Open Office 3: Beta with more Extensions

Jul 14, 2008

The Open Office project has just released version 3 of the free office package.

The biggest change, according to the changelog is the way the software handles extensions.

Extensions include dictionaries, which are extremely simple to install. If the dictionary scope changes, users receive an update message and can install the extended version. Changes to the user interface make it easier for users to install add-ons. In future the system will be identifiable by the "oxt" suffix, and will auto-install when double-clicked.

Open Office normally warns users when they import Visual Basic macros, however, this warning can be ignored by enabling an additional function. Open Office uses the interoperability API to execute the macro code. Another feature - Calc now supports collaboration: a new feature gives multiple Open Office Calc users the ability to work together on Calc spreadsheets, monitor changes and block cells if needed. Continuous updates ensure that all users see the changes.

Finally, there are many smaller changes. The database menu now lets users insert and delete records, charts offer more flexible graphics by supporting perspectives and notices in documents are far more attractive.

Another tip: if Open Office 3 launches too slowly for your liking, the tip in this blog will help accelerate the free office suite. If you are interested in Open Office 3, you can either wait for an update of the distribution or download the current beta version from the product page.

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