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By 15 March 2010 | Categories: news

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Translate.org.za are going to release local language versions of OpenOffice.org, offering users the opportunity to use a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation tool as well as a drawing application in South African English, Afrikaans or Northern Sotho. Spell checkers will also be available for all three of the local languages.

The all-in-one OpenOffice.org suite includes Writer, the OpenOffice equivalent to Microsoft Word; Calc, for creating and editing spreadsheets; Impress, to create striking multimedia presentations and Draw, which is a full-featured graphics package that can be employed to draw anything from a quick diagram to an intricate industrial sketch. OpenOffice.org sports support for various common formats such as PDF and .docx, the latter giving users the ability to open and edit all Word files.

The OpenOffice.org package includes all three language versions in one pack, allowing you to switch to your own language once the software is up and running on your PC. It is available for a recommended retail price of R385 and will entitle users to a free upgrade to the next version of OpenOffice.org. You can also download the latest version of OpenOffice.org for free, but without the local language packs (149 MB download).

According to Dwayne Bailey, managing director of Translate.org.za, the release of this software was timed to correspond with Human Rights Day (this Sunday) as: “Being able to use software in your native language is a key human right. The world of software is dominated by the English language and by having software in languages that users are comfortable with removes at least one barrier that makes technology inaccessible to all South Africans.”

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