OpenOffice.org 2.2 is the project’s first release in 2007, and reflects the community’s commitment to offering enhancements and new features on a regular basis. OpenOffice.org 2.2 also protects users from newly discovered vulnerabilities, where users’ PCs could be open to attack if they opened documents from, or accessed web sites set up by, malicious individuals.
In version 2.2, users will immediately notice the improvement in the quality of text display in all parts of OpenOffice.org. The reason for this is that the previously optional support for kerning, a technique to improve the appearance of text written in proportional fonts, has now been enabled by default. OpenOffice.org’s unique pdf export function has also been enhanced with the addition of the optional creation of bookmarks feature, and support for user-definable export of form fields.
While OpenOffice.org 2.1 functions well on Microsoft’s Windows Vista, version 2.2 makes use of some of the new cosmetic changes available in Vista, the new file dialogues being an example. Apple Mac users will notice a smaller download and a smaller installed size. The Apple Mac Intel version has many stability improvements, and bug fixes ranging from .ppt export to improved UNO connections. Version 2.2 now requires Mac OS X 10.4.x running X11.
Turning to some of the enhancements made to the individual components of OpenOffice.org, the Calc spreadsheet has received additional enhancements to its support for Microsoft file formats, including improved support for Pivot Tables and some specialised trigonometric functions. Base, the database component, has improved SQL editing functionality as well as a new Queries within Queries feature. Compatibility options for some database drivers, such as Oracle ODBC, have been improved. Impress, the presentations component, offers improvements in the handling of hidden slides which has been made more intuitive.
It is important to remember that OpenOffice.org is not just a software package, but is also a development and user community. One demonstration of this is the ability of third party developers to create extensions in a simple manner. Third party extensions can now be more closely integrated and features have been added to dramatically simplify the installation and updating of these. In addition, features have been added to assist those participating in the translation and localisation of OpenOffice.org.
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