Open Office is an open source office suite package built for both consumers and for businesses to help create a wide range of different documents. There are many tools included in the one piece of software, all of which specialize in their key area and all of which are free too. There are many businesses around the world that have it installed on their computers by default to complete a wide range of tasks such as for internal notices and for managing statistics.
To give a few examples of tools included, the Writer application allows you to write reports and notes just as you would in Word from the Microsoft Office suite. You'll also find tools to create spreadsheets, design professional presentations and even more obscure ones such as managing databases, creating images or even build formulas to be used in other programs. You get a huge amount of freedom with this software.
Required Operating System
Application TypeOffice Suite
January 26th, 2011
Windows OS, hard disk space
"This is the most popular free office suite available to date. Most people have already heard about Microsoft Office and want the benefits it offers without paying the high cost they charge for it and we think that this one gives you exactly that. It doesn't look as clean as its rival but all of the functionality is there, so this is definitely worth a try. Remember to keep it updated though as updates do come out regularly."
Rating: 3.5/5 by Cathy R
"I needed a piece of software to help me write some reports for my workplace. I've tried out the demo version of MS Office and it worked well but I wasn't willing to pay the high cost, so I chose this instead. So far I haven't seen any major problems so I'm quite happy with what I have and will continue to use it for at least the short term I imagine."
We know this page has been created to talk about OpenOffice but what a lot of people worry about when choosing the software they're going to use regularly is the compatibility between it and the ones that everyone else are using. One thing you never want to encounter is sending someone a file and them not being able to open it simply due to the programs that are being used, it's impractical and can take up a lot of time.
MS Office is perhaps the biggest office suite that people know about and have used at some point. It can work really well, but when you're being charged hundreds of dollars for the licensing it isn't something that all consumers and businesses can invest it, so they have to look at alternatives such as the one on our website. There's nothing wrong with doing this.
All of the tools in the office suite have been designed with this in mind. In fact, all MS Office formats can be opened and saved to use this package. You'll also find a lot of other industry standard formats available too, such as PDF files and TXT files, even CSV files for spreadsheets too. This gives the best flexibility.
Features are something that everyone looks for when they're wanting to download a piece of software. They look at what the tool can offer them, the cost as well as anything extra that appeals to them. There's a lot of them included in this suite already, but what happens if you're looking for something else that isn't included as of yet?
You could wait for a new update to be released to the software which may or may not have the feature, but this isn't practical at all. You want to be able to use it now, which is why it has a very powerful extensions system. All you need to do is find an extension file and open it, the functionality will be added into the program almost immediately. The best thing is that there are thousands of these available for free.
So, where exactly can you obtain these? You'll be glad to know that there's a massive amount of them on our website already and we're constantly adding more for you, so the best thing to do is to just check back often and search the extensions page for what you're wanting. The installation process for these is also very easy to do, so you don't need to worry about that either.
There are hundreds of millions of people around the world that have this package installed onto their computers and one thing that is obvious is that they all don't speak English as their first language. Because of this, having a piece of software that is only available in this one language really isn't great for everyone who doesn't speak it and it makes using it much more difficult. People around the world get really frustrated when this happens.
If this applies to you, you may be happy to know that this has been built with it in mind. There are hundreds of languages available to be used, all of which have been translated by both professional translators and other people in the community who just want to help. A lot of languages are pre-built into the application so that you can just choose the right one when you're first installing it.
For the more obscure languages that aren't used commonly, you may have to search our site to find an extension which will do the job for you. A lot of language packs come as extensions because they're created by the community rather than the official development team. This doesn't mean they're not as useful, though.
Writer is the word processing tool which allows you to create and manage reports, publish memos, write letters and so much more. It has been built to make it simple to use, so that no matter who you are you'll be able to install it and be able to get started right away. Not only that, though, but it also does a good job of providing all of the functionality you could ever need, which you'll find out if you read more on our website.
One feature in particular that we want to talk about is mail merge. Writing letters can be a very daunting process and is made worse if you have to manually write one for each customer in your business to personalize it. If you have a large quantity of letters to send, this just isn't practical, you need a way of automating the process! Mail merge allows you to connect a database to your document so that our Open Office download can handle the address and name part of the process as long as your data is in the correct format.
This is perhaps the most important of the tools you'll be using. It's interesting to note that you can do much more than reports with it too. In fact, some people even choose to build and edit websites solely using Writer. There are tons of different uses for it, you just have to learn how to use the program and you'll be able to do much more with it than you could ever expect.
Calc is probably the second most popular tool in the office suite, used by people and businesses alike to create spreadsheets. These are great ways of managing your finances, you're able to keep up-to-date with the latest figures and budget around what you find, helping you to maintain financial stability and to stay organised with your life. It's amazing how a software package like Open Office can offer so much when it's completely free of charge.
A feature that you're guaranteed to love is the formula functions. Nobody wants to have to manually edit tons of cells in a spreadsheet every time they want to make a simple change, in a large scale operation this would be very difficult and time-consuming. By using formulas, you'll be automate the process because you can link cells together - when you change the contents of one cell, the rest of the cells can update with it without you having to do anything. This program makes this possible, it's a very unique feature.
Many large businesses are using this to manage their finances. One particular function that we like the most is the ability to make charts on the go. You can simply select the data in the sheet you're working on and go into the Chart Builder. You'll be able to select the type of chart you want (eg. bar chart, pie chart) and give some axis information and the chart will be displayed to you within seconds.
Being able to give presentations is something that is very important these days. This is because in a corporate environment, you could be asked to share ideas with the rest of the workforce and that is something you need to be prepared for. One concern you should have is how you're going to create one and in this case, we'd recommend Impress because it offers everything you could need and it is packaged for free with this program.
Impress provides great support for a wide range of multimedia. We would always recommend that you use as much of this as possible because a presentation full of just text will not have a great impact on your audience, you need to use images and video to get their attention and get your message across well. These types of media can be used at the click of your mouse, just choose to insert one of them and select the file, you'll be ready to go afterwards. With our Open Office download, you'll be able to create one in minutes.
There are a lot of other powerful functions included in the tool that you may not be aware of straight away. One thing that a lot of people need is the ability to use a wide range of different slide transitions - so when you're ready to move onto the next slide, an animation of sorts is displayed first of all. Impress has full support for many of these and can be added very easily.
Being able to store your data in a database is essential, especially for businesses. Keeping track of orders and of your customers is important if you want to ensure that your business stays stable. Having records of transactions can help you to get repeat orders as you are able to contact those who have ordered from you previously. Database solutions are known to be very expensive and troublesome to deal with, which is why some people are surprised that Base, part of the office suite, is actually free of charge to all users.
By using this tool, you'll be able to manage your databases on your computer with a very nice and easy-to-use graphical interface, reducing the technical knowledge you need to know. We understand that a lot of companies will use external database solutions at the same time, such as MySQL on a server, which is why Base will simply connect up to it with a bit of configuration. No matter what systems you're using, you'll find that this tool will provide full support for it and it is all included in our Open Office download.
There are multiple different views that you can work on, depending on which you prefer to use. The traditional view is for those that like having a simple graphical interface to work around, whereas for the more technical minded you'll also be able to execute direct queries using languages such as MySQL if you prefer to use this instead. There are tons of different ways that you can customize it.
Images are used in all aspects of life, they're great because it helps to attract people's attentions and can really improve the impact of whatever it is being used on. For example, a poster may use a large image for this very reason. As you should probably expect, you really do need great quality images for these purposes and you're going to need a tool to create them in. The program provides its own tool for the job called Draw, which has been especially designed for creating high resolution graphics with ease, with very little knowledge being required.
This tool has been designed with businesses in mind but of course it can be used by anyone who wants to. Some of the best features that we like include the large resolutions supported (up to a whopping 300cm by 300cm format!), the simple drawing tools (such as the coloring and line drawing options) as well as the ability to easily create flowcharts and organisational charts within minutes. You really do need to try it out for yourself to understand what we mean, for which you'll need our Open Office download.
It doesn't offer all of the functionality that you'd get from a tool such as Adobe Photoshop or even Gimp but you are able to create rather professional images and charts with it without needing any technical knowledge. There are quite a few different separate functions and tools included that you can use just by selecting them in the sidebar and then making use of them in your canvas. That's about all you need to know.
This is not something that will be required by most people but will be very helpful for teachers or those involved in rather complex mathematical formula. If this is the case, you'll be aware of how difficult it is to actually write one on a computer because none of the symbols exist on the keyboard, leaving most people confused about what to actually do. This is where Math comes in - Part of the Open Office software package, it makes it easy for you to create equations which you can then use in other tools such as Writer and Calc.
Even though the symbols don't exist on the keyboard, this tool still allows you to do it. There are several different ways of doing it, but the most common ways are typing in a specific markup language which the tool will then convert into symbols for you, or simply selecting the symbols you want to use from a list in the piece of software. You can then copy it as an object into the other tools and use it as you want, for example if you want it to be part of a report.
No matter which symbols you require you should have no problems adding them, although some research is definitely required. You need to read the list of symbols so that you know how to insert them, plus maybe even looking at the shortcuts to make it even easier. There are a few different ways in which you can use this tool so testing it yourself is definitely a good idea.