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OpenOSX Takes on Microsoft Office

Office bundle includes image editing, spreadsheet and word processing software for OS X By Dave Nagel
OpenOSX, a developer of open-source applications for Mac OS X, as released OpenOSX Office 0.9. Office is a business suite designed to compete head-on with Microsoft Office, offering nearly the same functionality but at a drastically reduced price. It includes programs to match Word and Excel, and it also includes an optional bundle with the company's image editing, compositing and effects package, Gimp. The bundle runs $50, while the Office package without Gimp runs $30.

The word processing application is called AbiWord. It can read Microsoft Word, Corel WordPerfect, XHTML and RTF documents. It includes capabilities like multiple columns, on the fly spell checking, style sheets and multiple language support.

The spreadsheet application is called Gnumeric. It can read Microsoft Excel, Lotus 123, MultiPlan, Plan Perfect, HTML and CSV file formats. It offers data analysis tools, data consolidation, cell formatting, multiple undos and search and replace. It can write Excel, PDF, HTML, XML, CSV and Data Interchange Format files.

Gimp can edit Adobe Photoshop, TIFF, JPEG and PNG file formats. It also offers image manipulation tools, filters, plugins, text and effects. And it can write Photoshop files with layers in tact, as well as TIFF, JPEG and PNG.

All of the products include documentation, online help and limited support. The company says that when the 1.0 release comes around, it will include vector illustration and graphing/plotting software. And upgrade to Office 1.0 will run $10.

For more information, visit

Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at [email protected].

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