by November 26, 2013 0 comments

OpenOffice and LibreOffice both recently released their fourth major versions (and minor updates to the same as of the time of writing). The main concern for businesses with moving to such free and open source office suites has mainly been interoperability with Microsoft Office-format documents. Both layout and content have been a problem for interoperability, which caused differences (including loss of data such as VBA macros) not only while converting back and forth between the respective Microsoft Office file formats and the Open Document formats, but also while trying to parse a Microsoft Office document for displaying correctly in an open source office suite in read-only mode as well.
Let us try to determine how the two new releases
try to address these issues. We are keeping our discussion limited to text documents, spreadsheets
and presentations.
Text documents
LibreOffice Writer now allows you to import ink annotations and import and export RTF native mathematical equations as shown in the figures.

[image_library_tag 155/89155, alt=”drawn-ink-annotations” ,default]

Drawn ink annotations

[image_library_tag 147/89147, alt=”native-rtf-math-in-writer” width=”253″ height=”174″ ,default]

Native RTF math in Writer
You are also now able to attach comments to document text ranges such as paragraphs. The RTF filter now imports old Drawing Objects syntax. There are also various DOCX improvements such as import of floating tables, OLE objects inside rectangles, margins of inline images using the WordProcessing markup, etc.
On the other hand, OpenOffice too has taken steps to improve interoperability with Word. Now, graphic bullets are supported in a Word 2003 document as shown in the figure.

[image_library_tag 153/89153, alt=”in-microsoft-office1″ width=”352″ height=”118″ ,default]

In Microsoft Office      In OpenOffice 3.4.1     In OpenOffice 4

There is also table of contents’ improvement with Word 2003 for tabs, attributes & jump. You also have an improved bookmark reference which uses normal numbering. The numbering and bullets attributes are now determined by the paragraph end mark in Word.
When opening an XLSX file in the new LibreOffice Calc, the values of formulae can be shown as they were saved in the files (cached), without recalculating the formula directly when opening the file. This makes opening (larger) files faster. When the spreadsheet was last used by someone else, this will always show the values, as they were on that computer. So, that may be seen as an advantage when opening spreadsheets that have last been edited in Excel.The user gets a message on opening the file. That message can be turned on/off at Tools -> Options -> LibreOffice Calc -> Formula -> Recalculation on file load. You can now export color scales and data bars to the XLSX format. In addition, Excel 2010+ extensions for databars are now supported.
With the new OpenOffice Calc, you can now retain the pie chart’s height when opening an Excel file as shown here.

[image_library_tag 152/89152, alt=”in-microsoft-office2″ ,default]

In Microsoft Office

[image_library_tag 149/89149, alt=”in-openoffice2″ ,default]

In OpenOffice 3.4.1

[image_library_tag 145/89145, alt=”in-openoffice-4-2″ ,default]

In OpenOffice 4

OpenOffice Calc now also supports the range specified by a reference formula or name range as chart data and allows you to show the chart name through VBA API by clicking a button, as shown in the figures below.

[image_library_tag 154/89154, alt=”in-microsoft-office3″ ,default]

In Microsoft Office

[image_library_tag 143/89143, alt=”in-openoffice3″ width=”275″ height=”143″ ,default]

In OpenOffice 3.4.1

[image_library_tag 146/89146, alt=”in-openoffice-4-3″ width=”276″ height=”154″ ,default]

In OpenOffice 4

You can now perform data filter functions on merged cells as well as enter user-defined format code in an XLS file when the cell value is TRUE or FALSE. GETPIVOTDATA is supported in Excel files now, and so is the format code “0_;.00”.

[image_library_tag 151/89151, alt=”in-microsoft-office4″ width=”400″ height=”123″ ,default]

In Microsoft Office             In OpenOffice 3.4.1         In OpenOffice 4
In LibreOffice, Impress now flips gradients as well, when it imports PPTX files. There have also been lots of other PPTX/PPT import/export fixes.
With OpenOffice Impress, you are now allowed to keep special numbering when saving or opening a PPT file as shown here.

[image_library_tag 150/89150, alt=”in-microsoft-office5″ width=”306″ height=”100″ ,default]

In Microsoft Office   In OpenOffice 3.4.1   In OpenOffice 4

It also supports special tiled fill (where the picture size covers the master page) as a background to be exported into the PPT file. Refer the figure below.

[image_library_tag 148/89148, alt=”in-microsoft-office6″ width=”332″ height=”87″ ,default]

In Microsoft Office   In OpenOffice 3.4.1    In OpenOffice 4

The fill attribute of the graphic background in a table can be now displayed correctly when loading the PPT file, as shown below.

[image_library_tag 144/89144, alt=”in-microsoft-office7″ width=”330″ height=”112″ ,default]

In Microsoft Office   In OpenOffice 3.4.1     In OpenOffice 4

You can now have a connector that is connected to a PPT table, and also have a right notched arrow with the “Fit shape to text” property imported correctly. In addition, the new Impress allows you to keep 3D effects when importing a line.

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