OpenOffice 3.2

OpenOffice.org 3 is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all commoncomputers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose.

 Download: OpenOffice 3.2

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OpenOffice sounds interesting in theory, but anyone who has used it after using any version of Microsoft Office (or in a mixed environment where others still use Microsoft Office) will notice a few things.

- It's slow. Especially on older systems. It can take several times longer to load up than something like Office 2003 or even Office 2007 on an out-dated system. I use to take an old Pentium MMX system with me to school to take notes on. Microsoft Office loaded and ran fine, but you could fall asleep waiting for OpenOffice to launch.

- Even though it "tries" to be compatible, you will notice that PowerPoint presentations don't look right, Excel spreadsheets won't look right, and Word documents won't look right. What looks a certain way on YOUR screen ends up looking different on someone else's screen if they are using Microsoft Office. Sometimes the difference can be quite substantial. When my wife was in school, I loaded her system up with a clean install of Windows and the latest OpenOffice. After using it for a while, she expressed concern after none of the documents she got from her teacher looked right, and none of the documents she turned in looked right to her teacher. So off went OpenOffice and on went Microsoft Office.

- No Outlook alternative. I can get a word-processor anywhere. I don't work with spreadsheets much with my current employer. But something I've used *all* the time with this employer and the last was Microsoft Outlook. To me, Outlook IS Office. Any other part of Microsoft Office can be duplicated by something else. Word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, etc. But you can't find a replacement for Outlook. Nothing else works like Outlook. OpenOffice doesn't even offer a mail client, let alone an Outlook clone.

Xenomorph said,
OpenOffice sounds interesting in theory, but anyone who has used it after using any version of Microsoft Office (or in a mixed environment where others still use Microsoft Office) will notice a few things.

- It's slow. Especially on older systems. It can take several times longer to load up than something like Office 2003 or even Office 2007 on an out-dated system. I use to take an old Pentium MMX system with me to school to take notes on. Microsoft Office loaded and ran fine, but you could fall asleep waiting for OpenOffice to launch.

- Even though it "tries" to be compatible, you will notice that PowerPoint presentations don't look right, Excel spreadsheets won't look right, and Word documents won't look right. What looks a certain way on YOUR screen ends up looking different on someone else's screen if they are using Microsoft Office. Sometimes the difference can be quite substantial. When my wife was in school, I loaded her system up with a clean install of Windows and the latest OpenOffice. After using it for a while, she expressed concern after none of the documents she got from her teacher looked right, and none of the documents she turned in looked right to her teacher. So off went OpenOffice and on went Microsoft Office.

- No Outlook alternative. I can get a word-processor anywhere. I don't work with spreadsheets much with my current employer. But something I've used *all* the time with this employer and the last was Microsoft Outlook. To me, Outlook IS Office. Any other part of Microsoft Office can be duplicated by something else. Word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, etc. But you can't find a replacement for Outlook. Nothing else works like Outlook. OpenOffice doesn't even offer a mail client, let alone an Outlook clone.


At work we use this to edit doc's that can be as high as 1300 pages. Recently we found that tweaking the memory settings can GREATLY effect its speed. It feels as fast as office now.

That being said, i still hate using it

There's a simple solution to remedy the memory issues:
1. Disable Java
2. Adjust memory settings
3. Enable "Quickstart" (Windows only?)

I'm not sure about the "different on every screen" problem, but I'm assuming the documents can be saved as traditional MS Office documents. Additionally, you could always install the Office Reader application to preview them before printing.

As far as Outlook goes, there's always two sides to the coin: Some people love it while others love to hate it. Personally, as a Linux user, I think Evolution works just fine and provides similar features. I'm sure there's suitable alternatives for Windows users, too.

I'm not saying OOo is a replacement for MS Office, just a decent alternative. There's a big difference there, even though the distinction may not be as obvious to some people.

It's a decent alternative to MS Office. It does the job and many people depend on it everyday. While it may not include everything a corporate user may need, it works just fine for students and the like. I can't wait to see what's coming up next.

bjoswald said,
It's a decent alternative to MS Office. It does the job and many people depend on it everyday. While it may not include everything a corporate user may need, it works just fine for students and the like. I can't wait to see what's coming up next.

OpenOffice is not a descent alternative for anything hell Word Pad is a better alternative than OpenOffice.

OpenOffice has come along way but it still needs work(impress can't open too many powerpoint files but thats cuzz they are in the new 2007ish format and it uses java which is not a good thing i would not mind it using .net for the windows platform or c++)

soldier1st said,
...and it uses java which is not a good thing i would not mind it using .net for the windows platform or c++)

It doesn't use Java by default. It runs perfectly fine on Java-less systems.

alpha_omega said,

It doesn't use Java by default. It runs perfectly fine on Java-less systems.

Really? I remember that Java used to be a requirement for it to install correctly, but that was a few years ago at least.

i would not mind it using .net for the windows platform or c++)

Well I have some good news for you. OpenOffice is written in C++ and uses Java only for some optional components.

So use away.

i tried this many moons ago. it's a knock off of ms office. i'm surprised ms hasn't sued them yet. i remember it to be slow and ugly.

veegun said,
i tried this many moons ago. it's a knock off of ms office. i'm surprised ms hasn't sued them yet. i remember it to be slow and ugly.

So says the person who is too lazy to run OpenOffice.org 3.2 or even give Lotus Symphony 3 beta 2 a go (which is based on OpenOffice.org). But hey, that would rain on your parade of mindless ranting.

veegun said,
i tried this many moons ago. it's a knock off of ms office. i'm surprised ms hasn't sued them yet. i remember it to be slow and ugly.

Wow, I don't even know where to begin.

veegun said,
i tried this many moons ago. it's a knock off of ms office. i'm surprised ms hasn't sued them yet. i remember it to be slow and ugly.

Well, thank you for the informed comment.....