Novell Adds Microsoft’s Open XML to OpenOffice

The first fruit of the recently announced Novell/Microsoft interoperability agreement arrived on Dec. 4, with Novell’s announcement that its version of the OpenOffice productivity suite will now support the Microsoft Office Open XML format.

The release candidate of Novell’s modified version of 2.02 is now available for Windows for free download by registered Novell users.

For more on these companies, see Microsoft, Novell Make Peace over Linux

In addition to all the usual features, this version includes support for the Open XML document format, plus the ability to e-mail any document as a Microsoft Office file from the system’s default e-mail application. It also enables users to migrate Excel VBA (Visual Basic Application) macros to OpenOffice’s Calc. This version also includes AGFA fonts that mimic Microsoft’s default TrueType fonts.

Novell is also working with Microsoft and others on a project to create bidirectional open-source translators for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations between and Microsoft Office. The word processing translator is coming first and currently is expected to be available by the end of January 2007.

The Open XML/ODF Translator project is hosted on SourceForge and is licensed under the BSD open-source license. The first component, the ODF Add-in for Microsoft Word 2007, which allows users to open and save ODF documents in Word, is now available as a 0.3-M1 beta.

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