Whether we like it or not, Microsoft has dominated the world with their operating systems and products. This is especially true in the business world, where just about everybody uses some version of Microsoft Office for their daily activities. MS-Word for documents, MS-Excel for spreadsheet calculations, MS-Powerpoint for visual presentations, and MS-Access for database work. So whoever you are, you’re bound to get an email with an MS-Word or MS-Excel attachment that you may want to view or edit. Instead of paying big bucks for Microsoft Office, there is a freeware alternative: OpenOffice.
OpenOffice was created by Sun Microsystems and they offer it as a freeware product that has the same functionality as Microsoft Office. Included in the OpenOffice suite are the following applications:
- Writer – For creating documents (MS-Word equivalent)
- Calc – For spreadsheet calculations (MS-Excel equivalent)
- Impress – For visual presentations (MS-Powerpoint equivalent)
- Draw – A graphics application
- Base – A database application (MS-Access equivalent)
The best thing about these products, is that they are compatible with their Microsoft Office counterparts. So, you can open an MS-Word .DOC file or MS-Excel .PPT file using the OpenOffice applications. You can even edit and save those documents into the Microsoft format if you wish. This makes it very handy if you want to access such Microsoft-formatted files and don’t want to pay for the full Microsoft Office applications. And best of all, it’s free!