No, it’s not a website… well, ok, it is a website.. and a program.  OpenOffice.org is a Freeware Open Source Software product that has all of the functionality of Microsoft Office with zero cost.

I first got it because I had to open an Excel spreadsheet and didn’t have Excel or Office to do it with.  Since I wasn’t about to even THINK about spending major bucks just to be able to open one spreadsheet, I went looking for other programs that could open Excel spreadsheets.

Most of what I found was commercial software that was nearly as expensive as Office or Excel, the little bit of freeware I found was too old for what I needed.  Then I found OpenOffice.org (which also happens to be their url).

This package is platform independent package written in java that runs on Windows 98 thru Vista, GNU/Linux, Sun Solaris, Mac OS X (under X11), and FreeBSD which is pretty much any system that has a Java runtime environment 1.4.0_02 / 1.4.1_01 or newer

OpenOffice.org has the following components:

Writer – Full featured word processor that can read (and write) MS Word documents.
Calc – Spreadsheet that can handle anything Excel can.
Impress – Freeware package that can take the place of Powerpoint
Draw – Versatile and powerful graphics editor
Base – Powerful database application
Math – OpenOffice.org’s component for mathematical equations

All of these components can read popular file formats and can equal or exceed their microsoft equivalents as well as read those file formats.  They can also save in those formats in the event you’re sending files to somebody that’s still stuck with Microsoft.

Technorati Tags: freeware, open+source, program, openoffice, microsoft+office, microsoft+word, excel

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