Here is, as for The Gimp or Mozilla, a jewel worth having offered by the open source community outgoing from a persisting and constant cooperation. Open and free version from the commercial software Star Office, it is a complete office suite containing:

  • a text processor (Writer)
  • a spreadsheet (Calc)
  • a presentation application (Impress)
  • a vectorial drawing application (Draw)
  • a HTML editor
  • a data base creation and management module (read in the official documentation the paragraph concerning data bases which proposes explanations for creating a data base using OOo, to operate a functional migration from MS Access, etc.) has released the 1.1.3 final version of the open source office suite (following the Release Candidate 5). It is now downloadable from its official Website, in English and many other languages. The office suite (already nicknamed OOo) has been designed to function on different Operative Systems, such as Windows, Linux, Mac and Solaris. It is compatible in viewing and writing (therefore in modification) with files issuing from the Microsoft Office suites, from ‘97 until XP. The compatibility between and MS Office files is excellent, allowing smoothly the transfer from one to another, which we highly recommend all users to do so, and without restriction.

Among the numerous features of 1.1 final release, we may quote particularly the following:

  • export documents in PDF format (though the hypertext links are not active)
  • Both Impress and Draw modules allow to export files to Macromedia Flash format (.swf format). It is now possible to view these files through an Internet browser which includes the Flash plugin.
  • OOo provides accessibility options (e.g.: high contrast possibility) for anyone who suffers a visual deficiency.
  • The internationalisation improvements (bi-directional and vertical writing) allows now to be translated in Japanese, Hebraic, Arabic, and many other languages.
  • A macro recorder (i.e.: automatic tasks)
  • A functional tool to filter out XML files
  • A powerful equation editor
  • allows all users to export it’s documents towards compatible formats with those used in Palm Pilot and Pocket PC PDA types.
  • OOo is now compatible with the MySQL data bases.

OOo is under GNU LGPL licence (Lesser General Public licence) which means that, in the whole, it is fully compatible with the GPL licence, excepting the fact that fiddling about OOo’s source code for one’s own need, it is no longer necessary to set the fiddling results under GPL licence as well. (Being more clear: it only triggers the loss of GPL licence recourse). In other words, a firm could modify a OOo version and convert it into a licensed and commercial product.


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