Note Feb 2011. This page was originally written for OpenOffice 2.3. This has been superseded by version 3.3.0. Please send feedback to [email protected] if you have success with newer versions, and what steps you took.

If you have an administrative password for your system, please IGNORE this tutorial. You don’t need it. Just use the installer for openoffice as normal. If you have a windows XP or windows vista machine, and you want to install openoffice but don’t have the administrative password or access to an account with administrative privileges, read on. If you get a dialog box “ The installation wizard cannot be run properly because you are logged in as a user without sufficient administrator rights for this system. ” then this tutorial will probably help you.

Normally, when installing a program on a widows PC, you will need an account with administrative privileges to perform the install. Under normal circumstances, the installer for OpenOffice on windows needs administrative access to system files to install effectively. There is a method, however, to make OpenOffice run smoothly on a windows system, even if you don’t have access to an administrative account or administrative password.

Installing using the full features of the installer will ultimately give the best user experience as file types are automatically associated, so when you click on a document with a given extension (eg .ods, .odg) it will automatically open with the right program. I will show you towards the end of the install tutorial how to associate fie types manually.

If you are a computer whiz, then you could just follow the outline instructions as follows. If you are not so familiar with computers and computer software, you may need the fully detailed instructions further down. So, for the whizzes;

Summary of steps

If you have been digging around with computer software for years, that probably seems easy. So go ahead and do it. If you feel a little uncomfortable with computers, I will go through the process step by step with screen shots. Beware that the process was done using windows XP. Windows Vista should work similarly, but (fortunately) I am not subject to a copy of Vista.

1) Download a copy of openoffice 2.3.0 installer program file to your desktop. The latest version might not work, so stick to 2.3.0. If you find a later version does work with these instructions, please mail me.

Download Openoffice 2.3.0

 

2) Double click on the file you downloaded to start the installer (the installer won’t be able to complete the installation, but it will give us the files we need). Click Next.

Run openoffice installer

 

3) Normally, the installer will unpack the files to a folder on your desktop. It gives you the option, but don’t change the option. To the desktop is fine.

Unpack openoffice files

 

4) The installation wizard will quit with a message “ The installation wizard cannot be run properly because you are logged in as a user without sufficient administrator rights for this system. ” . That is to be expected, and is part of this procedure. Click OK and continue to the next step.

Installation wizard cannot be run properly because you are logged in as a user without sufficient administrator rights for the system

 

5) The installation wizard gives a further confirmation and summary of what has happened. Click Finish.

Openoffice 2.3 installation wizard completed

 

6) Double click on the folder the installer has created on your desktop. It should look something like this:

Open unpacked folder

 

7) Go to the start menu->“My Computer” This will open a window looking like the following. Double click on the first hard disk drive. This will be labelled something like “Local Disk (c:)”

Open drive C

 

8) In disk c:, open the “Documents and Settings” folder by double clicking on it.

Open documents and settings on XP

 

9) Open your home folder. This will have the same name as your user account, the name of the account when you log in. Mine is called nick-user. Yours will be different.

Open your home folder

 

10) When you open your home folder, it will look something like the following. Right click in there, and create a new folder as shown

Create new folder

 

11) We’ll call this new folder ooinst. Give it a name as shown. (We are creating a folder and giving it a name like this to make it easier when using a command line later)

Rename a new folder in XP

 

12) Open the folder you created and named in step 11. Align the folder you opened in step 6 as shown, so the contents of both can be seen at the same time. With the window from step 6 highlighted (as shown), hold the ctrl button on your keyboard then press “a” momentarily (this is known as ctrl+a). This will highlight all items in the folder in blue. This means they are selected. (ctrl+a means “Select all” in most programs on Linux or Windows). With all items highlighted in blue, hold ctrl then press “x” momentarily. This means cut. Think of x like a pair of scissors. When we paste, items are removed from where we cut them from.

Cut (move) files from a folder in Windows XP

 

13) Highlight the window for the folder we created earlier (called ooinst). Then hold ctrl and press “v” momentarily. This means paste. The files should disappear from one folder and re-appear in the other. (see picture).

Paste files into folder using windows XP

 

14) Go to the start menu (normally green in bottom left hand corner). Click on start, then click on run as shown

Open run command box in windows XP

 

15) In the run dialog box, type command, as shown. Then click OK.

Start a command prompt (DOS prompt) in windows XP

 

16) The XP command dialog appears as shown. This is called a DOS command line.

Windows XP command prompt (DOS command line)

 

17) type into the command box the following (without quotation marks)“cd ooinst” then press the return (or enter) key on your keyboard.

Running a command in an Windows XP command (dos prompt) box

 

18) Next type “setup.exe /a” again, without quotes. Again, press enter or return. This will launch the setup program in a special mode. A mode which creates what openoffice developers call “Network Install”. However, we will not be using OpenOffice over a network. We’ll be using it on the local computer. It just so happens the network install allows us to install OpenOffice without needing an administrative account.

Running Openoffice setup with a parameter in a DOS command box in Windows XP

 

19) The installation wizard for server image looks like the following. Slightly different from the normal installation wizard for OpenOffice.

Openoffice installation wizard

 

20) The installation wizard wants to know where we want the network install folder. We will be putting it next to ooinst in your home folder we mentioned in step 10.

Openoffice 2.3 network install wizard

 

21) Click the “Change...” button in the installation wizard. This’ll give a dialogue box similar to this:

Selecting a network install location using Openoffice

 

22) After double clicking on “Documents and Settings”, should look like:

Selecting a network install location 2

 

23) After doble clicking on your home folder (as mentioned in step 9) should look something a little like the following (depending on what applications you have installed, and where your data is stored)

Navigating to a network install location using openoffice network install wizard

 

24) When your home directory is selected, click on the “New Folder” button as arrowed in the picture.

Creating a folder in openoffice 2.3 network install wizard

 

25) Name the new folder “ooinstalled” as shown, then click OK.

Naming newly created folder in Openoffice 2.3 network install wizard

 

26) Your installation wizard should now look like the following picture, but with your own home directory instead of mine (nick-user). Click Install.

Folder selected using Openoffice 2.3 network install wizard

 

27) Whilst installing, should look like:

Open Office 2.3 network install installing program

 

28) Click Finish

Finishing Openoffice Network Install wizard

 

29) From the start menu (bottom left), open “My Computer”, then your hard drive (probably drive C:), “Documents and Settings” Your home folder, then “ooinstalled”

Locating Openoffice files to run after network install

 

30) Within the ooinstalled folder, open the “program” folder.

Locating openoffice program files to run after network install

 

31) I have circled the programs you are interested in in the program folder as shown. If you double click on these programs, OpenOffice will launch. It is inconvenient to navigate to the program folder every time you need to use OpenOffice. So we will create short cuts on the desktop for the most used OpenOffice programs. To create a desktop shortcut to the program, press and hold the Right mouse button on the program. Move the mouse to your desktop, then let go of the right mouse button. Move the mouse over “Create shortcuts here” then left click. This should make a shortcut on the desktop.

Highlighted Openoffice program files in explorer, showing which files you need to run touse openoffice 2.3

 

32) Repeat the process of right clicking and dragging to the desktop for the other programs I have circled. You should now have something like:

Copying shortcust for openoffice program files to your desktop after Network install.

 

33) We no longer need the original downloaded OpenOffice file, nor do we need the install folder OpenOffice created on the desktop. These may be removed. You may also want to give the desktop icons more friendly names. You can do this by highlighting the icon (by clicking on it) then pressing F2 on your keyboard. The name for the icon should turn blue, ready for you to type a new name.

Cleaning up the windows desktop

 

34) If you had the administrator password, and had used the installer, the file extensions for OpenOffice documents would already be associated with OpenOffice. Because we have not used the full installer, if you double click on an OpenOffice document, you will get a dialogue box similar to the following. Select "Select the program from a list" then click OK

Manually associating openoffice file types

 

35) As you can see, OpenOffice doesn’t yet appear in the list. You will ave to add it manually before you can associate OpenOffice files with OpenOffice. Click “Browse...”

List of associable programs in XP

 

36) Navigate to the “Program” folder - the same folder we used in step 31. You should see soffice in there. (Most other entries should be hidden, it’ll be much less cluttered). Select soffice then click “Open”.

Adding a program to the list of associable programs in windows XP

 

37) As you can see, OpenOffice is now listed amongst the programs you can associate files with. Make sure OpenOffice is highlighted as shown, and “Always use the selected program to open this type of file” is ticked. Click OK.

Openoffice now appearing as an associable program in Windows XP choose program dialog box

 

You should now have icons on our desktop which can launch OpenOffice. You should also be able to associate any OpenOffice documents, drawings and databases with OpenOffice, so that when you double click on a document, it starts OpenOffice automatically.

Because OpenOffice hasn’t really installed in the traditional sense of the word (you just have a folder containing the complete program), it will not appear in you control panel or be shown in the un-install section of the windows control panel. You can un-install by simply removing the folder containing OpenOffice. To upgrade, rename the existing OpenOffice installed folder, then repeat steps 1-27.



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