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can't open remote files in Openoffice

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http://forums.opensuse.org – Have openoffice 3.1.1 and samba shares set up between my Opensuse 11.2 desktop and wife and daughters widows7 notebooks. Can access everything perfectly over the shares except anything in Openoffice. When I try to open a file located on one of the two notebooks Openoffice gives the message "you can only select local files" I found an old solution from 2005 on this in google suggesting that you had to mount manually the remote drive. That seems extremely clunky and cumbersome. There must be a way to enable Openoffice to open remote files. I can't believe in 2009 Openoffice is not able to do this without jumping through hoops. Have checked Kword and it has no problems opening files over samba shares (Distributions)