Around 3 month ago released its 2.4 boasting quite an impressive arsenal of advancements. However if you thought 2.4 was major release, then you have seen nothing! Come September, will release it’s 3.0 version! That must be quite a big jump! The upcoming 3.0 version is widely regarded as an important milestone in the project’s development. Here are some of the advancements I am most excited about:

OpenOffice Beta About


With version 3.0 Writer comes with a plethora of interesting advancements. You will have the option of different views, either single page, multiple pages side by side, and book view. A zoom slider has been added on the bottom right corner of the screen, which is admitingly something we saw in Office 2007 first, but definitely a welcomed feature.

OpenOffice Multiple Page

OpenOffice Zoom Feature

Slick new notes feature that lets you add colored notes and comments on the margins instead of the old inefficient notes method, which I never used!

OpenOffice Pretty Notes

Changing language spell check is now easily available in the menu, very handy for multi-language documents. Someone like me needs such flexibility with English/Arabic documents I alway have.

Mac OS X Support

Remember once a friend was complaining about Arabic integration in MS Office on his Mac (or lack of it), so I suggested Little did I know that there were other packages that we needed to install (X11 and whatnot). We had to jump through a lot of hoops to get it working. With 3.0 this is not an issue anymore, OpenOffice will natively support Mac OSX!

OpenOffice Mac OSX Support

Microsoft Office 2007 Import Filters

I used so simply loath recieving a document ending with _x _(docx, pptx, xlsx)! What a retarded extention, it sends shivers down your spine. Well not anymore, with OpenOffice 3.0 you can directly import them and start editing away! Although, up to now the importation is not perfect, but we know who to blame over there (read thousands among thousands of ambigous documentation)

New Theme in Calc

Now we get a much more polished glass theme and translucency! Here is a comparison between the old and new:

![OpenOffice Calc Visual]

OpenOffice Calc Visual

Presenter Different Screens

This always seemed logical to me, am not sure if is available in Office or not, but it’s great to see in OpenOffice 3.0. Basically in presenter you get to see a different screen than what’s on the projector. You get preview of the next slide, elapsed time, notes and comments.

OpenOffice Impress Presnter 1

OpenOffice Impress Presnter 2

OpenOffice Impress Presnter 3

Native Tables in Impress

Tables has been OpenOffices’s Achilles heal when compared to Microsoft Powerpoint. One had to resort to clumsy drawing of the tables! Not anymore!

OpenOffice Native Tables in Impress

Import PDF

Although still not implemented in the beta version I installed, this feature is expected to be up and running in the final release come September.


OpenOffice 3.0 is a major milestone for the project, there are tons of other new features. I also noticed a great improvement in speed, which has always a bane in previous versions.

If you can’t wait until September, why don’t you download the beta version and try it out, so far it has been very much stable for me. You can download 3.0 beta here.

If you are installing it on Ubuntu (or any Deb distro for that matter) you just need to do the following:

1-Extract the archive

tar xzf ~/Desktop/OOo_3.0.0beta_20080429_LinuxIntel_install_en-US_deb.tar.gz -C ~/Desktop/

2-Install the packages in the DEBS subdirectory

sudo dpkg -i ~/Desktop/BEA300_m2_native_packed-2_en-US.9301/DEBS/*.deb

3-It won’t install on your regular menu, instead you have to manually launch or create your own shortcuts


Thanks to the oooninja blog and the official websites for providing some of the pictures