OpenOffice Celebrates Fourth Birthday

OpenOffice, the free and open source office application, turned four years old this month. I have been using it for two years, and swear by it. OOo (as it’s referred to) is similar to MS Office, with a word processing application, presentation creator, spreadsheet and HTML editor. With free software, I can insist that my sub-contractors use it, at no additional cost to them. The applications are just as easy to use as Corel’s or Microsoft’s, but there are fewer errors. I have developed +100 page documents in OOo and then exported them as Adobe PDF files (a great feature), without a glitch. OOo files are about 1/5 the size of equivalent MS Word documents, and about 1/3 the size of the same PDF. This makes shipping documents to those on dial-ups a lot easier.

You can download OOo for Windows, Mac or Linux, and try it out to see if you like it. You can also purchase one of several available books, including Open Office for Dummies, if you need a manual.

So here is a free software suite that is compatible with MS Office (you can save as .PPT or .DOC or .XLS ), is easy to use, and is supported by a large user community. You can also purchase support packages from one of several vendors. So what are you waiting for? You have nothing to lose but your upgrade fees.

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