Discovering the New Features of OpenOffice.org 3.0 - page 3
Better Start Center, Native OS X, MS OOXML
Calc in OOo 3.0 now includes a Solver tool to perform what-if analysis, similar to what has been provided by Microsoft Excel. This addition may be especially useful for Mac OS X users, as Office 2008 for Mac discontinued the feature. Another great addition to Calc is Workbook Sharing. When enabled from the Share Document dialog box (by clicking Tools > Share Document), multiple users can open the file, add data, and make changes at the same time. Any conflicts in changes are resolved by the user before writing them to the workbook. The last notable change in Calc is the four-fold increase in the amount of supported columns; 256 to 1,024 columns. This may not affect most users, but those who deal with a mass amount of data will be thankful.
Full table support in Impress
In previous versions of Impress, real tables could not be inserted into presentations, rather a Calc worksheet could be inserted and modified. However, the OOo developers have added native table support for Impress 3.0. To add a table to your presentation, click Insert > Table and on the dialog box that pops up, input the desired amount of rows and columns. As you can see in Figure 6, the Table toolbar and the Table Design task pane will appear so you can modify and design the table.
OOo is free and open, give it a try!
As we discussed, there hasn't been a load of new features introduced in OpenOffice.org 3.0. However, the community still continues to support the office suite with improvements, and it is still comparable to Microsoft Office. If you haven't used OOo, give it a try; it's free!
Eric Geier is an author of many computing and networking books, including Home Networking All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies (Wiley 2008) and 100 Things You Need to Know about Microsoft Windows Vista (Que 2007).