LibreOffice add external data field to document

You may want to use some external variables that are shared between several of your Writer documents.

One way to do that would be to use Mail Merge, but that may not be what you prefer.

Another solution is to insert the data you want as DDE link to the source document.

Let’s say you have a string in your Calc spreadsheet and you want it to show up in your Writer document:

  • Open the Calc spreadsheet
  • Copy the cell
  • Open the Writer document
  • Select menu Edit -> Paste Special -> DDE Link
  • Press Ctrl+Z
  • Press Ctrl+F
  • Select Variable tab
  • Select Type: DDE Field
  • Select the name of variable in Select control
  • Click Insert button

The method is a bit clumsy, but it works just fine. Possibly you may stop after pasting the DDE link, which gives you a fragment of a table, depends upon what do you need.

To see field values instead of field codes:

  • Select menu View -> Field Names (or press Ctrl+F9)

Add image to MP3

You can add album art images to your mp3 files. Use EasyTAG (GUI) or eyed3 (CLI) ID3 tag editors to accomplish that.

Example. Use eyed3 to remove any embedded images, then list options for embedded image file, then embed an image for an icon:

  • eyeD3 --remove-images test.mp3
  • eyeD3 --list-image-types
  • eyeD3 --add-image=test.jpg:ICON test.mp3

Find if mail server exists

You may experience a situation where you use nslookup to find out address of a domain, but it returns  no results. Still you know that the person is actually using an email account with that domain. So how do you find it out?

Just specify explicitly that it is the mail exchanger record (MX) you are interested in:

  • nslookup -type=mx

Change part of file name

Say, you have a directory full of files which have “AAA” in their name, like “111_AAA_222.JPG”. You want to replace that “AAA” with “BBB” for all of them.

  • rename 's/AAA/BBB/' *.JPG

Autostart improvised IDE

Possibly you prefer to use simple tools for your Web development tasks, and possibly you get annoyed by the need to start all those applications one by one every time.

You may automate the task though.

Here is a sample launcher script, which starts a console, a mySQL client logged into database (Note: the password is provided in plain text, which is not secure, so think if you can use that, if you can’t just leave “-p” and log in manually every time. Also note: password follows immediately after “-p”, there is no gap), a console ready to display errors from Apache error log, and a xed editor with some file already in it. The script is suited to fit 1680 x 1050 display.

If you are running Mint Mate, you can add a Custom Application Launcher calling this script to your panel, and you can use this icon for it, which fits nicely.

mate-terminal --geometry 102x42+0+0 -x sh -c 'echo "\033]0; cli \a"; cd /var/www/mysite_com; exec bash' &
mate-terminal --geometry 102x42+870+0 -x sh -c 'echo "\033]0; mySQL \a"; mysql -u data_mysite -D data_mysite -pdata_mysite; exec bash' &
mate-terminal --geometry 204x16+0+725 -x sh -c 'echo "\033]0; log \a"; cd /var/log/apache2; tail -n 0 -f error_mysite_com.log; exec bash' &
caja "/var/www/mysite_com" &
xed "/var/www/mysite_com/index.php" &


MS Word documents can be tracked

Word documents are embedded with a code that can be traced back to your computer (the police captue[r]d the author of the Melissa virus by tracing his GUID). Big brother Bill is watching!

Kent Lundberg, MIT /

Copy symlink as file

You can copy symbolic links so that at the destination they show up as regular files. Just use -L option for the cp command.

This example copies all files from the current directory to directory ~/keys, and turns any symbolic links to regular files in the process (“dereferences” them):

  • cp -L * ~/keys