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What’s new in OpenOffice.org 3.0

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One of the most helpful new features of OpenOffice.org 3.0 is the support for more third-party extensions, which are available online. A quick perusal finds that there are extensions to provide a mortgage payment calculator, various dictionaries and spell-checkers for other languages, PDF import support, template packages, and more.

In the new Open Office there is also improved support for various file formats. This release supports Microsoft’s OOXML format — the new format in Office 2007. It also allows you to edit PDFs and MediaWiki “documents.” With this release, you can create a document, lay it out however you like, and then export it to a MediaWiki format, which will save it as a text file with all the MediaWiki markup required to make it look just like the original layout. It can then be inserted into any MediaWiki-based wiki.

Many of the up-and-coming distribution releases will include OpenOffice 3.0 by default, so keep an eye out for those distro upgrades. The recently released Mandriva Linux 2009 includes a release candidate of OpenOffice.org 3.0; expect an update to the final version soon. The next versions of Ubuntu, SUSE, Fedora, and others should all come with the new OpenOffice.org as well.

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