Tuesday, Dec 23, 2003
Tech Corner's look into Open Office
Are you looking for a new productivity application that's easy-to-use, fast, and feature-filled, plus supports full compatibility with your and your clients' existing documents? Have you ever wanted to do basic office work, but wished there was an alternative to spending hundreds of dollars on Microsoft's Office products? Are you tired of feeling like you are locked into Microsoft's upgrade strategy, or tied to their proprietary file formats? How about a program that meets all of these needs, plus is free? If this sounds intriguing, the Open Source program OpenOffice.org might be what you are looking for!
Downloaded by over 16 million people -- and used and copied by millions more -- OpenOffice.org is a collection of office applications that is available for all major platforms. As Open Source software, it is freely downloadable, copyable, and usable without paying license fees to any organization. Thus, you could download a single copy, burn it to a CD, and deploy it to every user in your organization legally without having to worry about licensing issues or software audits. Support is even available from Sun Microsystems for those users who need an official backer to get the system in their corporate system.
OpenOffice.org gives you the ability to create exciting, dynamic documents, analyze data in spreadsheets, produce compelling presentations, and even draw detailed illustrations. Its user interface is intuitive and easy-to-use for new users and Microsoft Office veterans alike. OpenOffice.org contains several basic application programs. It includes Writer, a word processor; Calc, a spreadsheet similar to Excel; Impress, a presentation program equivalent to PowerPoint; and Draw, a drawing and illustration program. Each of these programs is more than a match for the equivalent Microsoft application, and can even open and save documents in the equivalent Microsoft Office file format!
In addition, OpenOffice.org has many features lacking in Microsoft Office, including the ability to save any file in PDF format or the functionality to export graphics as Flash (Shockwave) files. Its programs fully support the most modern featureset, including "Auto-Pilots" for quickly performing basic tasks (similar to Wizards in Microsoft Office), full support of style sheets, spelling dictionaries, autoformatting, and text frames. Pretty much anything you need to function in your day-to-day office environment can be found in OpenOffice.org.
If you're looking for a change, or simply to reduce costs in your company, be sure to download OpenOffice.org today and give it a try!