IBM Lotus recently announced the availability of the latest beta for Lotus Symphony and I have been trying it out for the last week. I have been very impressed by the new functions available.
For those of you who are not aware, Lotus Symphony is a full function office product for creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations. It is available as a free download from the Lotus website.
There are many new features and functions in the release and I would like to pick out just a few that caught my attention:
- There is a new property sidebar which is always visible and enables you to change text and paragraph properties; but, more importantly to me, it also allows you to see a list of styles so as you are creating a document it is just one click to add the correct style to a paragraph.
- There is also a navigator sidebar which gives you an immediate navigation to any heading, references, graphics, etc. Making it very easy to edit various parts of a large document.
- The PDF export has been significantly improved so that you can now specify if the document should be tagged (essential for accessible electronic documents), which initial view to show, how bookmarks are displayed, etc. An initial test of the PDF Export function shows that it creates a reasonable tagged PDF.
There are several functions that are not available in this beta that will be available at GA. Support of Assisitive Technologies is the big one that I will report on when it is available.
This is definitely worth a try if you have not been exposed to Symphony before.