OpenOffice 3.0 Released

October 20, 2008  (Jeffrey Kabbe)

OpenOffice 3.0 came out of beta last week. It’s been so popular that the traffic has brought the OpenOffice website to its knees. I was able to download it, though, and have a few initial thoughts.


The goal of OpenOffice seems to be to create a FREE office application suite that will be familiar to users of older versions of Microsoft Office. OpenOffice 3.0 is a milestone because it is the first version which was truly a native Mac OS X application. NeoOffice partially filled that role, but it wasn’t a very clean solution.

The first change since the beta that jumped out at me is the gorgeous new icon for OpenOffice. The new icon is prettier and much more “Web 2.0.”

OpenOffice 3.0 Beta Icon

OpenOffice 3.0 Release Icon

OpenOffice 3.0 has many benefits aside from its native Mac application status. OO3 has read and write support for Microsoft Office formats, including the new Office 2007 / Mac Office 2008 XML file formats (.docx, .xlsx, .pptx). For those who want to break free of Microsoft’s grasp, OO3 also supports ODF version 1.2 (OpenDocument Format – an open alternative to Microsoft Office file formats). OpenOffice 3.0 has lots of other new features and improvements.

Until HotDocs supports OpenOffice, totally eliminating Microsoft Office won’t be an option. But it’s nice to see a real competitor making steady improvements. I’ll keep testing OO3 over the next few months. And if I like what I see, I may just work it into the permanent rotation.


  1. Jeffrey,

    I am a little confused. You state that HotDocs does not support OO3. That is a problem for PC HotDocs users. However, my question is whether HotDocs can be run on a Mac. As far as I know, the only way to run HotDocs on a Mac is through a VM of some sort. Do you have a method of running HotDocs natively on a Mac?

    Thank you,


  2. Right now we run HotDocs through VMWare Fusion. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any way to run HotDocs (or anything similar) natively on OS X.

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