Apache OpenOffice (OpenOffice.org) is the cross platform and multilingual open- source office suite for word processing. It is freely available and fully featured office productivity suite that is compatible with other popular office suits. The latest versions include new features such as advanced XML capabilities and support for OASIS Standard OpenDocument format. Users can also open and save documents in many other formats. OpenOffice.org consists of a set of functional and simple tools which are extremely helpful not only in business but also in everyday life. OpenOffice is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows (98 - 7), GNU/Linux, Sun Solaris and FreeBSD.
It is a great alternative to the popular Microsoft Office as it provides equivalents to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access.
Apache OpenOffice consists of the following components:
Writer (Word processor)
It is a powerful tool for word processing which is a direct equivalent for Microsoft Word. With writer you can create letters, books, reports, newsletters and other documents, insert pictures, files, graphics and objects from other components into new documents, change formatting and switch to another language. It provides a table of contents for complex documents. The AutoComplete and AutoFormat options speed up the process of writing. One more advantage of using writer is that it allows users to export their work to HTML, XHTML, XML and PDF formats. In addition to these features is also includes: built-in drawing tools, database integration, page layout methods and a set of usual feature such as spelling check, thesaurus, find and replace and more.
Impress is a component of the suite designed as a replacement for PowerPoint. It provides a wide range of built-in animations, effects and drawing tools. With impress you can create amazing slide shows which can be improved with Fontwork’s special effects stunning 2D and 3D images , sound and video clips. You can also save presentations as SWF files or export it to PDF. With the Natural language formulas users are allowed to create formulas using words.
Calc (Fully equipped spreadsheet)
This components challenges Excel and brings advanced analysis, charting and decision-making features including powerful graphics, intuitive interface, the Intelligent Sum Button, macros and Scenario Manager that allows "what if ..." analysis.
Draw (vector graphic)
It is a vector drawing tool that features a lot of shape and point-editing tools, connectors for making organization charts, layer management and also 3D effects. With draw you can create graphical images, store them and display an image as a simple geometric elements. It can import graphics from many formats and save them in formats including PNG, HTML, PDF and FLASH.
Base is one of the latest changes introduced into OpenOffice.org. It is a collection of pieces of information such as a list of names and addresses, which can be accessed by OpenOffice.org. With this application you can create and manipulate database, views, relations forms and reports. Base brings a set of new features such as the relation designer tool that allows analyzing and editing relationships from a diagram view. It also provides HSQLBD as its default engine.
Math (formula editor)
It is a formula or equation editor for writing complex mathematical equations with symbols and characters as it supports multiple fonts, commonly used to create formulas in Writer or Impress but I can also be used as a stand-alone product. The formulas can be saved to OpenDocument, OpenOffice, StarMath and MathML files or export as PDF.