Whats new in Lotus Symphony 3?

Lotus Symphony 3 Splash ScreenThe list of what’s changed between Lotus Symphony 1.3 and Lotus Symphony 3 is probably better articulated as ‘what hasn’t changed’ – it really is a complete line-by-line rewrite to take in the changes in the OpenOffice 3 code.

However, there is a detailed list in the Release Notes for Symphony 3 – here are the changes to the overall suite:

New Features
      •        VBA scripts support
      •        ODF 1.2 standard support
      •        Office 2007 OLE support
      •        Brand new sidebars containing enriched property sections and panels across different editors, with support of sidebar panel management to show or hide sidebar panels
      •        Ability to customize toolbar content and layout
      •        Ability to create new business cards and labels
      •        Ability to insert OLE, audio and video files
      •        Master document support
      •        Support of Live Text
      •        Enabled file encryption and password protection with Microsoft Word and Excel files
      •        Support for “Open in new window”. Users can use Command+~ on Mac OS and Alt + Tab on XP/Vista to switch windows
      •        New clip art gallery
      •        More template files
      •        Support of VML images in OOXML files
      •        Support of more parameters for protecting spreadsheet files and sheets in VBA API
      •        Support of separate downloads of spell check dictionary addons for 22 languages for Windows OS users
      •        Support of same build re-installation in silent mode on Windows
      •        Support of online check of new product updates
Enhancements

      •        Better graphic object rendering through improved anti-aliasing
      •        Refined main menu and toolbar design for better usability and consistency across editors
      •        Ability to open a file by dragging and dropping it to a tab or empty workbench
      •        Better usability during the operation of dragging graphic objects
      •        Enhanced the usability in manipulating color property with new color picker controls
      •        Enabled new progress bar to launch and load/save files
      •        Enabled memorizing user file paths when inserting objects into file
      •        Added one click link to LotusLive website on homepage
      •        Improved accessibility support for graphic objects in files and help
      •        Various additional user experience enhancements
      •        Significant enhancement in online help content and structure

Impressive, huh?

For the rest of the list, check below the fold, or else the Release Notes themselves.

Still with us? Here’s the rest of the list:

Document editor
New Features
      •        Enabled native nested tables support.
      •        Enabled multi-page view layout support.
      •        Support of Auto Text
      •        More fields support
      •        Custom properties
      •        Outline levels within paragraph
Enhancements

      •        Enhanced PDF export support.
      •        Improved document notes function.
      •        Enhancements in supporting much more types of fields in documents.
      •        Ability to select rectangle region of text in document editor.
      •        Ability to set bullets and numbering in multiple table cells at a time.
      •        Document header and footer function enhancements and usability improvements
      •        Enhanced the interoperability with MS Word documents that contains page grid layout content

Spreadsheet editor
New Features

      •        Extended maximum number of columns from 256 to 1024.
      •        Sheet specific zoom support.
      •        Text to column value convert support.
      •        Detective function.
      •        Solve equations and solver.
      •        “What if” function.
      •        Inline array constants in formulas.
      •        Dynamic ranges in validation lists.
      •        More formulas.
Enhancements

      •        Improved sort and formula performance.
      •        Enhancement in moving rows or columns easily through dragging column headers.
      •        Ability to select multiple sheets.
      •        Formula hot hints.
      •        Flexible source range selection
      •        Enabled multiple calculation in one sheet of the Lotus Spreadsheet editor, including mixed sort and filter, as well as multiple sort areas.
      •        Enabled sorting instant filters in Lotus Spreadsheet
      •        Enhanced functionality and usability in “import data from external file” function
      •        Enhanced the support of auto selection in files with built-in database ranges

Presentation editor
New Features

      •        Multi-monitor display support.
      •        More presentation animation effects.
      •        More page layouts.
      •        More drawing objects.
      •        More fontwork.
      •        Support of copy and paste pages or objects together with animation effects.
Enhancements

      •        Significantly improved user experience in managing and using templates.
      •        Enhancement in slide show effect through hardware acceleration for graphics.
      •        Improved crop feature.
      •        Support of switching between four different views in presentation by clicking tabs at the bottom of the screen.
      •        Disabled Autosave during Lotus Presentation slide show to avoid the unexpected interruption
      •        Enhanced the Presentation text objects undo and redo function

Chart
New Features

      •        Significantly improved chart experience through new chart engine.
Enhancements

      •        New chart creation wizard.
      •        Many newly added formatting options.
      •        More chart types: Column and Line, Cylinder, Cone, Pyramid…

Symphony 1.3 features disabled in Symphony 3 releases
      •        Ability to import SmartSuite files.
      •        Freehand table.
      •        Presentation print preview.
      •        Ability to create new XForm document
      •        Connector support in document editor

Key Bug Fixes
Symphony Forum

      •        The animation effects including wipe, appear, motion path in Microsoft Powerpoint sample file don’t work properly when opening the sample file with Lotus Symphony.
      •        Creating a document containing the empty “Numbering style” by Lotus Symphony 3, when opening the file with Lotus Symphony 1.3, it crashes.
      •        Absolute references in conditional formatting are not adjusted when the cell is moved.
      •        When selecting one column, click the instant filter and then choose a value, all the lines which contain the value are displayed. But when all the lines are selected and the values are changed, the values in other lines are also changed unexpectedly.
Mac

      •        Some OLE objects can not be displayed properly on Mac OS.
      •        Hidden files and hidden directories are displayed in File-Open dialog in Lotus Symphony.
Language Related Fixes

      •        When copying part of the spreadsheet as DDE link and pasting it to Lotus Symphony Document, Hebrew characters will be lost.
Lotus Symphony Document

      •        Open some MS Word 2007 files in Lotus Symphony, the size of the bullet indents in table and the text indents in footer are bigger than the size in MS Office 2007.
      •        Open some MS Word 2003 file in Lotus Symphony, the pictures and logs in header and footer are lost.
      •        Opening the sample file in Lotus Symphony, compared the result with Microsoft Word, the position of tables has been moved to the left.
      •        The texts on the left side of a table are truncated when saving Lotus Symphony Document sample file as MS Word file and open it with Lotus Symphony again.
      •        Hyperlinks targeted in the same document don’t work well.
Lotus Symphony Presentation

      •        Can not export all slides as JPG graphic format in Lotus Symphony.
      •        If a Presentation sample file is created by Lotus Symphony 1.3 and it contains the drawing objects, open the sample file and save it in Symphony 3 Beta 4, the connectors will be messed up.
      •        Duplicate formatting does not work in Lotus Symphony Presentation in some scenarios.
      •        Lotus Symphony Presentation freezes when loading the sample files which contain thousands of hyperlinks.
      •        Open sample file in Lotus Symphony Presentation, the texts in table can not be replaced through the Find and Replace dialog.
      •        Lotus Symphony 1.3 hang when opening a presentation file which contains more than 9 level of outlines.
      •        When importing the template *.otp file to the template organizer, the appearance becomes untidy.
      •        Connector will not be moved along with the grouped shapes in Lotus Symphony Presentation.
      •        In Lotus Symphony Presentation, new three shapes in one slide, and group two of them. Create a connector to connect them, the grouped shapes are the start point. Copy or duplicate the slide. In the second slide, move the grouped shapes, the connector is detached from the grouped shapes.
Lotus Symphony Spreadsheet

      •        When changing the value of a cell in the filtered column, value of the unfiltered rows are also affected.
      •        Resizing the grouped objects can not change the pointers of callout objects as expected.
      •        Open MS Excel file with Lotus Symphony, the result of calculation will be “#div/0!” if the referenced cells are strings.
      •        The output of COUNTIF formula in Lotus Symphony is different from the output in Microsoft Excel.
      •        Lotus Symphony prompts err:508 instead of the actual output when opening the Microsoft Excel sample file.
      •        Open a Microsoft Excel sample file with Lotus Symphony, users will get “General Error” when double-clicking an OLE object.
General usage

      •        After deleting multiple cells in Lotus Symphony spreadsheet, not all of them can be recovered by using the undo function.
      •        If a file is locked by OpenOffice, this file is in read-only mode when opening with Lotus Symphony.
      •        Sometimes when Lotus Symphony crashes, restart it for the first time, a blank recovery dialog is popped up.
      •        It took several minutes to complete spell check for a sample file.
      •        Inserting graphic as a link to one file and export the file as PDF format, the linked graphics are not exported to the PDF file.
      •        Cannot copy/paste pictures from Paint.NET to Lotus Symphony.

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!