OpenOffice: The Free Alternative to Microsoft Office

Open Source

The Microsoft suite is the most widely used software around the world. Businesses rely on it for a wide range of things from word processing to accounting, and individuals use it to meet their daily computing needs as well. But it’s surprising that so many people still rely on the Microsoft Office suite when they could be using OpenOffice instead.

If you’ve never heard of OpenOffice before, it’s essentially the same type of software that you get with the Microsoft package, but it is completely free of charge. It is open source so it is free to download, use, and distribute, and there’s no catch. If you aren’t using it already, and you are paying for Microsoft software, you could be wasting a lot of money for no good reason.

If you are still not convinced, read on for a more in-depth look at the OpenOffice package, and the reasons why you might want to make the switch from Microsoft.

What Is Included With OpenOffice?

OpenOffice suite

People get used to using a system after a while, and if you have always used Microsoft, you will be reliant on those programs. You may be reluctant to switch to OpenOffice because you don’t want to miss out on the features that you would normally get. But the features that you get on OpenOffice are the same as Microsoft. Here is what is included:

  • Writer – The Writer program in the OpenOffice suite is the same as the Word program from Microsoft. It’s a very responsive word processor that can be used for a wide range of different things. You can use it to write your shopping list, draft out a letter, or even write a book. As well as typing, you can easily add diagrams and images to your documents, just as you would with Microsoft Word. When you are finished with your documents, you can save them in a wide range of formats, including doc And docx, which is what Microsoft Word uses.
  • CalcCalc is a powerful spreadsheet tool that rivals Microsoft Excel on every level. It’s quick and easy to learn for new users, but it also has enough advanced features that even those that use spreadsheet tools in a professional capacity are happy to make the switch to OpenOffice.
  • Impress – Microsoft PowerPoint is the universal standard for creating presentations and it is used by school students and business people alike. But Impress, the OpenOffice equivalent is just as good, if not better. It has all of the same features that you get on PowerPoint, and there is a great online bank of templates that you can download to make life easier for yourself. The diagram drawing tool is very intuitive as well, so it’s quick and easy to create custom images for your presentations.
  • DrawDraw is the OpenOffice equivalent of Microsoft’s Visio application. This program is designed for creating diagrams ranging from simple flowcharts to 3D models of floor plans. Draw can meet all of the same requirements that you get from Visio, and it has a great 3D visualizer feature, which makes it simple to create complex diagrams.
  • BaseBase is a brilliant database creation and management tool that comes with OpenOffice. It has a wide range of features, similar to the ones that you will find in the Microsoft suite programs. It is also widely compatible with different applications, so uploading information into the database is a breeze and everything will be properly formatted without too much input on your end.
  • Math – When you have complex mathematical equations to deal with, Math is the ideal application. On a basic word processor, it can be difficult to write these kinds of equations because you don’t always have access to the right symbols. However, you can use Math on OpenOffice to make building these equations quick and easy. With OpenOffice, you can use Math inside the Writer software, so you can upload equations directly into your text documents without switching to another piece of software.

All these programs come as standard with the free OpenOffice suite, and there is an alternative to all of the Microsoft programs that you would normally use. OpenOffice supports all Microsoft file types and you will be able to open them without any trouble. That means that the transition will be smooth and you won’t need to do anything, simply open the old files in OpenOffice and they will work perfectly.

Why Choose OpenOffice?

So, those are the features that you get with OpenOffice, but why should you make the switch? These are some of the main reasons that you should choose OpenOffice:

  • Cost – The biggest and most obvious reason that you should choose OpenOffice is the cost. Microsoft Office is very expensive, and the cost has been rising over the last few years. Microsoft Office 2019 for the home costs $149.99, but it is $249.99 for businesses. They do offer a subscription service called Office 365, but that will cost you $10 a month, and you will be paying indefinitely. However, if you go with OpenOffice, you get all of the same software without paying a penny.
  • Downloadable Software – Office 365 is a subscription service, so you don’t own the software and you will be unable to access it unless you pay. Services like Google Docs might be free, but they are an online service hosted in the cloud, and you cannot save any of your documents directly onto your computer. This means that you need internet access whenever you want to work, and you don’t have full control over your documents. OpenOffice, on the other hand, is a downloadable piece of software, so if you’d rather not use the cloud, it’s a much better choice. You can store all of your documents on your device, so you know that they are safe.
  • Cross Platform – A lot of software is not cross platform, so you might be able to use it on a Mac, but if you tried to continue working on a Windows computer, you wouldn’t be able to. But OpenOffice has been developed for a wide range of different operating systems, including Mac, Windows, Linux, and Sun Solaris.
  • Extensive Language Support – OpenOffice has support for 70 languages, which includes the full use of the thesaurus and dictionary options. The user interface itself is available in 40 different languages. OpenOffice can also support complex text layouts and right to left text layouts that you find in certain languages such as Hindi, Hebrew, and Arabic.
  • Integration – All of the different programs included with OpenOffice work seamlessly with one another, which makes life so much easier for you. You can also open a file in a different program to the one that it was created in. For example, if you created a text document in Writer, and there was some diagrams that you wanted to alter, it’s simple enough to open it in Draw and do whatever you need to do. Then you can open it up in Writer again later on and continue working on it. This integration helps you to get a lot more out of all of the OpenOffice programs.
  • Open Source – OpenOffice is fully open source, which means that you are free to download it, share it, and alter it in whichever way you like. That means that if there are features that you would like to see, you can create them yourself. This is how OpenOffice grows and improves over time. The fact that it’s an open source piece of software also means that there is a great community around it. All of the fixes and additions that are made to the software are driven by that community. As a user, you have a real voice and the creators of the software will listen to your suggestions and improve OpenOffice in the ways that you want them to.

How Can You Get OpenOffice?

If you are convinced that OpenOffice is the right software for you, and you want to stop wasting money on Microsoft Office, all you need to do is download it and make the switch today.

All you need to do is follow this link and you will get to the official download page for OpenOffice. Select the operating system that you are using and download the file. You can also download more language packs from this page later on if you need them. Once the download is complete, run the installer and you will be ready to use OpenOffice.

OpenOffice download

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It’s a quick and simple process, but if you get stuck, you can find a step by step guide to help you here.

All of your existing Microsoft files will work on OpenOffice without a problem, so there is no need to alter file types or anything. Simply open the file and carry on where you left off.

The very last thing that you need to do is to cancel your subscription to Office 365 if you have one because, now that you have OpenOffice installed, you don’t need it anymore.

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