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A First Look at OpenOffice.org 1.0 - page 6

Evaluating the OpenOffice.org 1.0 Production Release

  • May 8, 2002
  • By Rob Reilly

Why do you need a new drawing package under Linux if you have the Gimp? The Gimp is great for detailed creation and touch up of bitmap type graphics. You can showcase your artistic talent with truly awesome effects. What happens when you need to put some text, shapes, lines and titles on a sheet of paper that you will hand out to your associates at a design review (see Figure 6).

The OpenOffice.org drawing program makes quick work of doing business type graphics. The program is very similar to Visio in the Windows environment. Functions such as drawing and manipulating lines, boxes, circles and text worked just the way that you would expect.

Unfortunately, I didn't have Visio on any of my machines, so I was unable to test any importing. This didn't seem to matter anyway, because I was unable to find any mention of Visio either on the OpenOffice.org web page or in the online help. If you have quite a few Visio drawings this might be a problem because you are going to have to recreate them in the OpenOffice.org drawing program.

Another thing that I didn't see in the drawing package was a comprehensive template library. Other vector drawing programs usually have standard shape groups for things like flow chart symbols. In OpenOffice.org you will have to create those groups of standard shapes from imported drawings or just draw them from scratch.

Don't get me wrong, I really liked the OpenOffice.org drawing program. Just like all the other applications, it was fast and very intuitive. I'm sure some of the needed refinements will occur over time. Don't forget to set the default units.

I tried the Web page export process in the drawing program and was happy to see that the graphics looked much better than the Web pages produced by my old Windows drawing program Micrografx. Micrografx produced web pages just never seemed to look sharp or have all the graphical elements in the right places. I can definitely recommend the OpenOffice.org drawing program for Web page exporting.

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