Friday, May 9, 2008

First glimpse of OOo 2.4

What does OOo 2.4 have to offer?

For those who have been migrating from MS Office to OpenOffice.org (OOo), here is an upgrade that will reduce formatting problems in older MS Office documents.

OpenOffice.org 2.4 adds support for Access 2007 (.accdb) and improves the "find and replace" feature in OOo Writer. The 2.4 may be the last of the 2.x series and next is the 3.x version by end of 2008. I wont go into the debate of weather one should wait for 3.x or not.

Introducing new keyboard shortcuts and the ability to print hidden and place-holder text is going to allow more areas for power users to explore. Keyboard shortcut improvement includes the Ctrl+0 for Text body, Ctrl+1 to Ctrl+5 for the Heading 1 to 5. Ctrl+Shift+0 changes to default.

PDF handling benefits from new export options. This includes ability to use slide names as bookmarks.

OOo promises Impress to allow 3D transition effects in its extensions. Ok, I cant find any extensions for this but I am looking forward to it. Initially this 3D feature will be only available on Linux.

Printing of hidden text in Writer is useful to find all those things that we have been controlling the layout. To do this in OOo 2.4 choose Tools ->Options ->Writer ->Print. Then select Hidden Text.

OOo 2.4 seems promising.

Displaying OOo version
To display the installed version of the OpenOffice.org along with its build and patches, look at the file versionrc.
OpenOffice.org from the main stream is installed in /opt directory. The file can be found in /opt/openoffice.org2.4/program/versionrc

Here is the content of versionrc
[Version]
AllLanguages=en-US
buildid=680m17(Build:9310)
ExtensionUpdateURL=http://updateext.services.openoffice.org/ProductUpdateService/check.Update
ODFNotifyURL=http://odfnotify.services.openoffice.org/OOo2.4.1/notification.jsp?version=ODF
OOOBaseVersion=2.4
ProductBuildid=9310
ProductMajor=680
ProductMinor=17
ProductPatch=
ProductSource=OOH680
UpdateID=OpenOffice.org_2_en-US
UpdateURL=http://update24.services.openoffice.org/ProductUpdateService/check.Update?pkgfmt=deb
UpdateUserAgent=OpenOffice.org 2.4 (680m17(Build:9310); $_OS; $_ARCH; BundledLanguages=en-US)

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