April 18, 2014

A First Look at OpenOffice.org 2.0 - page 4

Moving Ahead

  • March 1, 2005
  • By Rob Reilly

Redesigning the Toolbars

In short, I'm very happy with the new toolbars.

Virtually every icon is sharper and more well defined, so it's easy to find the function that you desire. Also, the colors are brighter, as well for more contrast. The old OpenOffice.org toolbars, were just kind of washed out compared to the new look.

For example, the tab right and back buttons are now blue horizontal text lines, black outlines and a little red arrow to indicate the direction. It's not that there's different pictures, just that everything is easier to see against the toolbar background.

Word Count

Although it may seem trivial, as a writer I constantly use various word counting techniques, as I write a story. I have to keep track because I always have a lower threshold that I need to meet, but don't want to just go on in a 3,000- to 4,000-word ramble.

It's a welcome feature for me to be able to highlight a section and then get the number by clicking on the Tools and word count selection. In the past, I'd just go to File and then Properties to get a total number.

It's much better than the old way.

Nested Tables

How many times have you wanted to do a table within a table? Now you can with version 2.0.

For example: I normally use tables when I design a brochure. Using tables helps me format and organize data into groups (see Figure 4). It's also easier to put boxes around things using tables than to try to line everything up in standalone graphics boxes.

Graphics and logos are much more easily manipulated and arranged when they are in cells in a table.

New OASIS XML File Format

Now we have a new set of file formats for Writer, Calc, and Impress. The idea is to standardize the content into an XML format so it's perpetually accessable.

You can still unzip the .odt or .ods into their constituent parts. You can also still save files in the OpenOffice.org version 1.0 formats, if you like.

Businesses and government agencies are struggling with vendor lock-in, as far as their data goes. Moving to an open XML format, that let's a company get at it's data using a variety of programs seems like the right direction to me.

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