It seems like the web is loaded with word processors challenging the premier choice in word processors, Microsoft Word. All of these Word processors featured exceptional features, but one seems to beat MS Office perfectly, and that’s the Apache Open Office.
The Apache Open Office isn’t limited to one word processor; it’s a whole suite that features: word processor, database, spreadsheet, presentation, and graphics. And the best part is that each of them works overtime to perform better than Microsoft Office. I’ve been using Apache Open Office as an alternative for MS Office for years and it has been an amazing experience. And the best part about it is that it’s free.
Apache OpenOffice has been competing with the roots of its code going back over ten years. And for the past few years it has been single handedly winning the race with its weekly updates and bug fixes.
The seperate applications in Apache OpenOffice have a great integration level. Both the menu and the toolbar for each window are only relevant to the document that is being worked on, but you always make another separate document from the file menu. This also includes information from other apps, something like database rows included in a Writer document, is not very different.
The ‘Writer’ offers tons of different features: Templates for documents, many frames, option to merge your mail, a style manager, headers and footers based on sections, and much more. The sidebar docking feature is perfect if you want to work on a large screen monitor, because it’s easy to place multiple panels and tons of features can be used at one screen. With a very flexible design and layout, it single handedly demolishes MS Word in the race if you ask me.
Base offers a useful set of formatting tools and database design as well. Some of elements on the interface, like query creation, are not completely spontaneous. There were some small tiny bugs that are rational, for a program that keeps updating every few days.
Coming back to the General Interface, the responsiveness you’ll get is easily the best there is as compared to any word processor out there. Usually, AOO follows standard Windows OS conventionss. If you’re a user of Windows XP and Vista, the look and feel will suit you perfectly, that too with a faster processing rate. I’ve been using this program’s latest update for a year now, and till now I can safely say it’s way better than the standard MS Office suite.
Overall, I love the Apache OpenOffice. The feature set includes what a good office suite would and the developers have made their best efforts in creating a flexible interface to run more than one applications at one screen simultaneously so that your work is done faster and better. If you’re really sick of the old interface that the MS Office provides, then this is what you need to have. So far, Open Office is the best MS Office alternative out there.