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Hi, I'm on the User Experience team for My name is Elizabeth, but you can call me Liz. Although I'm American, I live in Germany. I came here to study and got married to a German (now a Java developer--small world isn't it!) shortly after I got my degree. I'm fluent in both English and German, so feel free to write to me in either language! (see contact info below) I have been involved in the OOo community from the very beginning and have loved every minute of it.|}


Mail: elizabeth.matthis AT


Current Focus

  • UX community development/communication
  • Project Renaissance

Previous Focus

  • I was the User Interface Linguist responsible for German and English text on the UI (up till OOo 2.0).

About Me

I'm American, but I live in Germany.

OpenOffice and Me

I've been working on OOo in some capacity since the founding of the open source project. I started working at Sun in 1999.


From January 2001 up till the release of OOo 2.0 (StarOffice 8), I was the linguist in charge of all German and English UI text. As a member of the User Experience team, I reviewed the strings suggested in every feature specification and issue (regarding English or German) for terminological consistency, grammatical correctness and style as well as for usability (choosing words that match the cognitive models and are unambiguous, etc). It was always my goal to produce international English that could be understood by everyone all over the world, by native English speakers and non-native speakers. After previous years as a teacher and translator, I also wanted to make the English source text easy to localize and took great pains to educate everyone on the importance of consistent, concise, and unambiguous UI text. To this end, I wrote the UI Text Style Guide.


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