OpenOffice: the free productivity suite alternative

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August 22, 2012 by quirkyuncle

For all you folks with maxed out budgets from buying those shiny new computers (or just eating, these days), there is a free alternative to purchasing a pricy productivity suite such as Microsoft Office. OpenOffice is a no-cost open-source application with a word processor, spreadsheet, multimedia presentation tool, graphics editor, formula editor, and database management tool. It can edit and save files in several formats and is compatible with the Microsoft Office applications.

OpenOffice is available for download from the OpenOffice website for the Windows, Mac OS, and Linux platforms. I’ve used it on several computers and find that it works quite well. It’s stable, intuitive, and best of all does not cost you a penny.

Give it a try, you’ve got nothing to lose!

The only thing lacking in OpenOffice is an email, contacts, and calendar application, such as Microsoft Outlook. Most email services, such as the Outlook web application (formerly Hotmail) or Gmail, provide this functionality, in web based form, as part of your account. If you prefer an application resident on your computer, Mozilla Thunderbird is a free email application with an address book that you can extend to provide calendar functions with the Lightning add-on.

I’ve never used Thunderbird or Lightning, but the reviews seem positive. If you decide to try them, make sure that they can sync with your mobile devices, if this is a concern.


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