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New features in OpenOffice 2.4

The latest version of the free office-productivity suite boasts several enhancements to make it more competitive with rivals, like Microsoft Office.
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By David Meyer on
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1 of 5 David Meyer/ZDNet

OpenOffice 2.4, which was released on Thursday, comes with an assortment of collaboratively engineered bug fixes and small, but significant, usability enhancements.

This picture, for example, shows a new "persistent" icon list that allows users to store all their custom icons in one, easy-to-find place.

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2 of 5 David Meyer/ZDNet

Many users had been asking for the capability to reverse the direction of the axes within a graph — a feature now included in OpenOffice's chart function.

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3 of 5 David Meyer/ZDNet

As it is has now become possible to display value and percentage value at the same time within a chart's data labels, it has also became necessary to allow those different values to be shown on separate lines within the label.

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4 of 5 David Meyer/ZDNet

Although it is widely used, Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF) is not a recognised ISO standard. Therefore, OpenOffice 2.4 has made it possible to export a document to the ISO-approved alternative, PDF/A. The benefit of this is primarily in archiving documents for future use, as there are several versions of PDF, as well as several options for it. 

In PDF/A, also known as ISO 19005-1, fonts have to be embedded, and audio, video and JavaScript are not allowed.

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5 of 5 David Meyer/ZDNet

The Writer application in OpenOffice 2.4 now has a new control in the status bar to show what language is being used at the current cursor position or selection — a function necessary for spellchecking purposes.

The control also allows the language to be changed for the entire document or selected text, without having to delve into the main menus.

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