OpenOffice::OODoc::File - I/O operations with OpenOffice.org files
The explicit use of this module is necessary only in programs which need to access several XML elements in the same OpenOffice.org document in the same session, e.g. Metadata, content and page layout. In this case, it will in effect be calling several OODoc::XPath derivative objects (e.g. an OODoc::Meta and an OODoc::Text), each one accessing a distinct XML element, but all working on the same file. It is advisable, then, to create firstly an OODoc::File object which handles the overall file access, then to create two or more OODoc::XPath objects which will use it as a "server".
If the program is only concerned with a single XML element from the file, it is unnecessary to create an OODoc::File explicitly. Just build an OODoc::XPath object with a filename as parameter. The XPath will create a "private" File itself and use it to access the data invisibly.
Please note that OODoc::File is able to handle all standard zip archives and not just OpenOffice.org files. Filenames do not have to have a ".sx?" extension. It allows access by other modules, if required, to XML/OpenOffice data in compressed archives which are not necessarily in OpenOffice.org format.
Short Form: ooFile(filename)
Returns an instance of OODoc::File if <filename> is a valid zip
my $archive =
An optional argument can be passed in hash format (key => value),
after the filename. Like this:
work_dir => "path"
which designates the path to the XML working files also generated
during a save for this object (each OpenOffice::OODoc::File object
can have its own working directory); without this option, the
working directory is set according to the content of the class
Note: no content checking is carried out. The archive can be opened
whether or not it is an OpenOffice.org document.
It's possible to create an OpenOffice::OODoc::File object without
providing an existing OpenOffice.org file. To do so, there is a
create => "class"
where "class" is the document class according to the OpenOffice.org
terminology, so it is one of the following values: "text",
spreadsheet", "presentation", "drawing". These values are the same
as the legal parameters of contentClass() in OpenOffice::OODoc::XPath.
For a very advanced use, it's possible to pass an additional option
template_path => "path"
to generate the new file from special, user-provided XML templates
instead of those included in the installation. If this option is
not provided, the general template path (possibly changed with
the templatePath() function) is used.
The returned object of new(), if successful, is a valid File object,
whose methods listed below become available.
If unsuccessful (generally due to non-existent file or invalid zip
archive or even a corrupt zip archive), the constructor returns a
null value (undef), and an error message is sent to the standard
Returns the decompressed content of the requested member, if
contained in the archive and corresponds to an XML element of the
currently active OpenOffice.org file instance. The <member>
parameter must therefore correspond to one of the members of the
file (see Introduction). If the application uses any of the words
"content", "meta", "styles" or "settings", in upper or lower case,
the .xml extension is automatically added but any other names are
accepted without change if they are indeed existing members of the
The following statements are equivalent:
my $content = $archive->extract('META');
my $content = $archive->extract('meta.xml');
my $content = $archive->extract('meta);
After the above calls, the variable $content contains the XML
document which represents the metadata of an OpenOffice.org file.
This content can be used, for example, to instance a Meta object.
Note: in most "normal" cases, this method does not have to be called
explicitly as it is called silently by each occurrence of XPath
(therefore by Text and Meta which are derivatives of it), but only
if XPath is constructed referencing an OODoc::File object as a
parameter (see OODoc::XPath). An extract call is only useful when
exporting the XML or handling it outside of OODoc::XPath.
On error (e.g. unknown archive member), a null value is returned and
an error message is produced.
Connects a File object to an XPath object given as an argument. This
connection has two output products:
- immediately calls the extract method using the corresponding
"specialist" component of the XPath object (metadata if
OODoc::Meta, content if OODoc::Text, etc).
- stores the link for later updates to all OpenOffice.org file
members which may have been modified by XPath objects (in case a
save is called, see below).
Note: This method is used by OODoc::XPath to connect as "clients" to
OODoc::File objects. It does not have to be called directly by
highest-level programs which only use OODoc::XPath objects.
Orders the deletion of any OpenOffice.org file member.
deletes the physical content of an image loaded in the file.
It is entirely up to the application to ensure that such a deletion
does not compromise the integrity of the file as no dependency
checking is carried out here. In the above example, the delete
operation could be particularly justified if the "image" member
which referenced this content had been (or was going to be)
otherwise removed, or if it had been replaced by an external
This method can be used to remove any XML or non-XML member. It can
be combined with raw_import() in order to effect a raw replacement
of content without interpretation.
Note: calls to this method only prepare the deletion, which is
actually carried out by the save() method if it occurs before the
end of the program. If save() is called with a filename which is
different from the source filename, the source file remains
unchanged and the deleted member is simply not transferred to the
This method should not generally be called in an "ordinary" program.
Decompresses and exports the physical content of a given member (XML
or non-XML) of an archive. If the second argument is used, it passes
the destination filename (perhaps with access path). If not, the
file is exported using its internal archive name. Examples:
exports the "styles.xml" member into a file of the same name in the
exports the same XML member to a given path.
raw_export executes immediately (and is not deferred like
If successful, the returned value is the filename of the exported
Creates or replaces the indicated member by importing an external
source file. If the second argument is omitted, the source file is
taken to have the same access path as the internal member.
or, in more compact form:
The above sequence requests the import of the member "styles.xml"
from an archive called $arch1 into $arch2 (a direct means of using
the styles and page layout of one document as a template for
The imported files can be any type and have any content. This "raw"
method treats an OpenOffice.org file as any other zip archive. It
notably allows the import of non-XML members (images, sounds,
programs, etc) which the application deals with (and which can be
ignored by the office application).
Caution: the import is only completed when a save() method is called
by the importing object. It can only succeed if the source file is
available at that very moment. A raw_import method can be called
before the imported file is available (no check of availability is
made). An error will be caused if the file is absent at the time of
the save call. If several raw_import statements are run against the
same filename, there will actually be a corresponding number of
copies of the file in its final state which are imported at the
moment of the save, even if it had perhaps been modified in the
meantime (probably not a very useful outcome).
Saves the content of the archive to a file replacing the content of
some or all of the XML members with data supplied by the linked
OODoc::XPath object(s). Each updated member must be indicated in the
form of a hash element whose key corresponds to a standard XML
member of an OpenOffice.org file, in the same way as for an extract
call with the value being the new XML content to be saved.
Please note that File does not check the content, and the save
method can be used to force through any data which may produce a
file unusable by StarOffice/OpenOffice.org. Normally, supplied data
should have been produced by an XPath object or other application
producing OpenOffice.org XML.
The filename argument is optional. If it is omitted, the source file
supplied by the new call is used  .
Even though the life of an OODoc::File object does not necessarily
end with a save, it is recommended that you avoid repeated
alternation between save and extract (the object's behaviour in this
situation has not been tested). Normally it is preferable to call a
save once and for all at the end of a series of updates.
Only a call to OODoc::File's save method saves content and
presentation changes made by other OODoc components to the
OpenOffice.org file, including raw imports of external data
(raw_import). No file is created or modified before this method is
called, with the exception of external files created by raw_export.
Nevertheless File's save can be called automatically and silently by
an OODoc::XPath object but only where it has been called as a
parameter explicitly for this purpose (see the chapter on
All XPath objects which are "connected" to a File object by link
must be present at the time of the save call. If one of these
objects has meanwhile been deleted, the consequences are
unpredictable and, in any case, any document updates it could have
made are lost.
Class function (not to be used as a method).
Accessor to get/set the path for a user-defined set of XML templates,
to be used in case of new document creation. This path is empty by
default. Without an explicit template path, the default XML templates
provided with the OpenOffice::OODoc distribution are automatically
The given path, if any, must correspond to a directory with the
"text", "presentation", "spreadsheet" and "drawing" subdirectories,
each one containing the appropriates XML templates for the
corresponding document class and their associated non-XML data, if
any (ex: images). These templates can be produced, for example, by
uncompressing ordinary OpenOffice.org files.
No class variables are exported.
The class variable $OpenOffice::OODoc::File::WORKING_DIRECTORY
indicates the directory to be used for temporary files (used but the
save() method) when no object-specific path is provided through the
'work_dir' option. By default, the working directory is the current
The $OpenOffice::OODoc::File::TEMPLATE_PATH, empty by default, can
contain an alternative path for document generation template files;
it can be set with the templatePath() function.
Instance hash variables are:
'linked' => list of connected OODoc::XPath instances
'members' => list of file member (*.xml and others)
'raw_members' => list of import files
'temporary_files' => created temporary files.
Where $f is a given instance of OODoc::File, the table
is a list of OODoc::XPath objects which were connected to $f by the
link method and
is a list of members found in the archive when new is called.
These variables can be read at any time even though they were
normally designed to be used internally by OODoc::File. Unless you
are just finding out exactly what they do, it is dangerous to modify
them. Applications do not normally need to access them.
See OpenOffice::OODoc::Notes(3) for the footnote citations ([n]) included in this page.
This man page has been adapted from a chapter of the original reference manual. This manual is in OpenOffice.org (SXW) format.
It's freely downloadable from the project page (http://www.genicorp.com/devel/oodoc)
Copyright 2004 by Genicorp, S.A. (http://www.genicorp.com)
Initial developer: Jean-Marie Gouarne (http://jean.marie.gouarne.online.fr)
Initial English version of the reference manual by Graeme A. Hunter (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Genicorp General Public Licence v1.0
- GNU Lesser General Public License v2.1
To install OpenOffice::OODoc, copy and paste the appropriate command in to your terminal.
perl -MCPAN -e shell
For more information on module installation, please visit the detailed CPAN module installation guide.