What is it?
OpenOffice.org is an open source office productivity suite originally financed by Sun Microsystems (now Oracle). It consists of the following applications:
Writer – A word processing application (similar to Microsoft Word)
Calc – A spreadsheet application (similar to Microsoft Excel)
Base – A database application (similar to Microsoft Access)
Impress – A presentation application (similar to Microsoft PowerPoint)
Draw – A graphics editor program
Math – A mathematical formula creation tool
Why Use it?
One of the main benefits to using OpenOffice.org is that it is free. It is also an excellent way to support the open source movement and allow other software applications to compete the office productivity market. In addition, it is a robust office suite that is able to run on multiple operating systems, supports OpenDocument format, and for most applications is backward compatible with Microsoft Office products. One drawback is its compatibility with Microsoft Office applications that have Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macros – I have had little success using Microsoft VBA macros in OpenOffice.org. You can read more about this on their website.
How do You Get it?
OpenOffice.org is available for free from their download website. You can find training and tutorials on the web. A few good sites include:
[Image Source: OpenOffice.org website]