OpenOffice is an Open Source, multilingual and multi-platform office productivity suite developed by Apache. It includes various key desktop applications, such as a word processor, spreadsheet, database, presentation manager, formula editor, drawing program, and others. Its’ user interface and feature set are similar to other office suites like Lotus SmartSuite, Microsoft Office etc. OpenOffice can be run on Microsoft Windows, Apple’s Mac OSX, Solaris BSD, OpenVMS, OS/2, IRIX and Linux and is completely free.

OpenOffice is originally based on StarOffice, an office suite that was developed by StarDivision and was then acquired by Sun Microsystems in August 1999. OpenOffice is available for many computer operating systems and is distributed as freeware. It is a classy and flexible suite that also works clearly with a variety of other file formats.

OpenOffice Compatibility

OpenOffice stores all the data in an international open standard format, hence can even read and write files from other common office software packages including Microsoft Office. That means one can even read the files from another office package, such as Microsoft Office with no difficulty. It can easily read and save files in Microsoft Office formats like .doc for word processing files, .xls for spreadsheet files, and .ppt for PowerPoint.

OpenOffice Component Modules

OpenOffice Writer: It is the replacement for Microsoft Word. Writer is a highly compatible format and has the ability to export PDFs. One can even open and edit Word files in Writer!

OpenOffice Calc: It is similar to Microsoft Excel. Calc can create spreadsheets and forms with all the features of Excel. One of the notable features of calc is that it can automatically format the information for graphing and save files as PDFs or Excel files.

OpenOffice Impress: This component is equivalent as the Microsoft PowerPoint. With this one can create impressive presentations and slideshows with its easy-to-use interface. Impress can also create PDF files and Flash files.

OpenOffice Base: It is similar to Microsoft Access that helps you to create and maintain databases, build forms and reports in highly accessible formats.

OpenOffice Draw: Similar to Microsoft Visio or CorelDraw, Draw is a graphics editor that lets you create and edit vector graphics, diagrams and charts easily.

OpenOffice Math: Math can be used to create and edit mathematical formulae. With Math it is easy to format mathematical equations and even export them to other programs, including Open Office and Microsoft Office programs.

OpenOffice Templates: This tool provides hundreds of free business, education and personal use templates. Free templates include resumes, invoices, finance calculators and more.

OpenOffice Extensions: This tool extends the capabilities of OpenOffice with over 500 useful extensions. It even adds foreign language dictionaries, spell checkers and advanced graphs symbol and charts to your documents.

Advantages of OpenOffice

  • OpenOffice can be easily downloaded and used entirely free without any license fees
  • It is released under Apache 2.0 license thus, can be easily used for any purpose including home, business, educational, public, commercial and administrative
  • can be installed on as many computers as needed and even make copies and give them away to others
  • Provides Online templates with pre-built layouts for documents or spreadsheets
  • Generally it creates much smaller files than Microsoft Office

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