Thursday, March 27, 2008

Now It's Official

Now, it has been officially released: OpenOffice.org 2.4.0. Here's the official announcement from John McCreesh:
The OpenOffice.org Community is pleased to announce the release of OpenOffice.org 2.4, the latest version of the leading open source office productivity suite. OpenOffice.org 2.4 includes new features, enhancements, and bug fixes to all its core components. OpenOffice.org 2.4 is available for immediate download from http://download.openoffice.org.

New features:

Users will appreciate changes such as usability improvements in printing, and further enhancements to PDF handling (OpenOffice.org creates PDF files 'out of the box' to ISO standard). The default font is now DejaVu, which supports more languages/localisations than the previous BitStream Vera -part of a raft of localisation improvements covering languages from Hiligaynon to Quechua. Mac OS X users will appreciate the use of the native Quicktime player and spell-checker.

Writer, OpenOffice.org's word processor, now has easier selection of the language for spellchecking; users can set options for printing hidden and place holder text and for following hyperlinks; text selection and 'find and replace' have been improved; and 'power users' will
appreciate new extra keyboard shortcuts for paragraph styles.

Regular users of Calc, OpenOffice.org's spreadsheet, will appreciate the streamlining of data and formulae entry. Other new features include a 'smart move and copy' for blocks of cells; the ability to transform data into columns; and improvements to printing, data filtering, and the Data Pilot.

Usability improvements have been made to Draw, the drawing and diagramming module, and Impress, OpenOffice.org's application for creating presentations. Both applications have enhanced PDF export capabilities. In addition, Impress now has a new range of thrilling 3D transition effects supported through an extension.

The Chart module, used throughout OpenOffice.org, continues to evolve rapidly. Novice users benefit from more intelligent default choices from the graphics engine; advanced users have more options allowing them to fine tune a chart exactly the way they want it.

OpenOffice.org's database application, Base, now supports MS-Access 2007 (accdb files on MS-Windows), and has enhanced capabilities for MySQL, Oracle/jdbc, and native (HSQL) databases. The Query Designer is also improved.

OpenOffice.org 2.4 is the eleventh release in the 2.x series (launched in October 2005) and demonstrates the Community's commitment to continuous and regular improvement of its software. The next major release - 3.0 - is planned for the autumn/fall this year. If you would like to help us, please visit http://contributing.openoffice.org.

The OpenOffice.org Community