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Apache OpenOffice now comes with a handy sidebar

Joab Jackson | July 24, 2013
OpenOffice 4.0 beats the feature overload issue by devoting room on the side of documents for feature controls.

Sets of controls are grouped into 22 different panels, which can be expanded or collapsed as needed. In addition to offering built-in panels, OpenOffice also allows third-party developers to add into the sidebar controls to their own extensions. ASF has set up a repository where users can peruse and download third-party extensions.

Other new features of OpenOffice 4.0 include additional improvements in rendering Microsoft Office documents accurately, a new color palette (also drawn from Lotus Symphony) and support for three additional languages -- Greek, Portuguese and Tamil.

The nonprofit Apache Software Foundation (ASF) oversees nearly 150 open-source projects, including OpenOffice, the Hadoop data processing platform, the Cassandra NoSQL data store and the Apache Web server software.

More than 58 million copies of Apache OpenOffice 3.4 have been downloaded since its release in May 2012, according to the nonprofit organization.


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