OpenOffice adds enhancements

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OpenOffice adds enhancements

Version 2.3 of the open-source productivity suite adds numerous improvements

The community has released version 2.3 of its open-source productivity suite, adding numerous improvements including a major revamp of the chart module used across many of the suite's applications. is a free-to-download rival for Microsoft's Office suite that utilises the ISO-recognised Open Document Format (ODF) standard for storing document files.

Version 2.3, available for download now, adds an improved Chart module that improves the default appearance of charts in Writer documents and Impress spreadsheets. The Writer word processor can also now export documents in MediaWiki format to create wiki entries, and the default security level for macro security has been changed to High for greater protection against malicious content.

The new version makes it easier to develop and download extensions, according to marketing project lead John McCreesh.

"We're putting a lot of work into Extensions. Extensions make it easy for developers to write 'add-ins' to, so we can add features without having to issue a brand new release every time. In 2.3 we're making it easy for end users to select and install extensions from a central extensions library," he said.

Other features include greater compatibility with Microsoft Excel in the Calc spreadsheet, which has workarounds for cotangent functions not supported in Excel. Writer, Calc, Draw, and Impress also now allow users to preview their work in a browser before exporting it to HTML format.

Last month, developers disclosed they are working on import filters to let users read OpenXML files created by Microsoft Office 2007. These do not ship in version 2.3, however, and no timeframe has been set for their inclusion.
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