If you're looking for Microsoft-caliber applications for free, OpenOffice has alternatives to Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access, and more. OpenOffice has come a long way after racing to improve its compatibility with Microsoft Office.
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 that Office files work in OpenOffice, too.
Function: For most basic uses, OpenOffice holds its own. Math allows you to create basic charts and cell-dependent calculations just like Excel, and most useful features from Microsoft Word also appear in Writer, including spell checkers and most text-formatting options.
Not for heavy Excel users: Expert spreadsheet manipulators will find it hard to live without compatibility with Visual Basic for Applications, especially if your macro functions depend on Microsoft's environment.
Poor presentations: If you create the most basic of presentations, Impress will suffice. But PowerPoint holds a large lead when it comes to variety in designs, templates, transitions, and collaborative features. Though OpenOffice can open PowerPoint files, don't expect the transitional effects to import.
Apache OpenOffice vs. Microsoft Office: The question isn't which suite has better features (that's Microsoft's), but rather whether the open-source suite has enough features for your work. Microsoft offers affordable pricing for Office 365, a subscription model that puts Office on just about every device you can imagine. But if you're looking to save a few bucks and don't need all the fancy support of Office, then OpenOffice's core offerings will get the job done.
Apache OpenOffice is an open-source office productivity software suite containing word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, graphics, formula editor, and database management applications. OpenOffice is available in many languages, works on all common computers, stores data in ODF - the international open standard format - and is able to read and write files in other formats, included the format used by the most common office suite packages. OpenOffice is also able to export files in PDF format. OpenOffice has supported extensions, in a similar manner to Mozilla Firefox, making easy to add new functionality to an existing OpenOffice installation.
Features: 170+ Languages. Extensions and Templates available. New Sidebar. Interoperability Improvements for Text Documents, Spreadsheet Documents, Presentation Documents and OOXML file format in general. Draw Object Improvements/Enhancements. New Color Palette. New Gradients. New Gallery Themes and Gallery enhancements. Refined the Selection Handles User Interface. Refined Selection Visualization. Better Print Preview. Enhanced conversion to Bitmap Graphics. Enhanced Copy/Paste. Enhanced Drag&Drop. Adapt LineStart/End to LineWidth. SVG Export enhancements. SVG/Metafile Break improvement. SVG Import improvements. Picture Crop mode offers preview. Unified visualization of Color Palette popup. Transparency support for pixel formats (PNG). Connectors support rotation. Corrected Hatch fill style visualization. Better gradient support in metafiles. Calc and Chart Improvements/Enhancements. Support relative Pie Chart Height. Extensions Improvements/Enhancement. New Toolbar management. Unified menu API. Performance Improvements/Enhancements. Many resource leaks were fixed. Speedup of Graphic Rendering. Additional Language Support. Changes that Impact Backwards Compatibility. Module binfilter removed (legacy StarOffice file formats (.sdw, .sdc, .sdd, etc.). Python support updated. Support for system C++ STL.