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Freeware Mission – Best Free Office Suite

by James 4 December 2012 11 Comments

Freeware Mission, episode 6. The toughest and the easiest at the same time. I have to replace Microsoft Office with a freeware program and there are not many to choose from. In fact, there are only two candidates: Open Office.org and IBM Lotus Symphony. And the winner is…

I was using the Microsoft Office products a lot, because I do a lot of writing and presentations, so finding a freeware program to replace it is crucial. After playing around with the two freeware office suites mentioned above I chose Open Office.org. It’s quite complete, supports virtually all the file types generated by the Microsoft Office programs and actually has a few functions and tools that the expensive Microsoft products have not. The Open Office.org suite has 5 programs: Writer (similar to Word, maybe even a little better), Calc (similar to Excel), Impress (Power Point alternative), Draw (yea, you can draw stuff with it) and Base (make and edit databases).

My main dish is Writer, since I was using Microsoft Word a lot. And after a quick glance I can tell you I like Writer better! You can export your documents to PDF, you can import a huge range of dictionaries, even dictionaries for synonyms and bibliographical references.

screenshot
screenshot

I’ve been using the Open Office.org suite over the past few days and I’m quite impressed: I could do with it anything that I needed to do and very fast too, because the interface is quite easy to get used to if you’ve used Microsoft Office before. And if you have trouble with it, there’s a lot of support in the forums to get you going in no time.

I’m telling you, this is a must have freeware program. If you want your Open Office .org experience to be perfect, check out this site on how to make best use of office. This site has great (free) tutorial content. You can download Open Office.org from here, it’s free and it’s very good!

My Evaluation

9.5

Operating System

Windows All

Size

127 MB

Author

Sun Microsystems

Version Tested

2.4.1

The Freeware Mission will continue! Stay tuned as I’ll keep on trying to build a freeware only PC!

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If you have any trouble with this software just leave a comment, I’ll help you out!

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11 Comments »

  • Carputers said:

    John,

    I did a blog post on how to set OpenOffice up to play nice with MS Office: http://newsandtips.carputers.net/2007/01/28/configuring-the-openofficeorg-suite-for-use-in-a-microsoft-office-world/

    Hope this helps… I found you through Clif’s Newsletter.

  • Johnny Karp said:

    @carputers
    Thanks for that post, it really is helpful. I think I’ll add a link to it in my post.

  • Didi said:

    You must try “SSuite Office – The Fifth Element”. It is completely free for download, and is only 57 MB in size after installation. It also has more than 30 very useful applications. Download page link:http://ssuite5element.webs.com/thefifthelement.htm

  • Johnny Karp said:

    @Didi
    It looks quite promising, I might give it a go soon.

  • Gerard said:

    Open Office is NOT free! They trick you into giving email address first then tell you the prices!

  • Johnny Karp said:

    Gerard, I’ve been using it for a year now and the thing is like this:
    1. I didn’t pay anything
    2. They didn’t trick me into anything.
    So honestly I can’t see how and why you were asked to pay for OpenOffice.org

  • Gerard said:

    Johnny, the thing is like this, I wouldn’t bother posting responses to your site if I didn’t need to!
    When I went to the site, firstly my firewall advised me not to enter but I did anyway. Secondly when I tried to download the “free” software, it firstly asked for name and email which was fine, and next it had a list of payment options, 1 year, 2, or 3?
    Don’t promote it as free or tell me I am wrong. Have a look yourself.

  • Johnny Karp said:

    Gerard, I checked the OpenOffice download page again, there’s nothing like the things you are describing. Maybe you’re going to a “scam” site that is similar to openoffice.org, I can’t see any other reasonable explanation.
    http://download.openoffice.org/index.html

  • Dion said:

    Gerard is definately wrong. I just installed Open Office and they didn’t ask for my email address at all and I haven’t seen any prices for anything. What I have found is there’s a big library of free extensions as well which you didn’t really mention in your article.

  • Ashford said:

    I had the same thing happen -the request for name, email, and I am not sure about the money because I did not go that far.

    I looked through my history just now. In the list is openofficedownload.org, openofficedownload.us, and http://www.openoffice.org. I do not know if any of these is the proper web site. I am going to look on SourceForge or Cnet for the proper link.

    The application files I have downloaded from these sites are labeled:
    OOo_3.2.1_Win_x86_install-wJRE_en-US
    openofficesetup_complete

  • vl said:

    Yozo Office Professional is not free but its cheaper than Microsoft Office. It includes all the features you need to create PDF files, edit Word, Excel, PowerPoint documents, converts documents, etc.

    http://bstdownload.com/reviews/yozo-office-professional-2010/

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