OpenOffice.org is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases, diagrams, as well as HTML and XML documents. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. In September 2005 Federal Computer Week listed OpenOffice.org as one of the “5 stars of open-source products”.
The interface is similar to that of MS Office, and even advanced Office users will find almost everything they’re used to: templates, collaborative features (versions, recording changes), macros, and even a programming language. OOo, as it’s known, lets you open and save documents in formats as diverse as MS Office formats, PDF, HTML, and XML. It can also import files from those formats, as well as WordPerfect and others. However, it normally saves files in the open-standard Oasis OpenDocument XML format, for maximum compatibility with other applications.
The latest versions of OpenOffice have seen a spurt of growth in the extensions available for the program. These include templates for professional writers, an export tool for bidirectional functionality with Google Docs, blog publishing, and others. Blog publishing assistance especially strikes us as a natural area for word processing to grow toward.
OpenOffice.org 3.x reached one hundred million downloads just over a year since its release.