Nat Instruments TDMS Support for Calc

This is to the developers. Is it possible to get support for National Instruments (NI) TDMS files built into Calc?

NI has TDMS add-ins for Excel and Calc. (Do people still use OpenOffice?) Requests to NI for a LibreOffice add-in go back to 2017.

I’m just wondering if anything can be done from the LibreOffice end.

If there is an AddInn for AOO, try to install that in LO!

Since it seems (from its description, since its actual download requires an account…, and from the request discussion) that it’s a binary plugin (not a Basic/Python/Java, but likely a DLL/EXE binary inside the OXT), it might be specific to the architecture of the process - namely, be 32-bit-only. So you might need to install a 32-bit build of LibreOffice to be able to use it.

I downloaded the OpenOffice add-in hoping that OpenOffice and LibreOffice Calcs were not that different. Unfortunately, the add-in would not install because I do not have the OpenOffice suite installed.

No add-in for Apache OpenOffice either.

The plugin there is indeed a 32-bit-specific binary monster. And the “is OOo installed” check is a very simple one.

  1. Install a 32-bit build of LibreOffice. You may use a side-by-side installation, if you prefer; possibly PortableApps version could also work - but there, I don’t know if they allow putting stuff into the installation directory, which the plugin installer happily does.

  2. To make the plugin think it’s, open Registry Editor (regedit), navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE, and create key, inside it UNO, and inside it InstallPath.

  3. Under the InstallPath, double-click the (Default) entry, and put there the path to the program inside the installation directory of LibreOffice 32-bit.

  1. Now run the plugin installer.

  2. After the installation, the key created at step 2 may be removed.

It seems to me that the plugin is only partially functional in LO 7.6: it doesn’t show a File Open dialog when import is chosen, but instead it creates a new spreadsheet document. You might want to use an older version from the archive.

If you need support of this file format, you might consider these options:

  1. File an enhancement request, and hope it gets implemented when/if there’s a substantial demand for it;
  2. Develop a filter for that yourself;
  3. Find a developer, and contract them to implement your wanted feature.
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Thanks Mike. I will try that.

It appears there is something wrong with the Separate Install GUI download. A quick flash on my screen but nothing in my download folder.

Hi @mikekaganski Do you have another link for the SI-GUI download?

No, but you don’t need it actually - all that it does is:

  1. Runs msiexec -a path\to\downloaded\LibreOffice.msi;
  2. After the extraction finishes, opens program\bootstrap.ini in the unpacked directory, and makes sure that UserInstallation=$ORIGIN/.. is there instead of the previous value of UserInstallation line;
  3. Creates a shortcut to the program\soffice.exe.

Thanks Mike.

@mikekaganski Apologies for all the additional questions.

I seem to remember reading that the reason for using SI-GUI is that it won’t trash an already installed 64-bit LibreOffice.

Does the “msiexec /a LibreOffice.msi” command line just unpack the program, or does it unpack and install?

The former. It unpacks the MSI into a specified directory, much like an unzip program for a ZIP; it is intended to create an “administrative install image”, ready for sysadmins to install in their local intranet. But thanks to how LibreOffice organizes its installation image, it is ready to work right from the unpacked image - and the second step (program/bootstrap.ini modification) is only needed to make the program run from the unpacked image to not use your default profile, but create an own profile, and thus avoid modifications of the default profile from that.

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@mikekaganski I got the 32-bit version of LibreOffice 7.5.5 installed without affecting my 64.bit installation. I installed the plugin without any issues following your instructions.

I can’t say the imported .TDMS looks any better than when I tried to open it before. And when I tried to open the file a second time, LO said the file is corrupted and cannot be opened. Plus, LO does not recognize the file extensions .tdm and .tdms as legitimate file extensions after installing the plug-in.

I’ll just have someone that is already using the Excel plug-in, to convert it for me.