Feeds

Apache OpenOffice 4.0 debuts with IBM code side and centre

Plays better with Microsoft, makes Macs think it's malware

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The Apache Software Foundation has released OpenOffice version 4.0, a leap forward from the previous 3.4 edition let into the wild in March 2012.

The Foundation's talking up over 500 enhancements, foremost among them a new sidebar built with code IBM cooked up for the Lotus Symphony productivity suite*. The sidebar comes in four sizes, each offering more document-manipulating options. The Foundation suggests sidebars are a jolly good ideas because more of us use wide screens these days, but in illustrations of the new feature assumes we're not using those extra pixels to view two pages of a document side-by-side. That space can instead be given over to sidebars.

Also promised is better support for Microsoft Office's file formats when loading or saving documents, with better reproduction of Office's implementation of nested and graphical bullet lists from both PowerPoint and Word promised.

The Calc spreadsheet has new syntax. AVERAGEIFS, COUNTIFS, and SUMIFS are now available. The RAND function has been upgraded and those who fancy a bit of XOR action can now get their thrills open source style.

Greek, Portuguese and Tamil speakers get their first native language versions of the suite, and upgrades have been made to the translations for 20 other languages.

A great many of the enhancements improve the suite's graphics-wrangling abilities, helping the suite to play nicely with tools like The GIMP and also making it possible to make nicer images with the suite. There's even a better, clearer, anti-aliased Print Preview that gets comfortingly closer to WYSIWYG than its predecessor.

The new logo for Open Office 4.0

Apache OpenOffice 4.0 also has this lovely new logo

There's also some bad news: the Gatekeeper security features in Mac OS will identify the suite as malware. There's a workaround for that and a Java compatibility problem under Windows that will require installation of some extra code if you wish to avoid error messages.

The Apache Foundation says OpenOffice 3.4 was downloaded about 57 million times since release and clearly hopes a similar or better reception awaits this new version. One thing in the Foundation's favour is the imminent end-of-life for Microsoft Office 2003, an event the organisation's canned statement on the new suite's release suggests is a good reason to consider the open source alternative. ®

*Your correspondent is a long-time Symphony user, as when IBM was still keen on it, it was utterly free and rather more pleasant to use than open source rivals. I've logged hundreds of hours in its word processor and cannot recall ever using or noticing the sidebar.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?