D*I*Y Planner Widget Kit 0.6 (for OpenOffice.org 2.0)

D*I*Y Planner Widget Kit (Sample)A little early Christmas gift for those budding template designers among you: a brand new version of the D*I*Y Planner Widget Kit for OpenOffice.org 2.0, stogged tight with graphical elements you can use to create your own forms.

The kit now includes:

  • Better standardisation of widgets, lines and fills to match the forthcoming D*I*Y Planner 3.0 kits.
  • Plenty of annotations and tips to help explain things, ensure consistency, and give a little peek into my process. (These are located to the sides of the pages, so you may have to zoom out.)
  • Several new widgets to round out the set.
  • A sample monthly calendar page that you can use to create your own months.
  • A sample weekly calendar (8 boxes on 1 page) so you can design your own weeks.
  • A sample page with various components laid out so you have something to start tweaking.
  • Colours that match the D*I*Y Planner standard colours (or should I say tones).
  • A new file format (OpenDocument) to take advantage of OpenOffice.org Suite 2.0, which of course is a free download. No guarantees are given for backward compatibility to the 1.x series, but since the new version of Draw is significantly better, I highly suggest getting 2.0 anyway.
  • The Blue Highway fonts (regular and bold), which should be installed prior to opening this file for the first time.

It's still an early version, and more widgets are yet to come, so feel free to chime in with comments, bugs and requests. On a personal note, let me say that OOo2 Draw has turned out to be extremely easy to use, without any of the problems and irritations that plagued me with 1.x. For the design of templates, I think I can finally recommend it as much as I would Adobe Illustrator, and that's really saying something -- AI is the program I used to construct all the 'Planner kits till now.


This package is released under a Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial- ShareAlike License.

Note for Hipster PDA Designers: For those people looking to develop Hipster PDA templates, you can use this Widget Kit, although I'm working on getting a 5.5"x8.5" version to 1.0 first before anything else. To make hPDA templates, you can either scale your final design to 3"x5" size (which would throw off the proportions, probably), or you can try the following:

  1. Set the page dimensions to 3" wide by 5" high, with a margin of 1/4".
  2. Select the whole page of Widgets, grab a corner handle, and while holding down the shift key (this keeps the right proportions), resize until it fits into the left and right margins. This may take a few attempts, and a little practice.
  3. Drag the widgets so that the title falls just under the top margin.
  4. You may also have to fiddle a bit with the various line thicknesses and font sizes to get it looking right.

Note for A5 Designers: The D*I*Y Planner generally has A5 margins set as: top 0.325"; bottom 0.325" (thereabouts, depending on the form); inside (with punch holes) 0.5-0.7" (depending on form); outside 0.5". The top and outside margins are the strict ones; the others are a little more variable, and are tied to the size and shape of the form.

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Styles (or lack thereof)

This set of templates is a great starting point. You should, however, use styles in the drawings (for headers, subheaders, field subheaders...). This would make the fields easier to modify in bulk (for instance when converting them to hPDA size).

By the way, thanks for the Edit|Duplicate tip (included also in the original templates), it's one of those little time-savers that makes OpenOffice.org such a great tool.

A certain lack of style

Jorge, you're perfectly right. For some reason, I generally only think of styles when using Writer or Calc, but there's no reason why I can't do the same thing with Draw (AFAIK). The next version will implement styles, per your suggestion. Thanks!

all my best,

5.5x8.5 2/page

Just wondering if any templates are designed to print two per page 5.5x8.5?

Won't "play nice" with NeoOffice/J

I'm on a Mac and I am trying out NeoOffice 'cause it has an Auqa interface. NeoOffice will not open this template document properly -- opens it as a Writer rather than a Draw.

Any suggestions ?

NeoOffice/J and OOo2

As much as I like the "Aqua-ness" of NeoOffice/J, I'm afraid that the application is based upon 1.1.4 (or .5 now), which is a generation behind OOo2. For most things, that isn't a big deal. For example, the word process works much the same. However, the Draw program has advanced quite a big deal, and this is why I have to recommend OOo2 if you want to do anything with the WK (which was actually created using OOo2 for the Mac, so I can vouch for it). It doesn't give you an Aqua experience, but it's quite functional without it.

all my best,

Thanks. I discovered that

Thanks. I discovered that there was a newer Beta 1.2 NeoOffice that does have OOo2 reading ability.

Contrarywise, the Mac-friendly version of OOo2 is going through minor version updating and I had to do some serious digging to locate a download. All the links on the Mac download page of OpenOffice.org are dead. Finally found one and I am rolling again.

NeoOffice 2.1

NeoOffice 2.1 is officially out. The first feature listed in the feature list over at MacUpdates.com is "Based on OpenOffice.org 2.1 codebase". Download and enjoy. It is nice to be able to run a free office suite outside of X11.


Finally out

NeoOffice is what I use. Could not wait for 2.1 to come out. It needs a little work though. Can't wait for the first patches to come out.

"It's better to be a pirate than to join the Navy." -- Steve Jobs

these are great

oh wow.

thank you so much.

and you use OO!!!!

How does this work?

Does this Widget work outside of Open Office? I have MS Office and access to other software as well. I would rather not download Open Office if I don't have to.

Thanks in advance!


There is nothing in Office to compare to Draw's functionality in OOo. It's light years beyond anything Microsoft has, and hence, is not compatible with Office. Sorry, but if you want to fiddle with it, you will need OOo.


Another good reason

OpenOffice.org has one major advantage over Microsoft Office; it's cost. Okay so you have the cost of downloading the package but other than that it's free, no charge. And in the event of an upgrade (whether an incremental one to fix bugs or major feature change) it's still the same cost. Plus OOo includes stuff as standard that only comes in higher priced versions of Microsoft Office, specifically Base the database component is included in the basic OOo package.

Then there's the usability issue that Jon raises.

And as the cherry on the cake there is the fact that OOo runs on not only Windows, but Mac OS X and also on Linux and various other UNIX-based systems. Microsoft Office only runs on Windows and Macs (and who's to say that the latter will continue in future --- Microsoft dropped the Mac version of Internet Explorer). Plus documents are cross-platform comparible. Oh yeah and OOo reads Microsoft Office files.

.....and converts to PDF

.....and converts to PDF with the Save As command.

saving as PDF

Not that I'm pushing Microsoft - 'cause I'm not a big fan - but in current (and previous) versions of Mac OSX, you can save any document in any program as a PDF file from within the print dialogue box. Just sayin'.
I haven't played around much with Ooo, but I think I'm going to have to, to see what all the fuss is about.

On a Mac....

For now, at least, hold off on downloading the official OOo version. Find the NeoOffice version for now. It plays fine with the Aqua interface, using your system fonts with no problems, and using the same Mac interface you are used to. Right now, the official OOo interface runs within X11, and not only is ugly ;-), but it keeps its menus within each window, and has different keyboard shortcuts as well.

I mentioned fonts. Sometimes, it doesn't import your system fonts into its own proprietary (on the Mac) system, and then you run into problems, and unless you are willing to muck around in X11 or with OOo's macros, you are sunk.

That said, Sun has recently committed to porting it to Cocoa, so we can expect something good someday--hopefully soon.

I say that, because NeoOffice is heavily Java-dependent, which slows it down on my 7 yr old Pismo Laptop (that last gen G3 PowerBook)


Thanks, John - at one time

Thanks, John - at one time my school district was pushing NeoOffice, and I didn't particularly care for it...but maybe I'll check it out again. I did download Ooo a while back, opened it up and played around with a template, but that's about as far as I got.
I'll be anxious to see what's coming up the pike.

I'm like you on this...

I actually have a "like"-hate relationship with both Microsoft Office and OOo (including NeoOffice). I like those particular elements that they can do--when they do them, but overall, I'm not impressed with either package for daily, heavy work. My main workhorse for word processing is, believe it or not, a tie between TextEdit and Nisus Writer Express (and I can't wait for the new Pro to go final! I've been using the beta, and it is fast compared to Express, and adds some capability). However, I use on a regular basis, just about everything I can get my hands on--Word, OOo, NeoOffice, NWE, TextEdit, TextMate, Pages, and even DevonThink and Journlr! It all depends on what my particular needs are, and what's actually conveniently open at the time. ;-) I've long ago gotten into the habit of saving everything in RTF, so I can move around quite safely between them all. :-)

But I still am not too keen on using either Word or OOo on a regular basis... However.... for working with the DIYPlanner templates, I find NeoOffice amazingly cool! I love working with it for those--that's one of its strong points. :-)



Talk about the wayback machine, Sherman. I hadn't heard that name in 10+ years. Course, I'm out of the Mac world these days. But for me, I trust nothing more than plain ol' text. Gimme vi!

-- Coffee and Books, the pleasures of life
-- http://javajeb.wordpress.com


Does anyone use notepad++ as a wordprocessor? One of the issues with OOo is it seems to use a lot of memory, slows down my creaking laptop. I wonder if notepad++ is a bit more snappy, and what type of documents you can save as - compatible with word and OOo? Does it save as PDF? I don't want to install yet more softwear, unless it really is an improvement. At over 200 Mb OOo is quite a chunk on the hard drive, most of which I don't use.

RE: notepad++

I have co-workers who use it for log file reading on Windows. Don't know much beyond that. As someone said earlier, RTF can get you into many different word processors. PDF works, but is no longer editable, AFAIK.

-- Coffee and Books, the pleasures of life
-- http://javajeb.wordpress.com


I use Notepad++ as a text editor for programming at work. I really didn't think it did any fancier formatting than plain text. It is very lightweight, very fast, has a nice interface, and it's free/open source.

For programming, Notepad++ has some very nice features like syntax highlighting. As for using it for a word processor, I don't know of anyone who uses it for that. Try it and see if you like it.


PDF Creator

This may be a good time to mention PDF Creator It is a free program for Windows that allows you to "print" anything to a PDF file. This functionality is built-in to OS/X.


Thanks for your replies. I

Thanks for your replies. I guess I'll stick with what I have for now. I have coffeecup for coding, with which I am very happy (bar the littlest things), and the project I am working on for which I have to make some sharable PDFs (saved in OOo) that print exact is almost done now anyway. Will just put up with the slowness.
On the subject of PDF, if anyone hasn't seen this post on PigPog, it is about the vast difference in file size between different converters.

Patently Obvious Why ...

Judy is correct there are huge differences in the size of PDF files produced by various software add-ons.

On the subject of PDF, if anyone hasn't seen the post on PigPog ...about the vast difference in file size between different converters.

The explanation is simple. The US Patent Office, unlike the rest of sensible world, grants software-only patents; it also doesn't have even examiners so they admit there are loads of "obvious" software patents out there. The compression scheme that Adobe specifies for PDF is covered by one such software-only patent. Programmers not wanting to fall foul of a large litigious corporation don't included this algorithm in many open source, freeware or shareware PDF creation tools because the authors can't afford the licence fee.

oy vey

I've spent a good deal of time on here admiring, contemplating and reading advice. However, now that I've finally downloaded open office...and blue highway of course, I tried to download the widget kit to get started on my attempts at personalization and am getting beautiful boxes and grids...full of jarbled and overlapped text. Can somebody help?

fyi- im really computer non-savvy.
thanks in advance!

oh nevermind. I neglected to

oh nevermind. I neglected to realize you have to INSTALL the font after downloading it. Like I said, completely computer illiterate, this project will be interesting :-)

p.s.- you guys are AWESOME!

Thanks Muchly!

ygor, this rocks. I just finished my first custom form, requested by my wife. It's fiddly, but anything sufficiently flexible to be worthwhile is, and this is.

Now, on to her second request, and then I'll figure out how to upload these puppies and give back a little to the group.

OpenOffice 3?

I was wondering if this works in OpenOffice 3 beta? I am looking to make a new Project/Meeting template and didn't want to have to uninstall OO3 if it doesn't work.

Anyone try this? - Ken

It should work fine.

It should work fine.

PDF of new Form

I have made a new form to handle project meetings and it looks great. The problem I have is that when I PDF the form, the fonts all revert from the default font used by the DIY Planner Widget kit to Times New Roman. If I can fix that, I can PDF and share this with the template library and coworkers.

I tried using a PDF printer as well, but the widget pieces get distorted. They only look good if I use the PDF Export function of OpenOffice. Then I get the font issue. Has anyone run into this? Is there a workaround? I like the default font and would like to keep it. - Thanks!

Font installed?

Do you have the Blue Highway font installed on your computer?

Font is Installed

Yes, I installed the font into Windows using the fonts applet in the Control Panel.

Old or corrupt

I recall there were people encountering problems with some copies of the font. Might be worth double-checking that you have the latest version installed.


That's a mac-only thing, and what happens is you get exclamation points instead of spaces.


Font Date

Even though this is a Mac only thing, I checked the fonts. The fonts I have are in XP from 2007, three years newer than the font in the widget kit.

Anyone have other ideas?

get a Mac ?

It's one thing to tell PC users that a Mac is better, but to show them that even a PC is better when it runs on a Mac really drives the point home.

Wired Magazine reviewing Virtual PC
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Thats all fine but...

I would run Linux over both if work would allow.

Any ideas on the font?

Got IT!

For some reason, even though the text fields were set as Blue Highway, the font wasn't. Odd, because it printed correctly in OpenOffice. I highlighted all of the text in the document and changed everything back to Blue Highway and the document is complete.

How would I go about submitting the template to the site?

First, REGISTER, please

"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Updated version?/A5?

Hi, this is an amazing resource and thanks for putting in the time to create it. I noticed though, that the style is a bit different in the current version of the DIY planner, and I was wondering if you have any plans to release an updated version. Or for that matter releasing a version specifically for A5 planners? Thanks.

Dynamic templates?

I think the new plan is for us to use the Dynamic Templates app to print out what we need. But last I read, there was no plan to update the widgets to the 3.0 DIYP templates.


How do dynamic templates work?

I'm fairly new to this, so I apologize if I'm missing something. I just went to the dynamic templates page and to me it looks like they are only for making calendar pages. I'm trying to make new template pages tailored for my particular style of usage for things like project management. I was hoping to use this widget kit tool for that, and in fact I made a template page to do this, but then I realized it was sized for half a sheet of letter instead of A5. I guess I can just edit the sizes of everything down so it fits on A5, but I figured I'd check to see if there was something that was already like that out there.

oh, custom...

...If you want custom, you will have to use the widget set, or go completely on your own. There are various notes forms in the dynamics, but nothing you can customize that much. However, you might want to peruse the user template gallery, and see if someone didn't already make what you are trying to do. :-)


What would you want updated ?

It is just a basic set of building blocks you can cut and paste into new templates.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson) ***

Styles mostly

Nothing big, I just noticed that some of the styles aren't the same as the most recent DIY planner core package. Like there aren't gradients in these widgets, and the checkbox sizes are different, etc. Just figured I'd ask.

The kit is an example to get you started

If you have other ideas, go for it.
Nothing says you have to stick with one style.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson) ***