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The alternative to Microsoft Office that won't cost you a thing

by , 12 April 2013

I used to think that if you buy a personal computer, you had to buy the Microsoft Office suite too. I mean, after all, most of the work I do is typed into Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.

Then I came across a website that offers software, with similar functions to its Windows counterpart… In fact, you can still edit and create documents in the Microsoft Office format!
But, the big difference is, this software is FREE.
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40 million downloads say this software will suit your needs
With over 40 million downloads, this amazing program should not be underestimated. It has even won two awards from InfoWorld Bossie (Best Of Open Source) for its OpenOffice application, and for its templates website.
It has dozens of reviews by major software websites. In fact, it earned five stars by ‘PC Pro Magazine’ and ‘CNet Editors review’. 
So what is this mystery product?
This program is called the ‘Apache OpenOffice’, or AOO. 
It has an assortment of five outstanding tools catering to most of your computer needs!
I’ll give you a brief description of the tools it offers you, so you can really appreciate the full use of the program.
This toolbox has a tool for every fix
Here’s what it offers you:
1)    ‘Writer’: This is probably the most valuable tool in the package’s arsenal, giving you everything you need from a fully equipped word processor. 
You name it, it can probably do it… I’m talking about things like AutoCorrect dictionary (checks your spelling), AutoComplete (completes what you’re typing) or even Text frames and linking to help with those nasty bibliographical references. 
‘Writer’ is no ordinary word processor; it can display multiple pages while you edit your work to speed up the editing process and save you loads of time.
A very useful feature of the ‘Writer’, is that it allows you to read Microsoft Word documents. What’s more is, you can even save your work into the Microsoft Word format so that people who are still stuck in Microsoft products can read it!
2)    ‘Calc’: You may think of this as Microsoft Excel’s twin brother. He may not have as many friends as good old Excel, but he’s certainly growing in popularity.
‘Calc’ provides you with an intuitive means of calculating pretty much anything you throw at it. 
With advanced DataPilot technology, you can easily extract raw data from other databases, cross-tabulate, summarise and mash them into useful information. 
Its intuitive nature really sticks out when you use its natural language formulas to create formulas using words. You can simply type for example “sales – costs” and you’ll land up with your gross profit quickly.
It would be a month long job to type down everything ‘Calc’ can do, but trust me, it easily rivals Microsoft Excel. 
3)    ‘Impress’: If you’re looking for a way to create your presentation look no further, ‘Impress’ is here! 
This tool is great for using clip art, special effects animation and eye-catching drawing tools.  
It even boasts a choice of easy-to-use drawing and diagramming tools to spice up your presentation. The slide show animation and effects will make your dead-looking work more lively.
Similar to ‘Writer’, you’ll be able to use your old Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, or save your work in the PowerPoint format for others who still use Microsoft products. 
4)    ‘Draw’: If you think ‘Paint’ is good, clearly you need to try this tool. 
It’s simple to use and has a host of functions that ‘Paint’ doesn’t have. You’re able to manipulate objects at the command of your click, getting the image to do as you please. 
I’m talking about grouping, ungrouping, editing, rendering and the list goes on and on!
5)    ‘Math’: Although this tool may be more useful for someone who deals a lot with equations, it’s still useful to have.
This feature is mostly used as equation editor for text documents, but it can also be used with other types of documents. 
It can be used inside ‘Writer’, which will make writing or editing a formula very easy to create and move in your text.
How to get this free software today
All you’ll need to do to get this amazing product is to visit http://www.openoffice.org/ and download the software. 
Its size is very small (74.96 MB), especially when you compare it to Microsoft Office’s 291MB. This will allow for a much faster download so you won’t need to sit waiting by your computer!
With the price tag of R0, it’s a no brainer that you should get this product, particularly seeing as Microsoft Office costs around R1,300.

The alternative to Microsoft Office that won't cost you a thing
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