In a similar vein, the ability to preview OpenOffice documents in Nautilus is news to me, but at least five months have passed in the Spanish speaking world in which Ubuntu Life blogged about it.
By default Ubuntu does not carry Thumbnail support for OpenOffice documents. Install OOO-thumbnail to preview the document from Nautilus in Gnome. If you use KDE then install KDE OpenOffice Thumbnail Plugin to preview OpenOffice documents from Konqueror and Dolphin.
Nautilus OpenOffice Thumbnail Plugin
$ sudo aptitude install ooo-thumbnailer
After completion, restart nautilus with:
$ sudo killall nautilus