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.”
“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.”
“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.
“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.
“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.