Monday, November 26, 2007

Microsoft Office: Who Needs It?

I have been using a program called OpenOffice.org (yes, it actually has the .org in the name) for about 5 years now. I have no regrets. It allows me to do everything I ever needed to do with Microsoft office plus I can even export to a pdf file (which I use often) and did I mention it is free? That's right, free. It is open source software which means there is no corporation looking to clean your pockets; it is a collaboration of people who saw a need and took to developing an office suite that could fill that need and do it in a way that did not cost the user anything.

So, what does it have to offer? It can convert freely to and from Microsoft Office formats such as .doc, .xls, .ppt, etc. as well as rich text, its own proprietary formats and it has a built in spell checker as well as grammar. It comes with a word processor called Writer, a scientific calculator called Math, a spreadsheet application called Calc, a slide show program called Impress, a database application called Base, and a drawing program called Draw.

I would encourage you to download it and give it a try. One thing I did not like with Writer is that it shows a text border. I quickly turned this off by going to view and removing the text border. Simple as that. Everything else is just how I like it. I also was able to import and export formulas out of Calc and only a few needed some minor adjustments when working with excel, nothing big though.

So, if you can have all this for free, why are you still saving to buy that next version of Microsoft Office? Oh, one more thing, this works on all versions of Windows, on Macs, on Linux, and Solaris.

You can download it here.

You can read more about it here.

5 comments:

misawa said...

Couldn't agree with you more. I've loved using Open Office as opposed to MS Orafice - fewer crashes, more options.

Pastor Klay said...

Office 2007 here. Word converts to full PDFs as well.

On another note, just upgraded to Sony Vegas 8 (yes your plan worked)even though my ministry sitch has changed and I have no immediate use for it. Adobe CS3 Web Premium Suite is awesome - still learning a lot.

Check out Aspinwall.biz and tell me what you think. I do not know how to activate the search function. Any ideas?

Susan Hunt said...

So..can you manipulate the document using Open Office? I downloaded some trial version of what I thought was Open Office and it is read-only--I can't manipulate anything. Knowing me, I probably downloaded the wrong thing.

misawa said...

Yes, Susan. The Open Office download is about 110 MB or so, and will allow you to do everything that Word can do. As long as it's not a .pdf you're trying to change, that is.

j razz said...

Klay,

I think you can do pdf conversions in Office 2007 b/c you have Adobe CS3. I could do it too b/c I also own CS3. But, if you didn't (like thousands of others) I don't think you could. I could be wrong on this, but the last I read, they were not given the rights by Adobe to do such conversions from within Office.

j razz