5 ways to use OpenOffice.org for Students [Research, Study & Student Life]

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One of the cool things about OOo is that it is a free, full-featured office productivity software that can be used across multiple platforms. This is really appealing for students, who are often on a limited budget.

The following is a list of ways that students can use OpenOffice.org for their daily lives.

#1 – Assignments and Research Papers

This is probably the most obvious. OOo Writer is a word processor that will meet most student needs in this regard, and there are a lot of resources out there to assist students with this.

#2 – Time Management

There are many templates that you can use to plan out your days and weeks – if you are not into digital appointment books, then this might be an ideal solution for you, as sometimes it’s just a good idea to have a calendar or planner up where you can see it.

#3 – Examination Preparation

If you need to prepare for your upcoming examinations, OOo can be used to assist you in finding a suitable way for you to approach revision.

  • OpenCards is a free OpenOffice.org extension that works with Impress to create flashcards on your computer
  • You can use OOo Draw to create Mind Maps of each chapter of the materials that you need to cover for examination preparation
  • Of course, there is always the traditional way of using Writer to summarise notes for each chapter or topic

#4 – Budgeting & Finance

Students have limited finances and often keeping track of that can be a pain. You can use some budgeting or financial spreadsheets to assist you in getting through the week or month.

#5 – Getting a Job

Whether it be a part time job while you’re studying, or applying for jobs after college, OpenOffice.org can assist.

  • Need assistance in creating a cover letter for job applications – this template pack has a number of professional and personal layouts that will be suitable for putting the cover page to go with your job application so that you can put your best foot forward!
  • The Powerful Sample Resume Formats site has a number of resume and cover letter formats and lots of useful information, unfortunately some of their templates have broken links. A friend of mine particularly liked one format and sought my help to transform it into an OpenOffice.org Cover Page Template. Visit their site, however, for loads of information.
  • You will also need a resume, which outlines your skills accumulated to date. The following are some links to resume templates and guides:

As a student, you may not be familiar with resume contents, so please visit this resume layout PDF with instructions, and the about.com Jobsearch website for information on how to complete resumes and cover letters for recent graduates that may not have as much experience.

    And Good Luck!

    Additional Resources


    1. Stephanie,

      This post is amazing! I love all the links you included – this is so helpful! I wish I’d known you when I used Open Office all the time. I would come up with issues that I couldn’t resolve. I finally had to resort to buying Microsoft Office for compatibility issues. :(

      • stephanie says:

        Lisbeth – thanks for the vote of confidence. OpenOffice 3.2 is pretty great when it comes to compatibility. I have Word and OpenOffice on my Mac, and personally I find OpenOffice far superior to Word.

    2. There are a lot of free alternatives available for those who need free software. This blog post is a great start to free software. :)

      I have found another little known office suite called “SSuite Office”. It is also free and has a lot of very useful applications included. 😀


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