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Thursday, December 6, 2007 2.3 Impresses

The release of 2.3 brings several significant improvements
to the open-source office productivity suite, including easier upgrade
paths for existing Microsoft Office users, improved measures to prevent
security breaches, and an array of snazzy new features introduced in
the suite's word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and database
applications. Meanwhile, all-around improvements to the suite's
presentation application, Impress, continue to give users some of the
bells and whistles coveted in PowerPoint, such as the ability to now
integrate sound across an entire presentation. General improvements
made to the spreadsheet application, Calc, and word processing application,
Writer, make the case for OpenOffice 2.3 as a potentially easier and
definitely cheaper upgrade path for existing Microsoft Office users,
who may be considering a transition to Microsoft Office 2007. Though
file conversion fidelity continues to improve with each subsequent
release of OpenOffice, file fidelity issues still surfaced in my tests,
such as page-break issues discovered when trying to convert a
Word-formatted document in Writer... 2.3's most persuasive
set of features, however, continues to be that it is an entirely free
product and supports seven platforms: Windows, Linux x86 and PowerPC,
Solaris x86 and SPARC, Mac OS X and FreeBSD... I tested the most
significant addition to OpenOffice's Writer application, the ability
to export newly created files to the MediaWiki format, a feature-rich
collaborative editing software that runs Wikipedia... I cut and pasted
an entire document into a blank Wiki page and discovered that the
italicized text made it through the conversion, as did the hyperlink.
The underlined text and bold text, however, did not pass the test.
Apostrophes also fared poorly, not maintaining their "smart quotes"
status... More Information See also the OpenOffice web site: Click Here

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