Apache OpenOffice review

OpenOffice has come a long way after racing to improve its compatibility with Microsoft Office. If you're looking for Microsoft-caliber applications for free, OpenOffice has alternatives to Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access, and more.


Free: The most significant feature of OpenOffice is that it's free -- no subscription fee, no lump sum, no upsell to a pro version. If your business needs don't include complex word-processing or database-management features, then OpenOffice is a bargain.

Compatibility: OpenOffice supports the same file formats as rival programs like Word and Excel. Those coming from Microsoft will be pleased to hear … Read more

Office 365 gets personal for $6.99

Since its initial release two years ago, Microsoft's Office 365 has been steadily winning over fans. With the release of the companion iOS apps, there's no better time to sign up. Now Microsoft has sweetened the pot with the introduction of Office 365 Personal and a price tag of $6.99/month or $69.99/year.

For less than the price of a Netflix subscription, you'll receive:

The entire Office 365 suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook). 20GB of OneDrive cloud storage. Skype PC-to-phone world calling.

You can choose between the PC or Mac version, plus additional access … Read more

Microsoft PowerPoint for iPad review

Microsoft PowerPoint for iPad lets you view, edit, create, and play a presentation, all right from your iPad, no matter where you are. It provides all of the tools you're used to using in PowerPoint, optimized for the touchscreen interface of the iPad.


Finger laser pointer: If you're projecting a presentation straight from your iPad, you can just use your finger as a laser pointer. Drag your finger across the image on your iPad, and whatever you do will show up just like a laser pointer on the main display.

Full-featured: With this app, you'll have … Read more

NXPowerLite Desktop for Mac review

NXPowerLite Desktop allows you to easily lower the size of your larger JPEG and PDF files, as well as Microsoft PowerPoint presentations. Optimized files keep the same format while their size is significantly reduced, making them easier to manage and send via e-mail.


Easy to use: Click the Add Files button to quickly group multiple files that you want to shrink, or drag and drop them into the main app window. NXPowerLite Desktop also sends optimized files via e-mail with just the click of a button, which is located in the main menu.

Advanced save, file naming, and backup … Read more

PowerPoint Reader 1.05 Review

If your phone is your go-to business gadget, you absolutely need a way to view PowerPoint presentations. PowerPoint Reader lets you read them, but you won't be able to watch them as a slideshow. You can't make any edits or changes to them either.

Before you can actually read documents with PowerPoint Reader, the app has to convert them to PDF. That means you can't view the animated slideshow, transitions, or annotations. PDFs are usually larger than the original documents, as well. Make sure you have space on your phone before you convert. Annoyingly, the app drops … Read more

Create 'Jeopardy'-style quiz presentations with PowerPoint Jeopardy

I'll take "PowerPoint Templates" for $300, Alex. This free template lets PowerPoint users create their own version of the popular quiz show "Jeopardy" by entering their own answers and questions (and, yes, the order is correct, answers first). What is PowerPoint Jeopardy? Correct!

OK, so that was probably one of the easiest "Jeopardy" questions ever, but that's fitting because PowerPoint Jeopardy is easy to set up and use, once you've enabled macros in PowerPoint (instructions are included). You simply enter the categories, answers, and questions in the provided space and click … Read more

Turn your PowerPoints into flipbooks with Flip Powerpoint

Despite the ubiquity of Microsoft Office, it's not outside the realm of possibility that you've found yourself needing to show a PowerPoint presentation using a computer that didn't have PowerPoint installed. Flip Powerpoint is a clever program that solves this problem by saving PowerPoint presentations as flipbooks in a variety of different formats. We think it's a great choice for ensuring that your PowerPoints are accessible no matter where you go.

It's important to note that in order to use Flip Powerpoint, you have to have PowerPoint installed on your machine. Assuming that you do, … Read more

Quickoffice Pro HD is a mini office suite on the go

As its name suggests, Quickoffice Pro HD is a mobile office and productivity suite for use on the go. It lets you create and edit office files, and even sync them to your favorite cloud storage service.

If you're a fan of Google Docs like I am, then you've probably noticed that editing files from your mobile device can be a bit of a pain. The Google Drive (download) app (which recently slurped up Google Docs) doesn't offer a very robust menu of formatting tools, which makes workflow more complicated than it should be (especially when dealing … Read more

How to use PowerPoint effectively

If I were president, I would propose legislation making misuse of Microsoft's PowerPoint presentation software a Class C misdemeanor. Read a slide; go to jail.

I would empower audience members to confiscate the presenter's hardware if they're shown any slide with more text than the average tweet, with dark-on-dark or light-on-light text, or with more elements than the Periodic Table. They would also be allowed to pull the plug whenever anything on the screen is illegible to anyone in the back row.

Microsoft's ubiquitous presentation program has been used and abused by everyone from elementary school … Read more

Microsoft apps landing on Symbian phones

Several free Microsoft apps will be hopping aboard Nokia's Symbian phones by the end of the year.

As described in a blog yesterday, Microsoft and Nokia will deliver the apps in the form of free updates sometime during the fourth quarter. The updates will only be available to owners of phones running Symbian Belle, the latest update to the Symbian OS, or to those who upgrade from Symbian Anna to Belle.

The mobile apps and updates scheduled to roll out this year include:

Microsoft Lync 2010 Mobile, which offers instant messaging and Web-based meetings on the go. Microsoft PowerPoint Broadcast, … Read more