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By Tiffany Maleshefski  |  Posted 2007-11-28 Print this article Print

The other big news in Impress is the ability to integrate sound throughout the slideshow. I imported an MP3 file by selecting "modify transition" in the applications Effect task pane. I was then able to either choose a sound file from the Impress sound library or import a music file by choosing "other sound" from a drop-down menu accessible in this pane. This allowed me to browse my system for files. The sound files supported include .aiff, .au, .avi, .gsm, .midi, .mp2, .mp3, .qt, .rmf, and .wav files. Users now have a couple of choices for enhancing 3-D views of charts created in the office suite. I tested the improved features of OpenOffices Charts tool and found that ease of use once again rules the day. In the Chart Type window I was able to choose Pie and then view the exploded pie chart in a preview pane. An exploded pie chart is a standard pie chart with the pieces of the pie broken out. Same goes for the exploded donut chart, another new 3-D view offering, which breaks out the rings that comprise this particular type of chart. From here, I was able to customize the charts legends, fonts, positions, and so on, by right-clicking on the legend. I tweaked other parts of the chart by right-clicking on the image.
Next I tested the most significant addition to OpenOffices Writer application, the ability to export newly created files to the MediaWiki format, a feature-rich collaborative editing software that runs Wikipedia.
I first loaded the file up with a bunch of character formatting, such as italicized, bolded and underlined chunks of text. I also included a hyperlink. From the file dialog, I chose Export and selected MediaWiki.txt from the File Format drop-down menu. I then cut and pasted the entire document into a blank Wiki page and discovered that the italicized text made it through the conversion, as did the hyperlink. The underlined text and bold text, however, did not pass the test. Apostrophes also fared poorly, not maintaining their "smart quotes" status. Still, introducing this format as an option to users is recognizing the growing importance and undeniable usability of the Web-based collaborative workspace that the smart and savvy should be incorporating into their software ASAP (or be left in the dust). Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.


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