FLOSS Friday: OpenOffice.org
Despite the market dominance of Microsoft Office on both Windows and OS X, there are FLOSS office applications and suites available that offer many of the same features. I’ve been an OpenOffice.org user since the early days when it was an all -encompassing single window in which you then ran individual applications such as spreadsheet, word processor, etc. That has been quite some time ago, and the current 3.2 version looks good and runs well. It offers compatibility with Microsoft binary formats as well as having its own world-recognized completely open formats. All of the “must have” applications are there, including word processing, spreadsheets, databases, presentations, drawing tools, and more.
Just to give a sense of its usability, I installed OpenOffice.org on the computer I built for my Mom, and she never had any trouble using it or even noticing that the applications weren’t Microsoft Office. Some people even prefer the OO.o interface, which more resembles MS Office 2003 to the MS Office 2007 ribbon interface. I won’t personally claim one is better than the other, but I do know that getting used to OO.o was easier than getting used to Office 2007’s interface.
Some screen shots to whet your appetite:
OpenOffice.org is available for Microsoft Windows (also in PortableApps format), MacOS X, Linux, and Solaris. It is also available in native-language distributions other than English, so if English is not your first language you can run your tools with more comfortable scripts. If you you’re still wondering “Why”, then you can get the OpenOffice.org answers to that very question.