After having downloaded OOo v3.0 sometime Monday evening (I honestly don’t remember when), I finally decided to give it a go today. Surprise, surprise, it actually handles OOXML now!
While this improvement came about two days too late for me, later is better than never. I had received a form from the university due by Friday of last week, only to find that they had sent it in
.docx format (sigh). I did have time to convert it while I was on campus, but it still unnerves me that Microsoft had set their default export format to their own obnoxious “open standard.” But, never fear! It looks like those of us using OOo will finally be able to push back.
I have a couple of papers to write this week, so I’m sure to have plenty of time to test the new version and familiarize myself with its limited, new feature set. Of the improvements so far, I’ve noticed that scrolling within a fairly large document appears to be just a little smoother. That might be psychosomatic but it certainly looks a bit nicer.
Another thing I’ve always appreciated about OpenOffice.org and their major releases has to do with consistency. Unlike some software companies (hello, Redmond, WA), OOo respects using a consistent UI wherein things are actually easy to find. Fancy that. v3.0 doesn’t appear to introduce any ground breaking (and habit frustrating) UI changes and that makes people like me very happy. Good job! One additional feature in OOo 3 is a new navigation bar (lower right corner of the window) to control document zoom and display. Since I generally play around with document zoom from time to time, it’s much nicer to have it available as a slider than having to dig up the option through multiple menus!