Microsoft Office is the suite most famous office automation in the world and the one that has become a standard and blah, blah, blah. Yes, but can you download Microsoft Office for free? No. So,What alternative have all those who need office tools at the always affordable price of zero? Well obviously Apache OpenOffice.
Free and open source office suite
These are the hallmarks of this pack of applications that began its journey as StarOffice to be later acquired by Sun Microsystems and later abandoned by Oracle (which had bought this company). Finally, the Apache Software Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports different projects of software.
Used in home and academic environments thanks to its price.
What are its programs and its characteristics?
Now that you know what OpenOffice is, we can talk about the different applications that integrates:
- Word processor Writer: it would be the equivalent of Microsoft Word. That is, it allows the creation and editing of texts as well as formatting or exporting documents to PDF and HTML without the need for additional software or anything like that.
- Spreadsheet Calc: similar to Excel or Lotus 1-2-3, it offers the functions of this type of program in addition to some that the Microsoft tool does not have, such as certain applications that can be carried out with graphics.
- Impress for presentations: the replica to PowerPoint or Keynote can be found in this program that is capable of exporting the slides to SWF format, making them playable on any computer with Flash installed. It supports PPT format and can generate PDF files.
- Base for databases: this program can be used to create and manage databases, forms and others. It would be the equivalent of Microsoft Office Access.
- Graphics editor Draw: This is a graphics editor similar to what Microsoft’s Visio is or what CorelDraw was at the time. It makes it easy to create flowcharts and has features similar to Scribus and Microsoft Publisher.
- Math for math formulation: this app can create and edit math formulas using markup language.
Get started right away customizing the software
One of its main advantages are the templates incorporated by default in each of the tools, with which you can get down to work in a very short time. Also, you can create your own custom templates and add them to the collection.
If you are wondering about the compatibility of the software with Microsoft Office documents, you should know that it is total, so you can import these files and continue working on them freely. The formats are supported.
What file formats does it work with?
It has its own file formats that are usually compatible in other suites office automation. You can also open Microsoft’s like DOC, DOCX, PPTX, XLSX, etc., or export to PDF, HTML, SVG and so on. These are those of each tool:
- ODT y OTT para Writer.
- Impress works with ODP and OTP.
- ODS and OTS in Calc.
- Draw does it with ODI and OTI.
Which office program is better? OpenOffice Vs. LibreOffice
Well, you should know that LibreOffice comes from developers who were previously working for the project, now in the hands of Apache, and who abandoned it due to differences with Oracle. This one tries to be totally free and open, avoiding to attribute the authorship to any company. The applications are similar between the two although LibreOffice incorporates some improvements and extra functions that, in fact, only advanced users will take advantage of.
What’s new in the latest version
- The OpenOffice SDK now works with Java 8.
- Error correction.
- Updated dictionaries.