OpenOffice has been an open-source activity for about six years now, and the activity has developed and accomplished appreciably during that time. Originally based on the cipher from StarOffice, a age-old cross-platform apartment accessible for OS/2, Windows, Macintosh, Solaris, and Linux from a aggregation alleged Star Division, the affairs accustomed a amazing bulk of abutment from the OSS community. While advance was slow—Sun, who had purchased Star Division in 1999, opened the antecedent in mid-2000, yet it did not get to adaptation 1.0 until two years later—it connected to improve. Adaptation 2.0, which was arise backward aftermost year, accustomed favorable reviews.
Now, a accumulation of OpenOffice enthusiasts accept arise OpenOffice Premium, a new array that includes the OpenOffice apartment and a grab-bag of extras, such as blow art, certificate templates, and fonts. The abstraction is to accommodate a amalgamation that is agnate to a new accession of bartering appointment suites such as Microsoft Appointment and Corel Absolute Office, both of which arise with a deluge of blow art and added goodies.
The best of the chat “Premium” for this array is somewhat misleading, as the amalgamation is accessible as a chargeless download. Like abounding SourceForge web pages, the download folio is added ambagious than it could be, but I bound begin an all-embracing adaptation of the array that came in at 243 MB. The abounding install is 441 MB, which is about alert the admeasurement of my install of Microsoft Appointment XP. This asperous acceleration of arrangement requirements carries over to RAM acceptance as well: with the aforementioned certificate open, OpenOffice Writer acclimated up 50 MB of memory, compared to 22 for Word.
OpenOffice 2.0 is abundant bigger over 1.1, but there are still some asperous edges. The included blow art contains “more than 2,800 objects” according to the ReadMe file, although abounding of the agent images are rather simplistic. The blow art browser opens as a accessible tab at the top of the certificate with the bang of a on. In an absorbing but almost controllable bug, if you after accessible a new OpenOffice program—even article absolutely different such as the Calc spreadsheet—the blow art browser will still be visible. You can annoyance and bead images from the browser anon into your document, however, addition bug prevents angel resizing until the angel has been moved.
The new certificate templates are useful, and save ample amounts of time back creating new fax covers, invoices, and added business documents. Some of the templates are plain, others rather garish, and there are some spelling errors in a few of them, so it pays to be accurate back application a new one. Interestingly, templates that accommodate macros alert a aegis warning, acclamation a specific criticism that Microsoft had of the appointment suite.
Of the bristles applications included in the OO.o suite, the Writer chat processor is apparently the best polished. It bears added than a arresting affinity to Chat (I lined up the toolbars for anniversary and they were a about absolute match) and opens best Chat abstracts after issues. Calc, the spreadsheet, is abundant weaker. It lacks abounding of Excel’s appearance and did a poor job of importing my absolute documents, alteration colors, accident chantry information, and in abounding cases alike accident the advice in the graph’s X axis. The agent cartoon program, Draw, is a bit like Corel Draw after the features, and doesn’t arise aing to article like Illustrator. The presentation program, Impress, has the basal appearance of PowerPoint and imports best absolute presentations after any above issues. The database, Base, is the newest and additionally the weakest of the bunch. In testing I accomplished actual poor achievement and baffling errors.
Abounding bodies will attending at criticisms of the OpenOffice apartment and try to avert them with the animadversion that OO.o is chargeless and to accumulate a aggressive set of bartering programs could amount hundreds of dollars. This is a accurate point, although for abounding bodies the added appearance and abridgement of certificate about-face issues are account the amount of proprietary software. For users with basal needs, however, the “Premium” adaptation of OpenOffice is an bargain way to get through their work. I accept already apparent OpenOffice alpha to arise in price-sensitive environments, such as library workstations. For OO.o to accretion absorption in the business world, however, it will accept to bear added than it has already.
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