OpenOffice 2.3 2.3 is on the home stretch with the first Release Candidate being made available today. It’s been over 5-months since 2.2 was released, and I’m sure most users will be welcoming this update with open arms.

The release notes for 2.3 isn’t exactly easy reading, and so I went looking through the Wiki for some info. That’s when I stumbled upon their draft of the press release which mentioned several of the more notable features in 2.3. To make it a bit easier to follow I’ve put them in a list format:

  • Charting component (available for use throughout
    • A new chart wizard
    • Enhanced 3D chart designs
    • Replacement colour palettes
    • Additional axis options and scaling
    • Improved toolbars
    • Flexible data sources
    • Improved data editor
  • Writer (word processor)
    • Create Wiki pages with a new filter (example of a page created with it can be found here)
    • Documents aligned to the center of the window rather than to the left
    • Language guessing of unknown text, which provides better spelling recommendations
    • Simple Mail Merge now allows the saving of the merge to a single document
    • Support for ODF specification soft page breaks added
    • Pages are not being centered
    • Changed link behaviour in Writer (Ctrl+click for opening links)
  • Calc (spreadsheets)
    • Default print settings have changed to suppress the printing of blank pages and to only print the selected sheets
    • Additional simplification of shortcuts
    • Improvement of various functions
    • Changes to context menus and dialogues
    • Improvements to import filters
    • Modifications to toolbars
    • Enhancemed AutoSum feature
  • Impress (presentations)
    • Performance improvements
    • The ‘move along curve’ animation feature has been re-introduced, giving ‘cartoon-like’ abilities to presentations.
  • Base (databases)
  • Draw (diagram creation)
    • Improved exporting to HTML/web by adding support for exporting the images to portable network graphics (PNG) format
    • Provide alternate text for image maps and layer titles and descriptions.

Interestingly enough most users had little to no urge to make the jump over to StarOffice when Google started offering it for free. I thought the idea of more clipart and included templates would have been more than enough to entice new users, but that didn’t end up being the case.

As of right now 2.3 is scheduled for release on September 12th or 13th, and with the numerous improvements it will be well worth the upgrade. Oh yeah, don’t forget to improve the startup time of by following the info Bob posted in our forum.

Download OpenOffice 2.3 RC1 [via Ghacks]