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Released: Apache OpenOffice 4.1.15 3.0 New Features

New Core Features


Mac OS X Support

With Version 3.0, is now able to run on Mac OS X without the need for X11. Thus, behaves like any other Aqua application. The cool thing is, while the market leading office suite vendor dropped VBA support and the Solver feature, recently introduced limited VBA support and includes a powerful Solver component. In addition, integrates well with the Mac OS X accessibility APIs, and thus offers better accessibility support than many other Mac OS X applications. Finally, people like 3.0 for Mac OS X because of its very good stability and performance. Reportedly, some Mac users have switched to just because of its extremely good stability.


ODF 1.2 Support 3.0 already supports the features of the upcoming version 1.2 of the ISO standard OpenDocument Format (ODF). ODF 1.2 includes a powerful formula language as well as a sophisticated metadata model based on the W3C standards RDF and OWL. ODF is being mandated and adopted in a growing number of countries. In addition; ODF is being implemented by many vendors for many different applications.


Microsoft Office 2007 Import Filters

In addition to read and write support for the Microsoft Office binary file formats (.doc; .xls, .ppt, etc.), 3.0 is now capable of opening files created with Microsoft Office 2007 or Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac OS X (.docx, .xlsx, .pptx, etc.). Thus, users can interact with users still using Microsoft Office. The various filters for the Microsoft Office file formats also make mixed environments possible, so that some users stay on Microsoft Office while others use


Solver now also has a solver component which allows solving optimization problems where the optimum value of a particular spreadsheet cell has to be calculated based on constraints provided in other cells. The new solver component should be particularly interesting to Mac users considering that Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac OS X apparently does not include a solver feature anymore.


Chart Enhancements

Many users requests support for displaying custom error bars and regression equations. The developer community including Sun listened to these users and added these highly desired features to 3.0. Thus; now it's possible to draw error bars based on error ranges provided in spreadsheet cells. In addition, it is possible to display regression equations as well as correlation coefficients.


Improved Crop Feature in Draw and Impress

In the past; cropping images in was not very intuitive. With 3.0, cropping images now works exactly like in most of the other desktop applications, i.e. by dragging handles located at the edges and corners of an image. This new feature improves the usability and productivity significantly.


Spreadsheet Collaboration Through Workbook Sharing

This new feature in 3.0 allows collaborating on spreadsheets with multiple users. By sharing a spreadsheet; other users can easily add their data to the spreadsheet. The spreadsheet owner can then easily integrate the new data with a few clicks. The new collaboration feature also helps avoid editing conflicts.


1024 Columns Per Calc Sheet (Instead of 256)

With support for 1024 columns; 3.0 can now handle significantly more data than before. Previous versions only supported 256 columns.


Display of Multiple Writer Pages While Editing

When you are writing larger documents; it is often nice to see the current page in a context, i.e. to also see the previous and the next page. With the new zoom slider, it is now easily possible to change the zoom factor. More importantly, Writer can now display multiple pages at the same time. This feature is particularly handy on large monitors or dual-monitor setups.


Improved Notes Feature in Writer

In the past; notes in were just displayed as small yellow rectangles within the text. This was not very intuitive and user friendly. With version 3.0, got an advanced notes features which displays notes on the side of the document. This makes notes a lot easier to read. In addition, notes from different users are displayed in different colours together with the editing date and time.


New, Fresh-Looking Icons 3.0 got a new set of fresh-looking icons which makes a lot more fun to work with.


Start Center

When you open the application, you are now welcomed by a Start Center that allow you to choose which module you would like to use, or if you would prefer to open a document. Further information are available through the three icons on the right side of the screen.

Native Tables in Impress

Impress now comes with native support for inserting tables into presentations. It was possible to use tables in the past, but only as an embedded Calc object. Beginning with 3.0, tables are embedded natively into your presentation and can be edited directly with Impress.

Enhanced XML support and updated XSLT based filters now supports footnotes, field values and headings greater than six when exporting to XHTML. Due to a change of the default extension to .html, Internet Explorer will as well be able to load the exported XHTML documents. In the future, it will also be possible to update XSLT filters via an extension to be independent from release cycles.

Core Features Introduced With Minor Releases Since 2.0

PDF/A Support

In addition to the ISO standard OpenDocument Format (ODF), also supports the popular ISO standard PDF/A. While ODF is used for editable documents, PDF/A is popular for archiving read-only versions of documents.


New Chart Component

Since version 2.3; has a new, powerful chart component. Version 2.4 then added many new formatting options.


VBA Support can run many VBA macros unmodified due to its built-in; limited VBA support.


Programmability Enhancements allows to develop powerful extensions that run on top of These extensions can include online help information; descriptive names, licensing information etc. Thus, provides a very powerful extension framework to developers who want to add functionality to


Transformation of CSV Data Inside Cells into Columns within Calc

If data imported or copied into a spreadsheet ends up in one column even though the information includes different data fields; the text-to-columns feature allows splitting up the fields into separate columns.


Language Selector in Writer Toolbar

The language selector tool makes assigning different languages to different paragraphs very simple. Thus; editing and spell checking documents that are written in more than just one language becomes very easy.


Maximum Page Size Enlarged for Draw (300cm x 300cm) Draw allows the create of very large documents of up to 300cm by 300cm. Thus; Draw is a powerful tool for things like scientific posters, etc.


Enhanced PDF Export

The PDF export feature in provides a huge set of formatting and security options; so that PDF files can be customized for many different scenarios.


Multiple Monitor Support in Impress Impress supports multiple monitors; so that presenters can look at something else while presenting their slides on a projector. With the upcoming Presenter Console Extension this feature can be exploited to its maximum because then presenters will be able to see their next slides as well as the time and the speaker notes.


Miscellaneous Features

  • Microsoft Vista Support
  • Columns and Rows in Spreadsheets Can Be Moved via Drag and Drop
  • Autosum button for cell ranges in Calc
  • Named ranges in Validity lists in Calc
  • Easy-To-Use Print Dialog in Calc
  • Playing a Sound File During a Full Slide Show in Impress
  • Custom Animation Paths in Impress
  • Support for Access 2007 ".accdb" Files
  • Improved Pivot Table Support
  • Autokerning Enabled by Default
  • "Queries within Queries" Feature for Base
  • Improved HTML Export for Spreadsheets
  • Block selection in Writer
  • Language auto detected in paragraphs in Writer
  • Preview in Navigator for all modules
  • Online update for OOo and extensions
  • Java installer under Linux

Features Released as Extensions and Complementary Tools Extension Repository

If you have not found your favourite feature in yet, you should check out the Extension Repository. Many new extensions get added to the repository every month. Thus, it is very likely that you will find a cool new feature in the extension repository. A few examples of extensions are listed below.


Calendar and Email Client (Mozilla Thunderbird and Lightning)

Mozilla Thunderbird and Mozilla Lightning are the perfect team for managing your emails, appointments and tasks.


Presentation Minimizer Extension

The Sun Presentation Minimizer is used to reduce the file size of the current presentation. Images will be compressed, and data that is no longer needed will be removed. The Sun Presentation Minimizer can optimize the image quality size. Presentations designed for screen or projector do not require the same high quality as presentations designed for print.


Report Builder Extension

Create with the Sun Report Builder stylish; smart-looking database reports. The flexible report editor can define group and page headers as well as group and page footers and even calculation fields are available to accomplish complex database reports.


Wiki Publisher Extension

The Sun Wiki Publisher extension makes creating new wiki pages on MediaWiki servers an easy task. The extension allows users to create wiki pages without having to know the syntax of the MediaWiki markup language.


Presenter Console Extension

The Presenter Console Extension allows speakers to view the next slides of their presentation as well as their speaker notes and the time on their laptop screen while presenting with a projector. Read more about it here...


Now Available...

PDF Import Extension

The PDF Import Extension allows modifying existing PDF files for which the original source files do not exist anymore. Read more about it here...

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