Posts Tagged 'symphony lotus'

First impressions from Lotus Symphony

It’s been 3 days now since my resolution to drop Microsoft Office, and start working with Lotus Symphony entirely. Thought I’ll share some of my early impressions with you.

  • The work area is slightly different, since one of the toolbars is now a sidebar – takes some getting used to, but at the end, it’s more convenient to work. The relevant functions are right there, and you can control the appearance.
  • I’m using the Hebrew user interface, so all my new documents are set right to left (Bi-Directional, or Bidi hereafter) by default. The Bidi support is excellent so far, both in the user interface and in the document itself. However, when I created a new English document, I couldn’t find that tiny Left to Right paragraph icon. It’s available, but must be enabled from the File, Preferences screen (see screenshot). Maybe the next version will put it in the toolbar by default.
  • The sidebar can be open, float or closed. Very useful, depending what task you’re doing: open for editing/creating, float for minor adjustments or close for previewing.
  • Loading time. Both Lotus Symphony and Lotus Notes (and Lotus Sametime for that matter) are running over Eclipse, which slows things down a bit. Enabling Lotus Symphony on system startup (again, under Preferences) will open the first file faster. Once the client is up and running, things go smoother.
  • PDF export. One of my favorite features so far. I’ve been using the CutePDF writer software until now, which ‘Print’ your document into PDF. Now, with the export command, it’s much more easier, and you can even determine the quality of the PDF, optimizing for screen, print or press.
  • JPG export. This is super cool ! No more ‘Print screen’ and then edit in Photoshop or something. You can export your document to PDF, current page or all pages, and even decide if you want it in color of greyscale. Nice.
  • Install plugins. Part of the Lotus Symphony download package is the multilingual support. It comes as a .zip file, which can be added to Lotus Symphony, thanks to the Eclipse platform (screenshot). Any idea how I can switch between the interface languages? Update – figured out how to switch between languages (UI) – it depends on your Regional and Language Settings, under Start, Setting, Control Panel. Also explained here.

Lotus Symphony is turning out to be more than a suitable replacement for Office, and with almost 500,000 downloads, its getting some attention. Datamation Magazine even crowned Lotus Symphony as Office Productivity Software Product of the Year 2008, beating Microsoft Office.

In a totally different subject, thought I point you to a very interesting initiative, or experiment,
by my good friend Luis Suarez, who’s taken a step I know most of us would love to take – giving up on emails! Follow the link and read the rationale on his blog. This recent interview of Luis with IBM’s Peter Andrews on Effective Blogging, reveals Luis’s intentions. Worth the download.

Lotus Symphony – no more Office for me

New resolution people:

Starting today, I will use only Lotus Symphony for day-to-day word processing, spreadsheets and presentations. I’ve been using Lotus Symphony for some time now, in conjunction with Office, but no more. My goal is to demonstrate it’s possible to un-install MS Office, except for the ‘power’ users – those that require advanced editing features. I will post status reports on my work with Lotus Symphony, the good and the bad. I guess IdeaJam will help me push new ideas forward…

Lotus Symphony is based on Open Office suite, totally free of charge, and supports multiple languages – including Hebrew of course.
Lotus Symphony is Eclipse based, so you can add plugins and even develop your own, with the toolkit. Individuals and businesses will love the ability to export documents to PDF, straight from the box.

Coming Monday, the 18th, at SWG Community Day, I will demonstrate the full Lotus Collaboration Suite – Notes/Domino 8, with Lotus Sametime (VoIP enabled), Lotus Connections, Lotus Quickr and Lotus Symphony. Look out for the live demo at the networking area, between 14:30-15:30. My colleague, Alex, will show you how collaboration is done at IBM. How we utilize Lotus collaboration tools to >350,000 employees. How many IMs (chats) are handled a day? What people blog about? What communities they join? What web-pages they view (internal/external)? In short, it’s gonna be exciting…
Register now at .

Mobile & Media Consultant. I help startup companies launch products to the consumer market. Reach out: dvir.reznik [at]



This is my personal blog. The postings here do not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my past employers or of my clients. It is solely my opinion.