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Development Tools

Inspects objects in Office documents and shows supported UNO services, as well as available methods, properties and implemented interfaces.

This feature also allows to explore the document structure using the Document Object Model (DOM).

To access this command...

Choose Tools - Development Tools

Development Tools

The Development Tools are visible in all documents of Office Writer, Calc, Impress and Draw. The display is persistent and remain visible until deselected.

When Development Tools is enabled, a dockable window is shown at the bottom of the screen. This window has two sections:

  • Document Object Model tree view: Displays document portions according to the Document Object Model (DOM). Use this section to choose the object to inspect.
  • Object inspection panel: Displays the available services, methods, properties and interfaces of the selected object.

This feature is available since Office 7.2 for Writer, Calc, Impress and Draw.

Document Model Tree View

The left side of the window contains a Current Selection toggle button, a Refresh button and a tree view that displays all objects in the document.

The behaviour of the tree view depends on the status of the Current Selection toggle button:

  • Click on Current Selection to display the properties of the object currently selected in the document. Hence, clicking any item in the tree view have no effect.
  • Click on Current Selection again to display any item in the tree view and update the contents of the Object Inspection Panel.

The types of objects displayed by the Document Model Tree View depend on the Office application being used:

Office application Supported objects
Writer ParagraphsText Portions in a ParagraphShapesTablesFramesGraphic ObjectsEmbedded Objects (OLE)Style Families and Styles
Calc SheetsShapes per sheetCharts per sheetPivot tables per sheetStyle Families and Styles
Impress SlidesShapes per slideMaster slidesStyle Families and Styles
Draw PagesShapes per pageStyle Families and Styles

Object Inspection Panel

The right side of the window is the Object Inspection Panel that displays information about the object being inspected.

Class Name: is the name of the object class.

Use the class name to search more information in the API documentation. For example, the top-level object in a Writer document is an instance of the class SwXTextDocument, which is documented at SwXTextDocument Class Reference.

You can inspect the object further by using the four tabs available that display its Interfaces, Services, Properties and Methods.

The information about the object is organised in columns in each tab. The set of columns displayed depend on the selected tab.

Interfaces tab

Contains a single column presenting the list of interfaces implemented by the object.

Services tab

Contains a single column presenting the list of services supported by the object.

Properties tab

Contains four columns that describe the properties of the object:

  • Property: Shows the names of the object properties.
  • Value: Displays a textual representation of the current property value.
  • Type: Shows the property type.
  • Info: display relevant information about the property. For example, a read-only property displays "read-only" in this column.

The Properties tab also includes a text box on the bottom to display the full textual representation of the property value.

Methods tab

Contains four columns that describe the combined list of methods that can be called by the current object:

  • Method: Shows the names of all methods of the object.
  • Return type: Displays the return type of the object methods. Methods that do not return any value are marked as "void" in this column.
  • Parameters: Shows the list of parameters that are required by the method as well as their respective types.
  • Implementation class: Displays the name of the class where the method is implemented.