OpenOffice is the product of twenty-plus years of software engineering. It is the leader in open-source office software. It is used for word processing, databases, presentations, spreadsheets and graphics. OpenOffice is a free alternative to products such as Microsoft Office Suite. It is available for download at http://www.openoffice.org.
OpenOffice is an office program that is free to download and install. The developers that created and maintain OpenOffice rely on donations of money from users and time from other programmers to continue this open source project. This can be an advantage because it doesn't cost the user anything if they choose not to donate. It can also be a disadvantage, if the OpenOffice development community does not have the resources needed to continue improving the program. On the other hand, it is an advantage because there are developers who are more interested in rolling out a functional product than they are about profits.
Not only can anyone report a bug to the development team, but the user can also discuss the issues they are having with the team in IRC chats. This gives the user the ability to be hands on in getting their problem fixed instead of waiting for the next release a year or two down the road.
OpenOffice updates as the developers fix bugs and add new features instead of waiting for new release dates like other proprietary office programs do. Users are able to update their installation any time a new fix is added, which could be multiple times a year if needed. This provides an advantage against those proprietary software companies as the user does not have to sit around with an annoyingly dysfunctional program.
OpenOffice is compatible with various operating systems, where as other office suites are designed to operate on only one type of operating system. For instance, Microsoft Office only works on Microsoft operating systems. OpenOffice is available for Windows, Linux, Mac and more.
The user is able to save files into PDF format without the use of additional software or plug-ins.
Opening New Files
In OpenOffice you have the ability to open new files from any of the OpenOffice programs. For instance, if you are in OpenOffice Writer and you need to open a document in spreadsheet, the user simply selects File > New > Spreadsheet. In other office suites, you have to open each separate program. OpenOffice is one program with various capabilities.
Higher Memory Usage
One of the drawbacks of choosing to use OpenOffice is that it has a higher memory and CPU usage than other office suites. This stems from the fact that OpenOffice is one large, all-inclusive program rather than several individual programs like other office suites. This can cause the program to function slower than other office suites.
OpenOffice does have a small variety of fonts, though not as many as other office suites. You can add fonts by downloading and installing them into the system.
Technical support for OpenOffice is provided to the user through the community of users and developers. This can be an advantage or a disadvantage. By working directly with the developers, the user will get the advantage of first hand knowledge. The problem lies in the fact that these people may not have the answers or the time to locate the answers that the user is searching for and he or she may be left to deal with the issue on their own.