In the First part of the OpenOffice preview, I talked about the new general features in OpenOffice.org 3.2 like being: easier, more secure, and more international. In this second part, I will explore with you the new features of Chart, Calc and Base (applications within Oo package).
BTW many readers of the previous preview had queries about using grammar checker in OpenOffice. So, I am happy to say that you can use it now by LanguageTools’s extension. Visit their official website and there you can get more information of how to use it.
Chart’s new features
Filled Net Chart:
A new chart type in OpenOffice.org 3.2 is the Filled Net Chart. It is similar to the regular Net Chart with lines, but in addition to that, the area between the lines and the origin is filled.
“The Bubble Chart is available as new chart type now. Bubble Charts are similar to the XY Charts, but in addition to the x-and y-value for each data point a third value is used to influence the size of the bubble.
This issue was one of the top voted feature request recently within the chart with something around 50 votes.”
Display of hidden cells:
Did you ever have a spreadsheet where some columns or rows are hidden? Now, you can decide whether those values from hidden cells should be included into a plot within a chart or not. Just set the check box in the properties dialog of the data series.
Rotate Data Labels:
The options for data labels have been extended further. It is possible now to rotate them. This is useful especially for column charts to avoid overlapping between the different labels.
Chart Element Selector:
This is a new feature to make working with the chart easier. You can now choose any chart’s element and manipulate its formatting by Chart Element Selector.
Calc’s new features:
Calc gained many new features and enhancements. This page lists all new features in Calc 3.2 but I will talk about three of them here:
Applying cell borders to multiple selection:
Some of you know that you can make more than one selection at the same time within Calc. The new feature makes possible to apply cell borders to multiple selections. Previously it was only possible to apply cell borders to a single rectangular cell range. Now borders can be applied to any selection of cells.
Double click on document position in status bar opens Navigator:
A double click on the „document position“ control in the Calc status bar now opens the Navigator, like in Writer.
AutoFill for cells with numbers at the start and end:
It is possible now to make a list of IP addresses 10.0.0.1 to 10.0.0.12 by using AutoFill features. The new feature makes AutoFill understanding that you want to increment the number at the end if you start with numbers like this: 11wer24 or IP address.
Base 3.2 new features:
Base is not an attractive application to many people and even myself I don’t remember when was the last time I had to use it. Anyway, Base has new features in the next version that will make some of you happy to try it.
Copy Table Wizard: „First line as column names“:
The Copy table Wizard now contains an additional check box which is enabled when RTF or HTML format is copied into a database. The check box is labeled: „Use first line as column names“ ;
When checked, the first row is used to identify column names, when not checked, the first row will be handled as a normal data row.
Copying queries between database documents uses source name:
When you copy queries between database documents, you’re not prompted for the target name anymore, unless it is really necessary.
That is, if you copy „some query“ from database A to database B, then it will be inserted into B as „some query“. Previously (up to 3.1), you were prompted for a name, which was defaulted to „Query1“, completely ignoring the source name.
Only if the name already exists in the target database (in particular, if you copy a query into the same DB), the dialog is opened, and now pre-filled with the source name instead of „Query1“.
Forms can be zoomed:
Database forms can now be zoomed, much like all other OOo documents. You’ll find the usual View/Zoom menu item, and the zoom slider in the status bar. (Ctrl+Scroll wheel continues to work, as it already did before.)
Property browser: Added Position, Size, and Anchor :
In the property browser for form controls, you can now also change the position and size of the control, as well as its anchor (in document types where anchoring is supported, e.g. text docs and spreadsheets).
This is especially useful when you want to modify the geometry of multiple controls at once, which previously required invocation of a modal dialog for every control, and now can be done by selecting all controls, and simply entering the new value(s) in the property browser.
Property browser: Human-readable event bindings:
The event bindings in the form/control property browser are now somewhat more human readable, in that a binding formerly displayed as:
Now is displayed as:
Standard.Module1.Main (application, Basic)
Property browser: Button controls: new „Default Status“ property, applicable to toggle buttons:
Button controls in documents now have an additional property „Default status“. It is enabled if and only if the button’s „Toggle“ property is set to „Yes“, and works like the „Default status“ property for e.g. check box controls: It controls in which status the button will be when resetting the form to which the button belongs.
Finally, the release date for OOo 3.2 is expected to be on 14 December 2009. You can download the Development version from here. Remember, it is not the final version, so it might have some bugs. Help developers to kill them by reporting about them in OpenOffice.org’s bugs system. Any comment is more than welcome.