OpenOffice Suite is a multi-platform office productivity suite of desktop applications that can help you create documents, presentations, spreadsheets and much more.
OpenOffice Suite is a true alternative to Microsoft Office. If you’ve ever worked on a computer, or in an office setting, there’s a good chance you are already familiar with using a productivity suite. OpenOffice Suite is a free, open source version of the paid options that is so prevalent.
OpenOffice Suite can do nearly everything that Microsoft Office does. It contains the same components of desktop applications—a word processor, spreadsheet program, presentation manager, database manager, and drawing program—and each of these applications function in nearly identical fashions.
Similar to Microsoft Office, OpenOffice Suite also boasts strong cross-suite compatibility. Need to put that chart you made in Calc or a diagram you drew in Draw into your thesis document in Writer? No problem. Want to make mailing labels from your customer database in Base? Just use the mail merge wizard in Writer. Need to make a presentation? OpenOffice Suite can do that too. It’s quite simple to create separate pieces and place them together, or create individual documents with a professional quality.
Of course, Microsoft Office can do all of these things (and probably looks prettier while doing it it). But OpenOffice Suite’s major advantage is that is 100% FREE. When you look at your nearly $500 savings for a product that does almost the exact same things, OpenOffice Suite looks like a pretty solid alternative.
OpenOffice Suite does have 2 issues that seem to come up with its users. First, compatibility with other products that are not OpenOffice based can be tricky. There is normally no problem opening and editing other formats in OpenOffice, but when you try to open or edit OpenOffice documents in other programs there can be some errors.
Opening items in read-only formats can alleviate this problem, but there might be a time when you need someone working in Microsoft to edit your OpenOffice document and send it back. Newer versions of OpenOffice have worked to correct this, but since Microsoft releases updates to Office so often, it can be hard for this open source volunteer project to keep up.
The second con is related to its open source nature. Of course, it’s great that there are volunteers working out there to provide this necessary software to those who might not otherwise be able to afford it. But that does come with its downsides. Updates to OpenOffice Suite can be slow to come about, and problems that are known can take some time to resolve. Also, help documentation can be a bit hit or miss, just depending on how well known and documented the issue is.
Overall, OpenOffice Suite is a full-powered office productivity suite that is more that competent. It is a legitimate contender as a replacement for Microsoft Office, and those who are switching platforms should have little to no problems using the software just as soon as they install it.
OpenOffice is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases, and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an interenational open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose.
The Apache Software Foundation
Windows 2000, XP, 2003 and Vista