Thursday, February 11, 2010 4:01 PM cstanton

OpenOffice.org: Very Free Subsitute For Microsoft Office

If you are a college student that needs to turn something in online and your professor only accepts .doc files, or if you're trying to create a presentation for work but don't have PowerPoint at home, then OpenOffice.org is your solution.

OpenOffice.org allows a download of their suite of programs that allow you to create text documents, presentations, spreadsheets, databases, and posters all compatible with the Microsoft Office suite that is so commonly found. Now Microsoft Office is great, but the (minimum) $150 pricetag is a little intense and my wallet wouldn't like that very much. Also, versions of Microsoft Office in different languages can cost even more! OpenOffice.org offers over 110 different languages. OpenOffice.org offers FOR FREE their suite which includes WRITER, IMPRESS, CALC, BASE, and DRAW. These programs are the free versions of MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access, and Publisher respectively.

OpenOffice.org even includes a graphic equation component called MATH that allows you to create equations that actually look like equations! This component can be used standalone or can be incorporated with the other programs in the suite. It is most commonly used in text documents, but you can plug in the graphic equations in IMPRESS and CALC too.

I am very surprised I haven't heard about this until now, since the program has been released since the turn of the millennium. It was released in an effort by Sun Microsystems to reduce the monster market share of Microsoft Office. The OpenOffice.org project is primarily sponsored by Oracle Corporation
(initially by Sun Microsystems). Other major corporate contributors
include Novell, RedHat, RedFlag CH2000, IBM, Google and others.

There is no reason that anyone should spend the money on Microsoft Office since OpenOffice is completely free. I haven't noticed any lost features. This is NOT a freeware like GIMP is to PhotoShop. This is MUCH better.

Here are some screenshots:

WRITER


IMPRESS


HERE IS THE LINK TO DOWNLOAD

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