Is paying for an Office Suite like Ms-Office burning a hole in your wallet ? Sweat no more!! There’s an alternate solution, that does the job just as well as Ms-Office, and it’s totally free of cost. No Strings attached. It’s called OpenOffice.org. Read on ….
OpenOffice.org is a free and open source office suite, including word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, vector drawing and database components. It is available for many different platforms, including Microsoft Windows. It is intended to be compatible with, and to be a free alternative to Microsoft Office. It supports the OpenDocument standard for data interchange and can be used at no cost.
OpenOffice.org aims to compete with Microsoft Office and emulate its look and feel where suitable. It can also read and write most of the file formats found in Microsoft Office, and many other applications. The ability to read and write Microsoft Office documents is an essential feature of the suite for many users. OpenOffice.org has been found to be able to open files of older versions of Microsoft Office and damaged files that newer versions of Microsoft Office itself cannot open.
OpenOffice.org is a collection of different applications that work together closely to provide the features expected from a modern office suite. Many of the components are designed to mirror those available in Microsoft Office. The components available include:
* Writer — a word processor similar in look and feel to Microsoft Word and offering a widely
overlapping range of functions and tools. It also includes the ability to export Portable Document
Format (PDF) files with no additional software, and can also function as a WYSIWYG HTML editor for creating and editing web pages. One important difference between OpenOffice Writer and Microsoft Word is that in Writer, automatic save is turned OFF by default. Autosave should be turned on if the user lives in a power outage prone area or forgets to save frequently.
* Calc — a spreadsheet similar to Microsoft Excel with a roughly equivalent range of features. Calc provides a number of features not present in Excel,including a system which automatically defines series for graphing, based on the layout of the user’s data. Calc is also capable of writing spreadsheets directly as a PDF file.
* Impress — a presentation program similar to Microsoft PowerPoint. It can expor presentations to
Macromedia Flash (SWF) files allowing them to be played on any computer with the Flash player installed. It also includes the ability to create PDF files. Impress suffers from a lack of ready-made presentation designs. However, templates are readily available on the Internet.
* Base — a database program similar to Microsoft Access. Base allows the creation and manipulation of databases, and the building of forms and reports to provide easy access to data for end-users. As with Access, Base is able to work as a front-end to a number of different database systems, including Access databases (JET), ODBC data sources and MySQL/PostgreSQL. Base only became part of the suite starting with version 2.0.
* Draw — a vector graphics editor comparable in features to CorelDRAW. It features versatile
“connectors” between shapes, which are available in a range of line styles and facilitate building drawings such as flowcharts.
* Math — a tool for creating and editing mathematical formulae, similar to Microsoft Equation
Editor. Formulae can be embedded inside other OpenOffice.org documents, such as those created by Writer. It supports multiple fonts and can export to PDF.
* Quickstarter — a small program for Windows that runs when the computer starts for the first time. It loads the core files and libraries for OpenOffice.org during computer startup and allows the suite applications to start more quickly when selected later. The amount of time it takes to open OpenOffice.org applications was a common complaint in version 1.0 of the suite, and Quickstarter was a solution of sorts. Substantial improvements were made in this area for version 2.0.
* The macro recorder — is used to record user actions and replay them later to help with automating tasks, similar to Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). It is available in the Writer and Calc applications and is based on StarOffice Basic. In addition to StarOffice Basic macros, the upcoming Novell edition of OpenOffice 2.0 supports running Microsoft VBA macros, a feature expected to be incorporated into the mainstream version soon. To download OpenOffice.org or get more information onit, visit the official web-site on
Courtesy : HS