Review: OpenOffice 3

As many of you probably know, OpenOffice 3 came out a few days ago.  The demand was so high that it was temporarily almost impossible to find a decent download link.  In fact, it took me 3 separate tries to finally get the full 150MB download.

Overall, I am impressed.  OpenOffice 2 had a lot of quirks and basic design flaws that disappointed me, so I was using AbiWord on a regular basis.  However, OpenOffice 3 has made dramatic improvements.  As always, this program runs smoothly and generally without problems.  However, it is by no means a “fun” application to run.  It seems almost a simply generic version of Word.

The thing that I immediatly noticed about OO3 was the improvements in design.  In previous versions, I have been unsatisfied with the low-res icon and basic styles that are reminiscent of early 2000 applications.  The logo, however, has been replaced, and while it is still not perfect, it is an improvement.

The menu styles, too, have improved, though the overrall feel is still nothing special.

My other major problem with OO2 was that, whenever I would begin the prompted update, the entire program would crash. This would cause me to temporarily lose my data until I could recover it with Sun’s built-in recovery tool. While this never resulted in me losing any precious data, this is unacceptable in desktop software.

Other than that, I have been very pleased with OpenOffice 3. Other than the widely used Writer, the suite has other “Office-inspired” apps such as Presentation, Database, Spreadsheet, etc. These are quite good as well, though I have spent the majority of time with the Writer.

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