Windows/Mac/Linux: It hit the servers two days ago, but OpenOffice.org 3.1 is now in official release. The open-source office suite focused on anti-aliased drawing and usability tweaks for this release, which we’ve quickly previewed below.
Anti-aliased rendering for Draw (and charts): That should mean the world for those sick of seeing glaringly computer-rendered edges and intersections in their illustrations, along with the graphs and charts plugged into spreadsheets and text documents. Hard to visualise in a screenshot, but this one’s been zoomed in, and you can see the softer rendering around the circles.
Eye-friendly highlighting: No more of the Unix-y reverse-color highlighting; 3.1 introduces a softer, off-text-color highlight depending on what colour you’re typing in.
Zoom slider for spreadsheets: It was a welcome addition to the Writer tool in 3.0, and now spreadsheets gets a slider bar in the lower-right corner to quickly zoom in and out on documents, rather than spend angry seconds pecking around the View->Zoom menu.
Hot hints for formulas: Not sure if this is entirely new, but the Oo.org team says they’ve made it easier to keep your context variables highlighted while receiving hints on how to use formulas in Calc. We know, we know—real engineers and math types can’t possibly get by with Calc’s formula support, so don’t bother telling us so in the comments.
Comments become conversational: If you leave a note on a co-worker’s or collaborator’s document, and then you or someone else want to append to it directly to carry on a conversation, it’s now possible. Just right-click on the note in the margin and hit “Reply.”
Those are just a few of the 3.1 changes we thought the average user might appreciate, but there are more technical and core-based upgrades—like spreadsheet performance, sorting defaults, and built-in document locking—detailed at OpenOffice.org’s release notes.
OpenOffice.org is a free download for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems. Thanks Mitchell!