D*I*Y Planner Widget Kit 0.3 (for OpenOffice.org)

The most requested item on my D*I*Y Planner to-do list, even more so than the Hipster PDA Edition, has been a source file so that people can create their own templates. I'm not about to release my mass of Adobe Illustrator and InDesign files (indeed, they are guaranteed to frighten small children and reduce husky men to tears), but I've been hinting for a while at an OpenOffice.org template that mere mortals might use without fear of drowning in thousands of vector layers. The time has come for a preview release.

D*I*Y Planner Widget Kit (Sample)Below you'll find an early release of my OpenOffice.org Draw template kit for creating your very own forms, called --ahem-- the D*I*Y Planner Widget Kit 0.3. It requires at least 1.1.3 of OpenOffice.org (free at OpenOffice.org), a touch of patience, and a little bit of knowledge of Draw (or at least a willingness to learn it). It should work fine in OOo 1.9.x, but my Linux box is down for the count, so I can't test it at the moment. (This kit was created with NeoOffice/J on a Mac, a Java-driven version of 1.1.x.) In the package, you'll find the Draw SXD file, a sample PDF exported from it, and the very necessary Blue Highway fonts. Please make sure you install these first!

When you open up this file, you'll see a page with a layout that approximates a standard 5.5x8.5 D*I*Y Planner form, and there are a number of graphical elements that you can copy and paste into your own creation. That's all there is, really: no elite programming or technical skills required, just OOo and enough time to do what you need. My only tip for you: create a new "slide" (i.e., page), copy the whole widget slide into it, delete what you don't want, and move around the rest, duplicating as necessary. Be sure to plan out your template first (I do mine on paper), and then start experimenting with the kit. The more you use the elements and the application, the more you'll figure out what's going on. I'm offering no support for this kit at the moment, nor am I giving any advice on using OOo -- that's what its help is for, and there are tutorials floating around the Net.

In other words, use this package at your peril.

Download: D*I*Y Planner Widget Kit 0.3

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

Note: 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 (see the pulldown at top left) to get it looking right. By the way, a line thickness of 0.00" is actually quite thin, but still there.

Further questions or experimentation regarding the "hPDA-ification" of the WK should probably be directed to the template design and requests forum.

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Widget for Hipster PDA?

Even though Jeff Jeff has figured out how make this work for 3 X 5, is there a D*I*Y Widget for Hipster coming soon to a blog near me? If not, any tips on getting from Classic size to 3 X 5? Thanx.

Asked and Answered

Didn't realize youd' already given the answer on the orginal D*I*Y Widget Release Page. Sorry.

Updated WK Instructions

No need to apologise, my friend. I should have included those tips here too. I've added them to this page, just in case others were looking for the same info.

all my best,
a million monkeys typing : http://www.douglasjohnston.net

Thanks- Great Idea

Paperwork and I are not friends, so some of what I do looks like a disaster. I resized the widgets larger to fit with some of the things where we should have forms instead of just blank paper. Wow. Thanks for the tools and the inspiration.

Letter-size Widget Kit

Yup, I haven't put much thought into it yet, but there's no reason that the WK couldn't be used for Letter-sized or A4 forms. In fact, owing to the way that OOo sizing works, it'll probably be truer to the larger sizes than to the Classic or hPDA sizes. Perhaps eric might chime in here later with some tips on the official sizes of margins and fonts, as used in the "big brother" editions. (Or, ask nicely, and he might even help produce a WK after he finishes the port of the current templates. ;-) )

all my best,
a million monkeys typing : http://www.douglasjohnston.net


So I've been absorbing Hipsters for the past week and contemplating. I tried to use your standard templates but my printer (Dell P1500) holds things to the center margin and not to a side so it made it difficult. As I continued my search and decided to start making my own templates (which were kinda narly) I saw that you had your widget library. Holy salvation. Now I have made my own templates, which are 90' rotated from the standard allowing me to have a bit more writing room as a lefty.

Word to the wise, when using open office don't save your text doc template as a open doc format. All of my hard work went out the window when I reloaded it to see it munged. The open office sxw formatting holds the document together quite nice.

This morning I'm redoing my templates as draw files since I figure that would hold better too then I'll submit them for anyone who might want a different variant.

Thanks so much for doing this, made a lot of my headaches go away.


other versions of widget file

any possibility of getting a copy of the widget file that would open in other software than openoffice? the only computer I've got is at the office, and they frown on loading new software. I've got Autocad and the entire Macromedia suite to play with, though, so would *really* like to get this in a format of some kind that would transfer....

thanks, caroline


Hi Caroline, I just exported the ooffice file to an eps file and loaded it in Illustrator and it looks work able. Text modifications would require you to make new text but using the predefined lines, boxes, and general layout looks held and workable.

Is an EPS a workable solution in your softwares? I haven't used autocad in a decade, nor flash. Drop me an email/form email and I'll toss you what I have, if it works for you maybe we can get it added to the library for others in similar situations.