Open Office 3.3.0
When it comes to productivity software, Open Office remains the gold standard in open source office productivity for both personal and business use.
OpenOffice shares a lot of layout and features as the ubiquitous Office. For current Microsoft Office users, OpenOffice is very easy to use and you’ll be able to make the switch without realizing it.
Its compatibility with Microsoft Office documents is a real advantage for anyone looking to transition You can open a Microsoft Word file, edit it and save it in .doc/.docx format. This is a huge benefit for anyone that is looking at either transitioning to OpenOffice from Microsoft Office or has a need to open, edit and save in the original Microsoft formats.
The OpenOffice Suite is compatible with a wide array of languages. You can download OpenOffice in over 40 languages and there are additional language packs that you can download as well.
There is a wealth of plug-ins available for OpenOffice that improve upon its functionality, including dictionaries, database connectors and more.
OpenOffice Tips for New Users
By default, Open Office saves its files in its native format, OpenDocument. If you are just switching over to Open Office from Microsoft Office and want a more familiar file extension to work with, you can set up Open Office applications to save to the more familiar Microsoft-based Office formats (.doc/.docx for Word, .xls/.xlsx for Excel, etc.) This can easily be done by visiting the Options for any of the OpenOffice applications.
Where OpenOffice Needs to Improve
OpenOffice functions very closely to Microsoft Office but is not exactly the same. For example, deleting data in Excel and Calc works slightly differently; in Excel, selecting the cells and hitting “Delete” will remove the data automatically while Calc pulls up a menu.
If you’re a hardcore Microsoft Office user that’s fond of the ribbon menu in the Office 2007 and Office 2010, the Open Office menu may be a bit retro for you. OpenOffice’s menu and navigation is far more similar to Microsoft Office 2003.
Microsoft Office has an extensive clip art and templates library that ships with the product, with access to even more clip art and templates online. Open Office comes with some clip art and templates but the library is not nearly as extensive.
OpenOffice is an incredibly robust productivity suite that rivals its main commercial competition, Microsoft Office. Its similarities to its competition are its greatest strengths, from the ability to open/edit/save documents to its familiar layout and applications. If you’re in the market for productivity software that won’t cost you a dime, OpenOffice definitely fits the bill.
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