Open Office is written by Sun Microsystems, who are probably most famous for their Java software, which has found it’s way onto every PC, mobile phone and even cars!!. Open Office is a ‘suite’ of programs deliberately designed to mimic and replace Microsoft’s equivalent MS Office applications - and it is free!! ‘Writer’ replaces Word, ‘Calc’ replaces Excel, ‘Impress’ replaces PowerPoint, ‘Base’ replaces Access and ‘Draw’ replaces Publisher. Once you are happy that Open Office does everything you need you may want to uninstall Microsoft Office and free up some valuable resources.
Things to watch out for Although Sun Microsystems have done an outstanding job of producing an alternative to MS Office, there are a few differences that you need to watch out for. The first (and probably the biggest) problem we came across was saving work that could be viewed by people still using MS Office. The easiest solution is to use the ‘file’ ‘save as’ menu option and choose ‘Office 2003/2007’ as the format to save as. Of course it would be far easier if everyone migrated over to Open Office, and with MS Office nearing the €300 mark, we can quite honestly see this happening in the not to distant future. Open Office can read all of the Microsoft equivalents so there is no need to worry converting your old files over. Although Sun have made every effort to keep the appearance and feel of Open Office familiar enough to make the change over fairly effortless, there are a few differences that can be a bit confusing. What we found very
You can download the latest official version from here and there are literally thousands of websites offering free help, tutorials and extras and here are a few to get you started.