Lotus Symphony 3.0 Vies to Eclipse OpenOffice.org as Microsoft Office Challenger

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Lotus Symphony 3.0 Vies to Eclipse OpenOffice.org as Microsoft Office Challenger

by Jason Brooks

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Symphony 3.0 Loves Sidebars

Symphony makes broad use of sidebars in its interface elements, to good effect. Here, the application's sidebar-docked DataPilot feature is easier to tweak than the equivalent feature in OpenOffice.org (see next slide).

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The OpenOffice.org DataPilot

In OpenOffice.org, modifying DataPilot settings means opening a separate dialog window.

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Presentation Sidebars

Each Symphony component uses its sidebar in a different way-here, the presentation component offers up slide transition options.

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Widgets

Symphony's sidebars also play host to various add-ons, which I was able to install by dragging a link from an embedded add-on page to a widget sidebar pane.

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Gears of Eclipse in Motion

Symphony's Eclipse-based interface brings with it machinery for installing and updating add-ons. Eclipse IDE users will recognize this installation dialog.

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Google Gadgets

I was also able to populate Symphony's widget sidebar with Google Gadgets.

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Twitter Gadget

Here's a Google Gadget for Twitter, embedded in a Symphony sidebar.

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Web App Widgets

I could also dock arbitrary Web pages or forms into my sidebar as widgets.

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Account Details

I liked the way that Symphony's Web page widget support included a separate facility for saving account log-in information.

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VBA Macro Support

Symphony 3 now offers partial support for VBA macros in Excel spreadsheets. I had no trouble with a very basic macro ...

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VBA Macro Support, Continued

However, I hit plenty of snags while testing with VBA macros.

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VBA Scanner Plug-In

The VBA scanner plug-in available for Symphony can help sort out which portions of the VBA API a particular document uses, and which are supported by Symphony.

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