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Open Office! | Savvy Tech Tips

December 6th 2006

Open Office!

Computer Type: All • Difficulty Level: Novice

If you or someone you know is on a budget (or totally broke), Open Office can be a life saver. What it is, you ask? Well, Open Office is a set of all your major applications in one nice bundle. It has a word processor, a spreadsheet, a presentation program, a drawing program, a program for mathematical equations, and a database program. impress-big.pngIn this way it is much like Microsoft Office’s major applications (Word, Power Point, Excel, etc.). However, there is one big difference between Open Office and Microsoft Office: Open Office is totally free. There are no catches, no email addresses to give, no surveys to fill out (They do mention on their site that they accept donations, however).

Even nicer, Open Office’s applications can open equivalent files from Microsoft Office (e.g., the Open Office word processer, “Writer”, can open up Microsoft Word files), and can save files in formats that Microsoft Office can read. This is critical if you are exchanging files with others or moving files among computers.

The program is stable, relatively easy to use, and powerful.

Open Office is perfect for students and teachers who have computers at school with Microsoft Office on them but a computer at home that doesn’t have Microsoft Office. Without a program like Open Office, the only place someone can do work on a project is at school. With Open Office, calc-big.pnga person can email their Microsoft files to their home computer, work on them in the evening using Open Office, save them as a Microsoft file again, then email them back to school (or take it on a flash drive, etc.).

Open Office runs on both Windows computers and Macs running OSX. If you have a Mac however, you’ve may need to also install a program called X11 to allow Open Office to run. X11 is free and available here. However, if your Mac is running OSX 10.4 (Tiger), you’ll either already have X11 installed or be able to install it from your Tiger installation DVD. Don’t dowload the version from the link here if that is the case.

To read more and download Open Office, go to Open Office’s site.

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