The Sidebar is a major new feature of the user interface in all of the OpenOffice applications.
The Sidebar makes better use of today's widescreen displays than traditional toolbars. The 'Properties' deck is context-sensitive and shows panels with the document properties that are most frequently used for the current editing task.
Different panels expanded or collapsed
Eleven property panels have been migrated from IBM Lotus Symphony: Alignment, Area, Cell Appearance, Graphic, Line, Number Format, Page, Paragraph, Position and Size, Text and Wrap.
Seven panels come from the old Impress tool panel: Available for Use, Custom Animation, Layouts, Recently Used, Slide Transition, Table Design, Used in This Presentation.
Four are non-modal (ie non locking) dialogs: Functions, Gallery, Navigator, Syles and Formatting.
One is new: Insert.
Panels from Symphony, the old Impress task pane, OpenOffice dialogs (from left to right).
The width of the Sidebar can be adjusted. The controls adapt their size accordingly. If you need more space then it can be undocked — and possibly moved to a second display — or it can be reduced to a thin tab bar. A single click on one of the icons and the sidebar is back.
Different widths of the sidebar: maximum width, default width, too narrow to display content, collapsed to tab bar (from left to right).
Floating sidebar, can be moved to second screen
Of course, not all of OpenOffice's functionality can be represented by controls in the Sidebar. If you need an advanced function then just click on the "more options" button in the title bar of a panel to open a dialog with many more options and properties.
Click on 'more options' to get, well, more options.
More information can be found in the OpenOffice wiki.
Enhanced conversion to Bitmap Graphics
The conversion to Bitmap graphics is greatly enhanced for all kinds of draw objects, including chart OLEs and others. This is not only useful for internally converting objects to bitmaps, but also used for exports where bitmaps are needed, and the system clipboard. It works with single objects as well as multiple selections. Transparencies of the object and AntiAliasing on its edges are perfect now.
Enhanced FillType 'Bitmap'
All DrawingObjects which can have a Bitmap filling can now profit from the new, greatly enhanced Bitmap FillType:
The new Bitmap FillType preserves Transparency, the old version was not capable of this and always added a white background.
It allows the use of vector graphics which stay vector graphic when processed (especially useful in e.g. printing, PDF and other exports).
It supports SVG and Metafile as FillData, no longer restricted to BitmapData.
Tiling, AutoFit, Size, Position and Offset settings are fully supported (in Area dialog).
Animated GIF's are now allowed as FillTypes.
Think about the possibilities for filling the Backgrounds of Pages, Chart bars or other items. This will be used as vector data when printing or at PDF export.
All applications now support transparent and anti-aliased versions of, for example, DrawObjects in the selection to be exchanged with external applications. This is a result of the enhanced conversion to Bitmap and adding the PNG graphic format to the supported clipboard formats.
Non-Graphic objects are converted on-demand, and graphic objects are copied with full transparency and AntiAliasing support.
It is now possible to Copy/Paste any object to an external PixelGraphic application, modify it as needed, and copy it back to any OpenOffice Application without quality loss. This allows everyone easy and complete image manipulation outside the Office with the tool of his choice and the capabilities he needs.
Drag&Drop has been enhanced by an 'internal' mode. It is now possible to Drag&Drop anything 'onto' an existing DrawObject to change it's graphic or fill style when holding CTRL+SHIFT (Ctrl+Cmd on Mac) during Drag&Drop.
Also very useful:
You can use the Gallery as in-betwen space for DrawObjects or GraphicObjects used for that purpose.
You can directly Drag&Drop from there onto DrawObjects.
You can Drag&Drop from external sources onto DrawObjects.
Adapt LineStart/End to LineWidth
It is practical when you change the LineWidth of an Object which has ArrowHeads defined at its start/end when the ArrowHeads used get adapted to your LineWidth change; else you have to adapt these by your own. This was already done for Draw and Impress. This is now unified and centralized and works in all OpenOffice applications.
SVG Export enhancements
Some enhancements for SVG export were added to avoid some quality losses. More improvements are planned in this area for future releases.
SVG/Metafile Break improvements
If an imported SVG/metafile is manipulated, it needs to be broken up into DrawObjects. This code was improved in this release. More improvements are planned in this area for future releases.
SVG Import improvements
Enhancements and bug fixes were made in the SVG Import code . Thanks to all Users who were reporting issues and providing test documents for SVG. If you have a SVG file which looks different than it should, do not hesitate to attach it to an issue in the Apache OpenOffice Bugzilla.
Picture Crop mode offers preview
When working on a GraphicObject it is allowed to set a Crop region for it. When using the interactive mode for that, the new version shows the non-visible part of the Graphic content (the croppped part) as transparent and surrounds it with a light border. This way you no longer have to guess where or how big the cropped data is.
This example shows cropping in an SVG graphic:
Unified visualization of ColorPalette popups
All places where a ColorPalette popup is shown (the form where the colors are organized in a raster) are overhauled and made to use the same sizes and width. The width (12 columns) was adapted to the new designed ColorPalette. For a picture see 'New Color Palette'
Transparency support for pixel formats (PNG)
When exporting selected drawing objects to formats that support transparency, e.g., PNG, OpenOffice now uses a transparent background by default. This allows to further use graphics created in other applications or for further processing.
Connectors support rotation
Connectors no longer disable rotation or shear tools when selected. While this is a small benefit with single connectors, it is very useful when selecting a number of graphic objects and wanting to rotate them. This was requested in the OpenOffice Community Forum, where a user wanted to rotate a drawing made of many draw objects and many connectors by 90 degrees. This is now possible without the inconvenience of deselecting all of the connectors.
Corrected Hatch fill style visualization
When zooming out or in small visualizations (e.g. Page Previews) objects or pages using a hatch fill style were poorly visualized since too many hatch lines were shown in a small area. The Hatch Fill Style now uses a minimal line distance to make it look good for visualizations in Edit Views. This was already the case in older office versions, but was lost in the redesign of the visualization.
Better gradient support in metafiles
Gradients in metafiles are rotated and sheared (slanted) together with the metafile and so behave similar to bitmap graphics. Start color and end color are included in those gradients now. This improvement becomes visible if you use a small number of gradient steps. All gradients are now shown in presentation mode the same as they are shown in edit mode.
Calc and Chart Improvements/Enhancements
Support relative Pie Chart Height:
For Pie charts imported from other formats, the Height attribute was not supported. This is added now and makes Pie Charts look more like the original.
Calc now supports the spreadsheet functions: AVERAGEIFS, COUNTIFS, and SUMIFS. These functions allow you to combine several conditions.
Calc now supports the function XOR. The function completes the already available set of Boolean functions.
Calc now supports the functions LEFTB, RIGHTB, LENB, and MIDB. These functions are special versions for DBCS (double byte character set) languages.
Calc's RAND function was reimplemented to use the Mersenne-Twister algorithm.
New Toolbar management
Extensions now use a new Toolbar management, see https://issues.apache.org/ooo/show_bug.cgi?id=121577
; at the moment, Extensions for 3.x that are using the deprecated mechanism will have to be updated to work with OpenOffice 4.0. Many popular extensions, including dictionaries, are not affected by the change.
Unified menu API
The Menu API has been unified, making it more clear and API-user-friendly. The following interfaces have been deprecated and replaced: css.awt.XMenuExtended, css.awt.XMenuExtended2, css.awt.XMenuBarExtended, css.awt.XPopupMenuExtended. See https://issues.apache.org/ooo/show_bug.cgi?id=121542#c2
Note: extension authors who require more information on the above changes are encouraged to post their questions to our API mailing list.
Many resource leaks were fixed.
Many resource leaks were fixed, reducing memory requirements and improving application stability.
Speedup of Graphic Rendering
More Rendering speedups are used (on systems supporting it, system-dependent)
Bitmaps with transparency are painted directly
Bitmaps which are transformed (rotated/sheared/mirrored) are painted directly
Lines with LineWidth and/or transparence are painted directly
Geometry and Pixel data is buffered in system-dependent formats
For example, this allows even animated GIFs to be used as object fill style for any object and to transform these in real time (when supported on the system). It also greatly enhances visualization geometry during editing (in the EditViews) when supported.
Additional Language Support
New translations available in Apache OpenOffice 4.0 include:
Updated translations include:
For a complete list of available languages and language packs see this detailed download page.
Note: Several other language translations are in-progress and will be released when available. If your language is not listed above, and you want to help translate the user interface, we welcome any and all volunteers.
Improved Quality Management Tools
New Automated Testing Framework
Apache OpenOffice 4.0 has a new automated testing framework based on JUNIT that tests in the areas
BVT (Basic Verification Tests)
FVT (Functional Verification Tests)
PVT (Performance Verification Tests)
SVT (System Verifcation Tests)
Changes that Impact Backwards Compatibility
Module binfilter removed
We no longer read or write the legacy StarOffice file formats (files with extensions .sdw, .sdc, .sdd, etc.). Removal of this code makes the OpenOffice codebase easier to maintain. The legacy formats have never been the default format in any version of OpenOffice. Users with legacy StarOffice documents are advised to re-save them into ODF format (.odt, *.ods, *.odp, etc.) *before upgrading to Apache OpenOffice 4.0. This can be done using File - Wizards - Document Converter in OpenOffice 3.x OpenOffice 1.x files (*.sxw, *.sxc, *.sxi) are still supported.
Python support updated
PyUNO is now compatible with the latest C-Python 3.x but in order to reduce the impact for existing applications, support for C-Python 2.x has been preserved and remains the default. The internal Python, used by default in the Windows and MacOS-X ports, has now been upgraded with version 2.7.5 which fixes hundreds of bugs and has important performance improvements but is still compatible with previous versions. Existing scripts may require minor adjustments but will normally just continue working as before.
Support for system C++ STL
The stlport4 template library was obsoleted with the TR1 report of the C++ standard and was deprecated and no longer maintained. Apache OpenOffice 4 switches to the system's native standard template library, so extensions written in C++ need to be recompiled with the Apache OpenOffice 4 SDK.
As of July 17th 2013 there were 498 verified issues that have been resolved.
This list can be found at: VERIFIED or CLOSED
(An OpenOffice Bugzilla login will enable you to search for any bugs that may interest you.)
Important bug fixes have been made in these areas:
Support for Java 7, and the Java Access Bridge v2.0.3 implemented in JRE 1.7u6 and later has been restored. Windows OS users requiring Accessibility support for Assistive Technology tools can now use current Oracle releases of the Java SE 7 Runtime Environment and the Java Accessibility API on Windows.
The QA team has been tracking additional fixes as well. See their complete reports at:
QA Weekly Report - Apache OpenOffice Wiki
Apache OpenOffice 4.0.0 will be flagged by the new Gatekeeper facility in Mac OS X Mountain Lion. This is a new feature to help guard against malware on Mac systems. There is a procedure laid out at the following link to allow applications not installed from the Mac App store to run. See the article at Mac support at OS X: About Gatekeeper
Apache OpenOffice 4.0.0 supports Java 7, which is the recommended configuration; but (especially on 64-bit Windows) you might receive warnings about the Java version being defective. In that case, download and install the Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package. If you still have problems, install the most current JRE 6 version. Make sure you get the file "Windows x86 Offline (32-bit)". Then configure OpenOffice to use it at "Tools - Options - OpenOffice - Java". See this forum topic for more information.
Apache OpenOffice 4.0.0. has got a new color palette. If you have migrated your "personal data" from a previous version, the old color palette is migrated too: you won't see the new palette and (if you are using a non-English version) some of the color names will appear in English only. To get the new palette close Apache OpenOffice and its quickstarter, search for the file “standard.soc” in your Apache OpenOffice user folder and rename the file, to “standard_AOO341.soc” for example. With the next start of Apache OpenOffice the new color palette is transferred to your user folder and is available.