Well, with this being the first day of our OpenOffice Tips (found right here every Tuesday and Thursday) I figured that it was a good idea to go over the most important basics about the OpenOffice Suite.

First, the word “Suite” should clue you in that it’s a set of productivity programs – so, just like the Microsoft stuff you’ve got word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, etc…

Now, you’re next thought may be to ask why you’d want this one.

In a word – FREE.

Yep, OpenOffice is free to download and easy to install.

So, let’s see… you were in the store or online pricing Microsoft or some other office suite of programs and felt your jaw hit the floor when you say the price. (Don’t you just hate sticker shock?)

Instead, here’s a free suite of programs that does a lot more than just the basics with no sticker shock to suffer through.

Just to let you know – in my full-time job as a teacher I get the chance to watch a lot of people work in the Microsoft version of these programs. Don’t get me wrong – I love all my Microsoft programs – but the average person I observe working never comes close to utilizing even half of what they’re capable of doing. If these same people were working with OpenOffice they’d never miss a thing – it does all they require and then some.

You may wonder why you’d want something like the OpenOffice Suite when everyone you know uses Microsoft… won’t that cause compatibility issues?

The answer to that is no!

These programs are compatible with their MS counterparts and these programs will save files in some Microsoft formats.

Okay, so if you’re still with me then you’re interested – let’s get to it.

Start at the website www.openoffice.org


When the site comes up click “I want to download OpenOffice.org


Download Now” will start the process. It may take several minutes to download – when it’s done locate the downloaded file (starts with “OOo”) in your downloads folder (or whatever location you saved it to).

Double-click on the setup file and follow the installation wizard.

Soon enough you’ll be done and ready to explore your new programs.

Stay tuned here every Tuesday and Thursday as we explore the possibilities with OpenOffice.