Openoffice.org: Never buy Microsoft Office again

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It’s midnight, and I’m freaking out. I suddenly realized at the very last moment that the PowerPoint presentation I had been working on my school’s computer won’t work on my PC at home for one large reason: I don’t have a copy of PowerPoint installed. At first I thought my only options would be to wait until the next morning to finish the project at school or to illegally download a copy of Office and get it working right quick. However, I found another legitimate solution: Openoffice.org.

Openoffice.org is a completely free productivity suite, powered primarily by Oracle, but the source code is a collaboration of several companies. It includes full featured versions of several programs that are very much alike their Microsoft Of­fice counterparts. These include but are not limited to a word processor, a spreadsheet program, a presentation generator, a graphics editor, and a database tool. Each of the programs features a robust amount of function­ality and content, and is completely compatible with actual copies of Microsoft Office. For example, a word document typed up in Openof­fice.org will work completely with a copy of actual Microsoft Word.

With Openoffice.org’s program Impress, which is their version of PowerPoint, I was able to continue working on my presentation and fin­ish it. I was amazed at how well the entire program was laid out. Every tool I actually needed was put at the forefront of the program’s design, rather than tucked away or cluttered as PowerPoint tends to get. Impress even had a decent variety of slide templates, which I wasn’t expect­ing at all. All of the changes I made to the document in Impress carried over to PowerPoint flawlessly.

It is mind blowing that such a powerful alternative to the often insanely overpriced Microsoft Of­fice exists, and isn’t known better. When comparing the overall price of the two suites, it’s really no contest. The cheapest version of Microsoft Office is $149 dollars, while Ope­noffice.org is still completely free. Moreover, Openoffice.org has no registration or commitment of any kind. It’s completely open source, which basically means that anyone can edit, share, or use it as they please. You can install Openoffice.org on any computer you want and as many times as you desire. There are no real downsides to using the Openoffice.org version of a program over the Microsoft Office version of it.

Openoffice.org is great for stu­dents like myself, but is also a great tool for small businesses and non-profit organizations. Having the ability to create and edit word documents, create presentations, and make spreadsheets is a necessity these days. Being able to access all of these tools for free can save small business owners and non-profit organizations a lot of money. For college/university students already putting themselves in debt for their education, not having to buy an expensive copy of Microsoft Office will help considerably; the same can go for their teachers as well.

Openoffice.org is an insanely useful and surprisingly high quality alternative to a product that most of us have grown up with. Anyone that is familiar with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or Excel will instantly feel comfortable using Writer, Im­press, or Calc. I highly recommend Openoffice.org to anyone who needs to be productive for whatever reason.

For more information on Ope­noffice.org, go to, you guessed it: Openoffice.org