How can I edit a local spreadsheet within Firefox?
October 29, 2011 11:58 AM   Subscribe

How can I make a spreadsheet editable within Firefox? Difficulty: the spreadsheet is stored locally.

* I'm stuck using Firefox. Having other software open within a Firefox tab is fine, but opening up another piece of software is not. All of the action needs to take place within Firefox.
* I need to be able to edit and save the file. Simply viewing is not enough.
* The file has to be stored locally. Google Docs is out.
* Online editors, like Zoho, won't work as net access isn't always available.

OpenOffice has a plugin that lets me view the file, but not edit it and save it. Otherwise, the functionality of that plugin is exactly what I'm looking for.
posted by Solomon to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)
 
You say the file has to be stored locally, but is there a restriction that prevents you from uploading it to Google Docs, editing it, then re-saving it locally? I assume there must be since you've considered Google Docs, but I thought I'd ask.

There are some other online editing tools that I'm aware of, but I think they all have similar file upload requirements.
posted by asciident at 12:12 PM on October 29, 2011


This strikes me as an XY Problem that would be easier to provide workable solutions with more details. Why the restriction to FF?
posted by rhizome at 12:17 PM on October 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm a little confused. You need to edit the spreadsheet that is stored on, say, a shared network drive or shared on someone else's machine, but the only piece of software available is Firefox? You don't even have a text editor?
posted by rockindata at 3:04 PM on October 29, 2011


1. What software created the spreadsheet?
2. What OpenOffice plugin are you referring to? Got a link?
3. Who, exactly, needs to edit/save the spreadsheet... you only, others using the local computer, or you/others over the internet?
4. Do you have OpenOffice installed on the local computer? Any other office application?

Lessee if we can make an X outa this XY.
posted by drhydro at 4:07 PM on October 29, 2011


I realise that what I want to do is a pretty non-usual way of doing things, and therefore may not be feasible or even remotely possible. I realise it would be much easier to do what I want in a different fashion, and I may end up doing it in a different fashion, but I'd rather do it in the way I want to if that's possible.

I realise that this would be so much easier with a service like Google Docs, but I can't always guarantee internet access. An offline version of Google Docs would be ideal, I think.

OpenOffice created the spreadsheet. It's all I have on hand, because it's free and convenient to download, but I'm not tied to that specific software.

This is the plugin that comes with OpenOffice. It will let me view the document but to edit it, I have to load OpenOffice. I'd rather avoid opening another window to edit the file.

I am the only person who needs to edit the file, locally. Since I can't be sure that there will be internet access, an internet based solution wouldn't work, unfortunately.

OpenOffice is installed locally. I don't have any other editing software, but I can get some if it will do the job.
posted by Solomon at 3:34 AM on October 30, 2011


If no one knows of a Firefox addon that can do this, here's a silly idea for you. I'm assuming you are a Windows user.

If you have adequate hardware you can spin up a small sized virtual machine and install a VNC server that has a Java client (UltraVNC or RealVNC both support this feature, for example). Then, connect with Firefox and edit your spreadsheet in the remote desktop. BAM. Mission accomplished. Crazy overkill, but mission accomplished.

If you are a Linux user you probably don't need a VM, I think you might be able to get away with installing VNC and then connecting to localhost, but I have never tried this.
posted by tracert at 8:26 AM on October 30, 2011


OpenOffice is installed locally. I don't have any other editing software, but I can get some if it will do the job.

You're still leaving important details out. Why not use Open Office's spreadsheet app to edit your spreadsheet?
posted by rhizome at 1:09 PM on October 30, 2011


How is that relevant to answering the question?
posted by Solomon at 1:45 PM on October 30, 2011


How is that relevant to answering the question?

I think we're trying to figure out the broader context of the question so that we can offer better answers. Does the exact formatting of the spreadsheet need to be preserved, or is it all about the data? Are you looking to make major edits or just one or two things? Are you on a locked-down computer? (Is that the reason for the question?)

Personally, I don't know a direct answer for what you're trying to do, but I might be able to suggest something broadly similar, but I don't know what you're trying to do, in broader terms.
posted by thegears at 2:31 PM on October 30, 2011


Aside from tracert's solution (connecting to a virtual machine through Firefox to make the VM run the proper software for you) which is quite roundabout, the only other suggestion I would have is to set up a local private web server and run a spreadsheet editing web app on it. There are a number of them out there. You don't have to be online because the server is your own machine.

FWIW, people are responding weirdly to your question because without details it seems like you're applying an incompatible tool to the job just to avoid opening another window. You're certainly welcome to not explain yourself to us, but I think that is the source of the response you've received so far.
posted by asciident at 5:41 PM on October 30, 2011


OpenOffice is installed locally. I don't have any other editing software, but I can get some if it will do the job.

You're still leaving important details out. Why not use Open Office's spreadsheet app to edit your spreadsheet?
_______________________________________
How is that relevant to answering the question?


I think rhizome missed Solomon's statement about wanting to avoid opening another window for this.

Basically this problems' limitation is Firefox. It will have to be some sort of plugin or web app. Without 100% online status however I think we can assume even a LAN may not be available, forcing any webapp idea to be contained to a virtual machine. That is already rather complicated as a solution though.

The easiest road is has to be a plugin/control. I recall IE could use the office plugins/controls to allow editing and handling of files accessed through changing how the file opens in Windows. Like this link.
I'm not sure how to replicate that example in Windows 7 though... The file types dialogues no longer show the options necessary. However I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't possible.

Have you tried this other plugin? I can't test it right now (I need to update my virtual machine which would take time), but it looks promising?
posted by Bodrik at 9:05 PM on October 30, 2011


I realized, that last wrapper link does not come compiled... making it much more complicated... but the one screenshot available does seem to suggest something much more then what the vanilla OOo Plugin can do.
posted by Bodrik at 9:43 PM on October 30, 2011


It looks like Google Docs does have an offline mode ... but their FAQ says it only works in Chrome. But I don't know if that's a hard "only", or if they just don't support it in other browsers. If you're using the newest Firefox, it's worth checking.

http://docs.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=1628467
posted by mad bomber what bombs at midnight at 3:24 PM on October 31, 2011


« Older What's the current method of c...   |  What are the best Samsung TV A... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.