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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Free cross-platform office application suite

Use OpenOffice with Yahoo's free Zimbra Desktop service in place of Outlook. This make up for OpenOffice which lacks a PIM (Personal Information Management) analogous to Outlook. See Best sites for taking Office files online
You can minimize file-compatibility issues by standardizing on the most common file formats. By default, saves files in Open Document Format (ODF). Microsoft's by-the-book support for ODF, unfortunately, breaks some spreadsheet files, according to a recent ZDNet blog post. See

OpenOffice reads and writes Office 2007's default .docx and .xlsx XML file formats. But the older .doc and .xls formats are still the ones most often used. It is suggested that you make the classic Office formats your defaults in OpenOffice. To set .doc as the document default, for example, open any OpenOffice program and do the following:

* Step 1. Choose Tools, Options;
* Step 2. Select General under Load/Save;
* Step 3. Click Text Document under Document type in the Default file format and ODF settings section;
* Step 4. Choose Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP in the Always save as drop-down menu and click OK.

To make .xls the default worksheet format, open the same dialog box and follow the same steps, with the following differences:

* Step 1. Choose Spreadsheet under Document type in the Default file format and ODF settings section;
* Step 2. Choose Microsoft Excel 97/2000/XP in the Always save as drop-down list and click OK. is a collection of applications that work together closely to provide the features expected from a modern office suite. Many of the components are designed to mirror those available in Microsoft Office. The components available include:

Writer A word processor similar in look and feel to Microsoft Word or WordPerfect and offering a comparable range of functions and tools. It also includes the ability to export Portable Document Format (PDF) files with no additional software, and can also function as a basic WYSIWYG editor for creating and editing web pages.
Calc A spreadsheet similar to Microsoft Excel or Lotus 1-2-3 with a roughly equivalent range of features. Calc provides a number of features not present in Excel, including a system which automatically defines series for graphing, based on the layout of the user’s data. Calc is also capable of writing spreadsheets directly as a PDF file.
Impress A presentation program similar to Microsoft PowerPoint. It can export presentations to Adobe Flash (SWF) files, allowing them to be played on any computer with the Flash player installed. It also includes the ability to create PDF files, and the ability to read Microsoft PowerPoint's .ppt format. Impress suffers from a lack of ready-made presentation designs. However, templates are readily available on the Internet.[12][13][14]
Base A database program similar to Microsoft Access. Base allows the creation and manipulation of databases, and the building of forms and reports to provide easy access to data for end-users. As with Access, Base may be used as a front-end to a number of different database systems, including Access databases (JET), ODBC data sources and MySQL/PostgreSQL. Base became part of the suite starting with version 2.0. Native to the suite is an adaptation of HSQL. While ooBase can be a front-end for any of the databases listed, there is no need for any of them to be installed.
Draw A vector graphics editor comparable in features to early versions of CorelDRAW. It features versatile "connectors" between shapes, which are available in a range of line styles and facilitate building drawings such as flowcharts. It has similar features to Desktop publishing software such as Scribus and Microsoft Publisher.
Math A tool for creating and editing mathematical formulae, similar to Microsoft Equation Editor. Formulae can be embedded inside other documents, such as those created by Writer. It supports multiple fonts and can export to PDF. download



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