OpenOffice.org is a free, multi-platform office suite. It includes key desktop applications, such as a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation manager, drawing program, and database module. OpenOffice.org is an Open Source project and available on all major platforms, including Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. At present, you can choose from more than 100 different language options.
OpenOffice.org avoids the risk of vendor lock-in because it uses a standardised, XML-based file format that makes interoperability easy and your documents future-proof.
OpenOffice.org is compatible with Microsoft Office. The latest version imports .docx files and continues to be able to read and write all the other Office formats.
“OpenOffice.org is released under the LGPL licence. This means you may use it for any purpose—domestic, commercial, educational, public administration. You may install it on as many computers as you like. You may make copies and give them away to family, friends, students, employees—anyone you like.”
Submitting Bug Reports
“Simple end users are really critical in the process of making the code better. It’s important for end users to understand how important they are in the process.” OpenOffice.org developer Florian Reuter discusses some of the issues and explains how you can take part.
“This is an overview of software support for the OpenDocument format, an open document file format for saving and exchanging editable office documents.”
“This is a quick introduction to some of the new features in OpenOffice.org 3.1.”
“The latest version of the open-source office suite OpenOffice.org 3.1 has just arrived, and it’s a good one. While some of the improvements are visible to the naked eye, I found that the most important changes were hidden under the hood.” Steven J Vaughan-Nichols takes the latest OpenOffice.org release for a spin.
“OpenOffice.org has an impressive feature set, a generally lucid interface, pure open-source credentials, and the decisive advantage of being absolutely free.” Edward Mendelson reviews OpenOffice.org 3.0.
“If you are considering buying a commercial office suite, don’t do it until you have given OpenOffice.org a shot. That’s particularly true of the new version, which was released today.” Dwight Silverman summarises what’s new in OpenOffice.org 3.0.
“Users will be able to set ODF as their default file formats under Office 2007, and Microsoft plans to continue support of the OOXML-ODF translator for those using older versions of Office.” Jacqui Cheng details Microsoft’s recent announcement to make Office 2007 compatible with OpenOffice.org.
Personally, I remain sceptical about Microsoft delivering on these promises. But genuine interoperability has to start from somewhere…
Users of Microsoft Office may also want to consider the Sun ODF Plugin for Microsoft Office as an alternative solution.
“Start using ODF today. It’s the office document format of the future.”
“Think of this as a virtual guide, the written version of me coming over to your house on a Sunday afternoon to help get to know OpenOffice.org and figure out all the things you’re not quite sure about.” Solveig Haugland offers a virtual hand to hold.
“In a move to ensure equal access to public information for Norwegian citizens, the government has decided to make the freely accessible document standards HTML, PDF, and ODF obligatory.” Justin Fielding reports on Norway joining countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Malaysia, Finland, France, Japan and Germany in a drive to make government documents more accessible.
“Given the obscurity of document formats and of technical standards work, it’s easy to miss the importance of an XML-based open document format standard.” Sam Hiser on how ODF represents a triumph of common sense and why Microsoft’s petulant response ulitmately is pure entertainment.
“In a world where paper documents increasingly get replaced by electronic records, long term access to the data becomes critical.” Erwin Tenhumberg outlines why open standards, such as ODF, benefit us all.
“Open formats are an important part of computing freedom because they give people control of their own data.” Gervase Markham on why there really is no alternative to open data formats.
For those unable to use a later version of OpenOffice.org, instructions for installing OpenOffice.org 1.1.5 are still available. Everyone else should upgrade to the latest version.
Not long ago I saw Jason Bradbury on television. At the time, he was busy comparing Macs and PCs by throwing them from a great height and surveying the damage. Jason recently made a programme about Open Source software and has now published a piece about OpenOffice.org, in which edafe.org gets a favourable mention.
“It’s hard to justify the expense of £90 to £150 per computer a year to run software that’s definitely no better than the free alternative.” Chris Johnston reports on why OpenOffice.org could loosen Microsoft’s grip on UK schools.
“It’s just powerful and sophisticated software at everyone’s favourite price.” Geoff Palmer highlights the benefits of using OpenOffice.org.
“The UK government has now largely abandoned Microsoft Word for documents that become public”, writes Mark Ward. If only they had used OpenOffice.org’s one-click PDF export…
“Replacing a complicated piece of software like an office suite can be a major undertaking. But, if you apply a few simple rules to make sure your needs are met, you’ll be ready to be productive on the new software right away.”
“The more people who use browsers based on open, standards-compliant technologies, the better the chances we will all enjoy viable choices in the way we conduct digital transactions.” Mitchell Baker puts Mozilla, Gecko, Safari and other emerging browser technologies into context.