If you don’t like Microsoft Office or if you think it is too costly then here is OpenOffice for you. It’s free, it’s easy to use and best of all it is as good as MS Office when it comes to functionality. If you have money and the absolute need for MS Office then go for it, downloading pirated copies of the software is not the way to go when there is a free alternate software which is as good as the paid one.
OpenOffice has been a fierce competitor of Microsoft Office ever since it came out, providing users with pretty much the same features but attaching a zero $ price tag to its suite. OpenOffice launched a Windows version and a Linux one as well and unfolds six full-blown applications: the Writer word processor, the Calc spreadsheet, the Impress presentation generator, the Base database program, the Math equation editor and the Draw graphics program.
Some people might flinch when hearing that the suite is absolutely free of charge, expecting average features and a groggy performance, but this couldn’t be furthest from the truth. The programs work extremely well, whether you are writing in a document, creating a presentation or working on some spreadsheets. The editing tools are also very capable and include some very advanced features like Merge, Macros, Charting and much more.
The OpenOffice installer can be downloaded off the official page and once you run it on your machine, it will dutifully ask which of the 6 Office programs you want installed on your computer. Also during the installation program users could opt to make OpenOffice the default program to open all Word, Excel or PowerPoint documents from then on. Say goodbye to the headache of not being able to open different versions of .doc documents due to compatibility options. You won’t find this problem using OpenOffice, as the suite is compatible with a wide range of formats which range from its own OpenDocument Format to documents created with Microsoft Office. Another cool feature you will find in OpenOffice is the ability to export your work in PDF format.
If you are a noob to OpenOffice don’t worry so much about it. Even if the two suites aren’t exactly cloned, a lot of Microsoft Office users won’t have a hard time finding their way around OpenOffice programs, but in case you might get stuck and want some help, you should know that you can turn to the wizards. They are in charge of guiding you through creating presentations and spreadsheets if you haven’t done it before.
Of course that the most popular program in the suite is definitely Writer – the software that allows people to type in their information. The features Writer sports are quite similar to Microsoft’s Word, but one can sport a few extra ones that make a nice addition. For example conjuring a gallery of backgrounds, bullets or other fun graphical elements is much easier in Open Writer and you can do it with just a click.
Writer will also offer the possibility of creating HTML documents and hyperlinks as well as targets.
Sure, the program has its drawbacks. For example it could really use some work in the interface department, but that’s certainly not a deal breaker in many cases. The prospect of saving up some money and not having to worry if my version of Word is compatible with your version of Word will surely convince a lot of people to try it.
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