaything, but I personally doubt a majority of the users was waiting for this or will now use it.

I my personal opinion I would favor far more a realease shedule that would focus on for example for version 3:
Add tabs, new bibliography system, proper port for the mac
Then for version 3.5 or 4: Add crashmaxx's tab feature suggestion. Have a rewrite done that seperates back and frontend better, reorganise code so its easy to understand what is what and improve speed.

September 28th, 2007, 11:19 AM

September 28th, 2007, 11:50 AM

I'm not sure about the tabs idea. It will make looking at two documents at the same time really difficult. In some ways isn't tabs just going back to the old way of having a parent window and all of it's children inside.

I do think that tabs has its uses.. but I'm not sure I would like it in Ooo. Of course if it was a configurable option, that would be fantastic.


June 23rd, 2010, 05:05 PM
I think tabs would be really useful, as well. To combat the issue of being unable to compare documents easily, OO could implement a Chrome/Firefox style "drag a tab out to make a new window" system.

I'm not too sure about the idea of having Calc/Writer/Etc. all in one window. If properly implemented it could be great, something like OneNote's system of collapsible tabs on the side and tabs on the top. The side tabs could represent each segment of the OO Suite and then the open tabs for each section would be inside of that section.

If you're interested in bringing this to the attention of the OO developers, head here and vote for the bug: