OpenOffice, the popular free office suite, is able to solve this problem through the extensions made available for it. One of these extensions is made by a company called SMEStorage, which specializes in “mutli-cloud data access.” SMEStorage has the ability to use Google Documents as an online document/file storage, making it easy to access OpenOffice files with multiple computers.
Setting Up SMEStorage
Before you can use SMEStorage, you will need to set it up. This take a little more effort than, say, installing a Firefox extension.
You will first need to download the MultiCloud File Manager extension from the OpenOffice.org extension repository and install it. You then must go to the SMEStorage website and register an account with them. At the SMEStorage front page, select “I Want to Use Google Docs.”
You will be presented with a second login screen once a connection is established – this is verifying your login information to Google Documents. Enter your information again and press OK. The SMEStorage extension will finish importing your Google Documents information.
Browsing and Creating Google Documents
You can edit the document as you would normally, but to save the document you must use the new save icon that was added to OpenOffice.org by the extension. It is next to the new folder icon that was used to open the SMEStorage extension initially. You will be asked if you want to encrypt on the upload or not. This can be handy if you are on an open wireless hotspot and you want to make sure the document is secure. Otherwise, it isn’t usually required.
LimitationsSMEStorage is a great way to sync up files, but it should be noted that SMEStorage isn’t perfect. SMEStorage uses Google Documents as a storage medium and only a storage medium. The files that you save into Google Documents can not be edited while in Google Documents. This is not a problem, of course, if you have OpenOffice installed on your machines, but it is a unfortunate limitation of this extension. This is apparently to due to some conflict in the way Google Documents handles documents uploaded by third party programs.
You can get around this problem by downloading a document to your computer and then uploading to back to Google Documents with the option to convert the file to the Google Documents format selected.
If you like to use OpenOffice.org and you want to sync files between multiple computers this is an excellent way to do it. SMEStorage provides an excellent service for OpenOffice.org users, and the extension’s integration into OpenOffice.org is smooth.