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Summary:

The latest version of Open Office, released today, has been in development for the past three years. As one of the most popular open source competitors to Microsoft Office, the release has been anticipated for some time (the launch even warranted a party!). Open Office comprises […]

Open Office 3 ReleasedThe latest version of Open Office, released today, has been in development for the past three years. As one of the most popular open source competitors to Microsoft Office, the release has been anticipated for some time (the launch even warranted a party!).

Open Office comprises of several applications: a word processor (Writer), spreadsheet (Calc), presentation package (Impress), drawing app (Draw), and database tools (Base).

Some of the features heralded in the new release include:

  • A new splash screen upon launch (see above)
  • The ability to import Microsoft Office (.doc, .ppt, .xls) and Office 2007/Office 2008 for Mac (.docx, .xlsx, .pptx) files (though it still isn’t possible to save to these formats)
  • Support for sharing Excel workbooks
  • Support for Excel sheets with up to 1024 columns
  • A solver component for solving optimization problems
  • Better polished crop and drawing tools
  • The display of multiple Writer pages while editing
  • Inclusion of Office commenting / change tracking in the document margin
  • Some support for Visual Basic macros (a feature dropped by the Microsoft Office team)
  • Enhanced support for PDF exporting, including password protection
  • Support for Open Office extensions, allowing further features to be created by developers (similar to Firefox)
  • No more reliance on X11

Open Office 3.0 is completely free to download and try out. If you are struggling with the Open Office site being overwhelmed with requests for the new software, it’s worth trying this mirror. Installation is far simpler than in previous versions and you can be up and running in a few minutes.

Let us know whether you’ll be switching from Microsoft Office!

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  1. What happened to the iWork and iLife 09 post?

  2. I thought Microsoft said they WILL continue to support VB macros? I know they at first said they wouldn’t, then that changed after the reaction of users.

  3. Have been using OO3 beta’s since they came out. Already a good product. MS Office/Mac? What’s that?! :)

  4. Wake me when they post the PPC version.

  5. The last version of OpenOffice was terrible for Mac IMO. I think it was a lot better for the PC. Anyone have any feedback about the new version?

  6. how does this compare to neooffice? I’ve had problems importing excel sheets into NeoOffice with certain formula’s causing errors or not computing…

  7. I have been using OpenOffice since the 3.0 beta first came out on my Intel Macbook and my Intel iMac. OpenOffice has been stable, quick, and has given me no compatibility issues with my co-workers who use Windows and MS Office (especially Excel and PowerPoint) extensively. Word documents also present no problems. I appreciate the fact that the “track changes” feature is perfectly compatible with MS Office. My co-workers’ documents are legible and usable without any problems, and the documents that I create are usable by all of my co-workers. This is an amazing piece of software. I do not see any need to purchase MS Office on the Mac. Nice work OpenOffice!

  8. I’ve been happily using Open Office for over a year. Maybe close to two.

    Is a new splash screen a reason to upgrade? ;)

    Uh-uh.

    But the ability to open up pptx, docx — that makes it a “gotta have it!”

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