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December 13, 2004 / gus3

Freeing the User

(Cross-posted from Slashdot: "Why OpenOffice.org? Open Document Formats.")

Boss wanted me to create a PostScript version of our corporate logo, so it could be scaled as needed.

Source: a poorly rendered GIF.
Equipment: one Linux machine, with OpenOffice.org installed.

I found the matching font, got the dots lined up, converted it to a traced object, found the right "burnt sienna" color… but that pukey-green was nowhere in any color selector I could find.

After hunting for nearly a half hour, for an edit box that would let me enter an arbitrary hex triplet, I just saved the file and quit OOo. Then I unzipped the document, opened the style sheet in NEdit, and changed the hex triplets by hand. Save, exit, re-zip, and open it in OOo to see if the changes were correct. Voila!

I never, never ever would have been able to do that in a Microsoft product. I will grant that Microsoft may have made the hex triplet entry somewhat more obvious, but that doesn’t mean I would have been able to find it any more easily. They absolutely control how the user accesses the document. OOo lets you access it any way you want.

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