10 Reasons why you should use OpenOffice.org

  1. It’s Free. That in itself could be enough for most people. You can download it free from www.openoffice.org
  2. Free updates and versions. Major and minor updates, upgrades and versions are also free. Gotta love that!
  3. OpenOffice can run on older machines. This means that you don’t necessarily to upgrade your computer in order to run an up-to-date office productivity program. If your office has older computers, this is also useful for your company
  4. OpenOffice looks familiar. From MS Office 2003 to MS Office 2007 there was a change in the way that it looked and felt, with a new ‘ribbon’ interface. Some users, even advanced users, really struggle with this new format. Even quite a few of the keyboard shortcuts that we are used to didn’t work any more. OpenOffice can be an alternative to avoid these transition problems and maintain productivity.
  5. Small file sizes. OpenOffice files tend to be smaller than MS Office files with similar content. This can be quite useful when sending emails or saving disk space.
  6. It makes nice web pages. OpenOffice makes cleaner html (code) for webpages. While most people who are expert in web production will not use either MS Word or Writer, for basic pages, Writer is a good, clean editor.

    html - OpenOffice vs MS Office - Click on the image for a larger version

  7. Consistent interface between different platforms. If you use an iMac at work and a PC at home, it’s good to know that your OpenOffice interface will look almost identical, and the files will transfer quite readily. One of the earliest complaints for Mac users were that they have a different interface with MS Office, and almost feel ‘left behind’.
  8. Export to PDF button. Yes, with the latest versions of MS Office, you can now ‘Save As…’ PDF, but nothing beats the PDF button that old school OpenOffice users know and love. Export to PDF with a single click. “Look Ma, no menus!”

    Love the PDF button!

  9. Compatibility. With Windows, Mac & Linux. If you’re interested in a free Operating System (OS) alternative instead of Windows, try Ubuntu (it’s like Linux for beginners), and it comes with OpenOffice.
  10. Support. While MS Office has support and a company to stand behind it, if most users are honest they will realise that they have probably rarely, if ever, called Microsoft for help. In most cases, users turn to the web, which is exactly where the support for OpenOffice lies – in a free, open-armed Open-Source loving community. :-)

    http://www.oooforum.org/

    http://www.oooforum.org/

While I’m a little biased, I’m not blind to the faults and shortcomings of OpenOffice. Stay tuned for that evaluation so that you have a full picture before you decide to fork out your hard-earned cash.

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