The public beta release of OpenOffice.org 3.0 is now available for download. You can install it along with your existing OpenOffice.org 2.4 installation. You don’t need to uninstall 2.4 to give 3.0 beta a try. 3.0 Beta has got some cool interface. Other than that some noticable features are:
- You get a desktop icon to launch OpenOffice.org 3.0
- Once you start you will see a Start Centre where you can select what you want to do, new fresh looking icons and a new zoom control in the status bar.
- View multiple pages in Writer.
- OpenOffice.org 3.0 supports Microsoft Office 2007 file formats (*.docx, *.pptx, *.xlsx etc.)
- Calc now has a linear optimization solver. It finds a set of values that maximize or minimize an objective function while satisfying a set of constraints.
- At some places you will see new theme, kind of glass effect.
- The most sought feature in Impress : native tables is now available with 3.0. You will get some cool table designs as in Office 2007.
- Instead of only 256 columns, now it supports 1024 columns.
- 3.0 supports for spreadsheet collaboration through workbook sharing.
- Numerous chart enhancements.
- Improved crop feature in Draw and Impress.
- And a good news for Mac OS X users, OpenOffice.org 3.0 will run without X11 with the look and feel of any other aqua application.
- Read here to know more about what is new in OpenOffice.org 3.0.
In nutshell, OpenOffice.org 3.0 is an excellent release. Considering the fact that it is still in Beta, we may expect couple of other enhancements going forward.
For the ones who haven’t tried it yet, OpenOffice.org is a complete Office suite of applications like Microsoft Office and is available free of cost. Ubuntu and other Linux users get this by default with their distro.
If you are not a big fan of MS Office and haven’t got a free copy, then OpenOffice is the way to go. It is FREE and at least will save some $200 for you. You can install it with any operating system, Windows, Linux (already installed) and Mac OS X. If you don’t want to install the beta version, then you can download the stable version of OpenOffice.org 2.4 from here.