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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 15, 2005 / 6 Nisan, 5765

OpenOffice Has New (Beta) Version

By Mark Kellner

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I knew things were different when I added a word count button to the tool bar. On a free word processing program that reads and writes Microsoft Word files. OpenOffice 2.0 is here, or pretty darned close to "here," since it's available in a Beta release from http://www.openoffice.org.

Having open source software means, in effect, that the world is your development lab: anyone, anywhere, can come up with an improvement or fix for the program and submit it to the OpenOffice.org Web site (and community) for consideration and use. In fact, the group welcomes such freelance help on documentation, frequently asked questions and for its marketing plan (the latter being found at http://marketing.openoffice.org).

This may be the only way, of course, that OpenOffice can compete with Microsoft, which has multiple billions of dollars, and tens of thousands of employees, to dedicate to any given product or project. By getting itself out into the marketplace, OpenOffice is aiming to take some of Microsoft's market share.

Whether or not this new version will succeed, there are some nice improvements. On the word processing side, I like the ability to customize the toolbar so easily, and I also like having a toolbar that not only looks like the one in Microsoft Word, but also has familiar Word features such as a formatting "paintbrush" and a "Navigator" pane that shows what the active hyperlinks in a document are, along with other special items such as headings, tables, sections and indexes.

The program will read — and write — Microsoft Word-compatible files, as well as the Rich Text Format, a straight "text document" and export files in HTML and PDF, all just like the more-expensive programs. Compatibility, then, shouldn't be a major problem.

In short, the OpenOffice Writer program — their version of Word — is even more of a match for the Microsoft application than it was the last time this column looked at the OpenOffice package. While a journalist might be expected to obsess over word processing programs, they're important to everyone, or so it seems: word processing is probably the major daily task of computer users in offices, schools and at home, at least when we're not surfing the Internet.

The suite also includes a database, a spreadsheet, a presentation program and a drawing program. The spreadsheet is extremely similar to Excel in form and function; I don't believe most users will have a problem working with it. The presentation offers quite a bit: two templates and a host of special effects, but it's not yet a total clone of PowerPoint. Then again, at the price, it doesn't have to be; what you get here is certainly enough to begin with in making and using good presentations. (I'm also betting that a corporate-standard presentation PowerPoint format will make the move to OpenOffice's "Impress" program without too much hassle.)

Some things remain the same from earlier versions: there's no e-mail client, so be prepared to download Thunderbird (http://www.mozilla.org) if you want a free e-mail program to go with your free office suite. There are Mac versions of OpenOffice, but not this newest Beta release, yet.

As with any open source program, support will be where you find it: on the Web, mostly, via discussion lists and message boards. Again, this is part of the nature of open source software. If you can handle such ambiguities, free software isn't a bad way to go.

What excites me overall is the continuing move of OpenOffice towards the full office application experience. There's a lot to like here, and investigating it won't cost you a penny.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.

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© 2005, News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit the paper at http://www.washingtontimes.com

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