IBMs Lotus Symphony Is OpenOffice in Eclipse Clothing - What\s Your Next Office App?

 
 
By eWEEK Labs  |  Posted 2007-09-19
 
 
 

IBMs Lotus Symphony Is OpenOffice in Eclipse Clothing

I took the Lotus Symphony beta for a spin on both Windows and Linux machines. No word yet on an OS X version, but considering that Eclipse (on which Symphonys UI is based) runs on OS X, a Mac port cant be too far away.

IBMs Lotus Symphony Is OpenOffice in Eclipse Clothing

IBMs Lotus Symphony Is OpenOffice in Eclipse Clothing - Symphony Includes Word Processing, Spreadsheet and Presentation Components

So far, theres no sign of a database component for Lotus Symphony, which is something that OpenOffice.org does offer.

IBMs Lotus Symphony Is OpenOffice in Eclipse Clothing - Symphony Includes Word Processing, Spreadsheet and Presentation Components

IBMs Lotus Symphony Is OpenOffice in Eclipse Clothing - Symphony Brings a New Look to Its OpenOffice Core

Symphony sports a sidebar for displaying Text or Paragraph Properties options.

IBMs Lotus Symphony Is OpenOffice in Eclipse Clothing - Symphony Brings a New Look to Its OpenOffice Core

IBMs Lotus Symphony Is OpenOffice in Eclipse Clothing - Familiar Dialogs

The Line Numbering dialog box in the Lotus Symphony word processor is identical to that from OpenOffice-however, IBM has situated this and other feature dialogs in a different menu structure. In OpenOffice, this feature lives in 'Tools-->Line Numbering.'

IBMs Lotus Symphony Is OpenOffice in Eclipse Clothing - Familiar Dialogs

IBMs Lotus Symphony Is OpenOffice in Eclipse Clothing - Freehand Table

Beyond cosmetic differences, one of the few unique features of Lotus Symphony that I recognized was the word processors 'Freehand Table' option, which enabled me to rough out a table with my mouse.

IBMs Lotus Symphony Is OpenOffice in Eclipse Clothing - Freehand Table

IBMs Lotus Symphony Is OpenOffice in Eclipse Clothing - Function Sidebar

IBMs spreadsheet application gets the sidebar treatment as well, shown here presenting a function browser.

IBMs Lotus Symphony Is OpenOffice in Eclipse Clothing - Function Sidebar

IBMs Lotus Symphony Is OpenOffice in Eclipse Clothing - Show Thumbnails

Another feature of Lotus Symphony that OpenOffice 2.3 appears not to offer is a thumbnail view of your open documents.

IBMs Lotus Symphony Is OpenOffice in Eclipse Clothing - Show Thumbnails

IBMs Lotus Symphony Is OpenOffice in Eclipse Clothing - Fair Warning

Lotus Symphony can open Microsoft Offices binary-formatted documents, but the applications helpfully warned me that saving an MS Office document in Symphony could mean a loss of formatting.

IBMs Lotus Symphony Is OpenOffice in Eclipse Clothing - Fair Warning

IBMs Lotus Symphony Is OpenOffice in Eclipse Clothing - Context-Sensitive Sidebar

The Lotus Symphony sidebar, shown here with the suites presentation application, boasts a measure of context-sensitivity: When I clicked into a text box, the sidebar offered text property options; when I clicked outside the text box, the sidebar switched

IBMs Lotus Symphony Is OpenOffice in Eclipse Clothing - Context-Sensitive Sidebar

IBMs Lotus Symphony Is OpenOffice in Eclipse Clothing - What\s Your Next Office App?

Your choice of office productivity apps seems to be growing by the day. But is the choice really yours? Will your PC of the future be running Microsoft Office or one of its now-many rivals? Let us know at

IBMs Lotus Symphony Is OpenOffice in Eclipse Clothing - What\s Your Next Office App?

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