OpenOffice.org 1.0.x Features
by Nick Richards with some content from John McCreesh and Louis Suárez-Potts
What's in OpenOffice.org? What does it do? This page seeks to provide a brief synopsis of the features of OpenOffice.org.
Note. This page does not detail the new features of OpenOffice.org 1.1. Please see the OpenOffice.org 1.1 Features Page.
For more information on updates, you should go to the current Release Notes.Top
OpenOffice.org has these components:
The suite covers pretty much everything you need with a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation software, equation editor and a drawing program. It opens most major formats such as MS Office almost flawlessly (Macros aren't converted), saves to PDF* , has comprehensive help, and spellchecking in 15 languages. Having said that, let's detail some of the major features:
OpenOffice.org is a powerful yet simple environment for your work. All of the features in this section are used throughout the suite and help to give it a unique character.
- The ability to import and export many different types of documents and templates in a huge range of formats from HTML to MS Office XP. You can work seamlessly with your colleagues, school or friends, no matter what computer you use. Although we think the OpenOffice.org Open File Formats are technically superior many people are still locked into other products so you can set OpenOffice.org to use any other file format by default if you wish.
- Runs natively on almost every modern operating system except Mac OS X. This port is under development, and a volunteer porting team is working hard on it. You can give them a hand and get it running quicker by joining the project: http://porting.openoffice.org/mac/
- Import address books from Mozilla/ Netscape 6.x/7 or LDAP. You don't have to keep on typing in those contact details.
- Unicode support allows at least 23 localisations of OpenOffice.org. Not only will OpenOffice.org run on practically anything but it'll run in practically any language. There are more being added all the time. Even if yours isn't there yet we might be able to put you in touch will some fellow speakers to get the work done in double time. Together we work better.
- Vastly enhanced printing capabilities and options over all platforms, with extras like 'Print to PDF' under UNIX. If you want to see all that work in hard copy, OpenOffice.org will take care of it for you; or if you want to go for the 'paperless office' we can create 'digital paper' PDF files that can be read on practically anything. OpenOffice.org is all about bringing this sort of sophisticated, expensive functionality to the ordinary user.
- Autopilot guides you through creating complex document, clearly. Do you know what to do but aren't sure how to do it? Let the autopilot help. It'll ask you a few simple questions before creating a template for you to use again and again. Impress everyone with your brilliant skills, but don't let them know it was the autopilot!
- The Stylist allows you to change the entire look of your document instantly. It's that little box in the corner of the screen and it's an easy way to get a consistent look and apply formatting throughout your document. Just select some text, a cell or an object and choose a different option to move simply and easily between different styles. You can either use the built in defaults or create your own. And if it gets in your way just press F11 or click the little button near the top of your screen. You can get it back the same way or change styles in the box on the left hand side of the font selection.
- A native XML file format for small, yet powerful documents. File size is typically half that of MS Office formats. XML is the computer industry standard for data exchange. You're buying into the future and your documents will always be readable, even in a simple text editor.
- The powerful OpenOffice.org API allows you to create external functions to leverage the power of the suite just how you need it. Independent programmers can use our free software development kit (SDK) to extend the suite in ways we haven't even thought of. You can use OpenOffice.org Basic or Java and C/C++. More languages are being worked on at http://api.openoffice.org/.
OpenOffice.org Writer is at the heart of the suite. It's a sophisticated Word Processing and document layout program with all of the features mentioned above and a few more of its own.
- Form-letter management to send letters to addresses in a database. Automate chores and make complex things easy, it's the way we've tried to design OpenOffice.org and we think it shows through here.
- Compare changes and work collaboratively using the Versions system. If you need to work on a document together, but can't be at the same computer then OpenOffice.org's powerful 'Versioning' will come in handy. It lets you see what's changed, who's changed it and accept or reject the changes either individually or with a powerful series of filters. Currently versioning information doesn't export perfectly to some other formats.
- Direct connection with external email software to seamlessly send your documents worldwide. Cut down on the number of clicks and get your work into the hands of the people who need it.
- AutoCorrect word completion speeds up your writing in a non-obtrusive and powerful way. As you're typing it makes its best guess at what you mean to say. You can accept it by pressing enter or just keep on typing to ignore. If you make a mistake at any time just press Ctrl+Z for a quick and simple undo. Now I love this but I understand that these AutoCorrect features can drive some people up the wall. So there's a flexible menu where you can choose exactly what you want on or off. You won't find AutoCorrect word completion anywhere else, it's just another optional feature that makes OpenOffice.org unique.
- Indexing functions make moving around inside a document easy. A simple bibliography database makes it easy to store sources for essays.
- Sophisticated layout manager, with extensive Desktop Publishing (DTP) functionality that allows you to display everything you want simply and clearly.
It's the spreadsheet program you've always wanted. Newcomers find it intuitive and easy to learn; professional data miners and number crunchers will appreciate the comprehensive range of advanced functions.
- You're also free to pull in data from corporate databases, and cross-tabulate, summarise, and manipulate with advanced DataPilot technology.
- Natural language formulas let you create formulas using words (e.g. "sales - costs").
- You can be your own spreadsheet expert thanks to templates with built-in functions, allowing you to concentrate on your real work.
- Scenario Manager allows "what if..." analysis at the touch of a button.
- Charting tools to visualise data in 2D or 3D.
DRAW - from a quick sketch to a complex plan, DRAW gives you the tools to communicate with graphics and diagrams. It won't organise or edit your digital photo's as well as other programs but if you need to create a diagram, picture or illustration then you'll be glad to have it.
- FontWork allows you shape stunning 2D and 3D images from text for an extra effect.
- Quick and easy creation of complex 3D shapes. Sophisticated rendering let you create photo realistic images with your own texture, lighting effect, transparency, perspective, and so on.
- Bezier curves, for realistic smooth curves.
- Eyedropper to change any pixel colour into another
- Raster tools and effects.
- Enjoy single click access to the objects you need for your diagrams
- Arrange objects, rotate in two or three dimensions; the 3D controller puts spheres, rings, cubes, etc at your disposal.
- Smart connectors make short work of flowcharts, organisation charts, network diagrams etc
- Import and Export graphics to and from all common formats (including BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and WMF).
IMPRESS is a truly outstanding tool for creating effective multimedia presentations. Your presentations will stand out with 2D and 3D clip art, special effects animation, and high-impact drawing tools.
- Exploits all the effects and graphics tools from Draw for the complete range of easy-to-use drawing and diagramming tools to spice up your presentation.
- AutoLayout makes sure your presentations look professional. Even quickly produced presentations look great, less time micromanaging bullet placement, more productivity.
- A complete range of Views are supported: Drawing / Outline / Slides / Notes / Handouts to meet all the needs of presenters and audiences.
- Slide show Animation and Effects bring your presentation to life.
Under UNIX based systems where spadmin, the printer administration program, uses ghostscript, ps2pdf, etc. We're working on a new 'create PDF' feature on all the platforms we support, you can find it in the 'developer' builds today.
This software is OSI Certified Open Source Software. OSI Certified is a certification mark of the Open Source Initiative.Top