PLEASE NOTE: Information below has been provided by Apache directly or via http://www.openoffice.org/why/:
Why use Apache OpenOffice?
Apache OpenOffice is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files in Microsoft and iWork office suite formats. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose.
Apache OpenOffice is the result of over twenty years' software engineering. Designed from the start as a single piece of software, it has a consistency other products cannot match. A completely open development process means that anyone can report bugs, request new features, or enhance the software. The result: Apache OpenOffice does everything you want your office software to do, the way you want it to.
- Better by design: Developed over twenty years, Apache OpenOffice is a mature, reliable, product. OpenOffice was designed from the start as a single piece of software - not bolted together from separate software packages. This makes it very consistent and easy to use - what you learn in one application is immediately usable in another. The context-sensitive help works across all applications, unobtrusively providing the precise help you need. You can even open any type of document from any application. It also runs on all major computing platforms - Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, Sun Solaris, Apple Mac.
Better for you: Apache OpenOffice contains all the office software you need, in one single package. You don't have to worry which version to install: one installation program provides everything. The installation also includes features which some expensive rivals do not - for example, the ability to create .pdf files when you want to guarantee what the recipient sees on their computer. There is also a growing range of extensions: additional features that any developer can provide.
Honest software: Apache OpenOffice is developed using an open-software, "no secrets" approach. Anyone can look at the programs and suggest improvements, or fix bugs. Anyone can report problems or request enhancements, and anyone can see the response from other users or developers. The status of current and future releases is displayed on a public wiki, so you can decide if and when you want to upgrade to take advantage of new features. Anyone used to commercial software and its hyping and marketing speak will find Apache OpenOffice refreshingly different. Enjoy the benefits of open-source.
An Office Suite of Programs:
OpenOffice includes a suite of office programs to suite your needs. Similar to Microsoft Office and Apple iWorks, OpenOffice includes a word processor, spreadsheet program, presentation manager, drawing tool, database, and mathematical equation editor.
- Writer -- a word processor you can use for anything from writing a quick letter to producing an entire book. It's simple enough for a quick memo, powerful enough to create complete books with contents, diagrams, indexes, etc. You're free to concentrate on your message - while Writer makes it look great
- Calc -- a powerful spreadsheet with all the tools you need to calculate, analyse, and present your data in numerical reports or sizzling graphics. Calc is the spreadsheet program you've always wanted. Newcomers find it intuitive and easy to learn; professional data miners and number crunchers will appreciate the comprehensive range of advanced functions.
- Impress -- the fastest, most powerful way to create effective multimedia presentations. Impress is a truly outstanding tool for creating effective multimedia presentations. Your presentations will stand out with 2D and 3D clip art, special effects, animation, and high-impact drawing tools.
- Draw -- lets you produce everything from simple diagrams to dynamic 3D illustrations. Draw - from a quick sketch to a complex plan, Draw gives you the tools to communicate with graphics and diagrams. With a maximum page size of 300cm by 300cm, Draw is powerful tool for technical or general posters, etc.
- Base -- lets you manipulate databases seamlessly. Create and modify tables, forms, queries, and reports, all from within Apache OpenOffice. Base is a fully featured desktop database management system, designed to meet the needs of a broad array of users, from just tracking your personal CD collection to producing a corporate monthly departmental sales report. Base offers wizards to help users new to database design (or just new to Base) to create Tables, Queries, Forms and Reports, along with a set of predefined table definitions for tracking Assets, Customers, Sales Orders, Invoices and much more.
- Math -- lets you create mathematical equations with a graphic user interface or by directly typing your formulas into the equation editor. Math is Apache OpenOffice's component for mathematical equations. It is most commonly used as an equation editor for text documents, but it can also be used with other types of documents or stand-alone. When used inside Writer, the equation is treated as an object inside the text document. Similarly, one can also insert these into other Apache OpenOffice programs like Calc and Impress.
Apache OpenOffice is easy to learn, and if you're already using another office software package, you'll take to OpenOffice straight away. If you already have files from another office package - OpenOffice will probably read them with no difficulty.
Use it immediately: For people used to other office software, Apache OpenOffice is a pleasant surprise. Because OpenOffice is one piece of software, everything works consistently between applications. Even the help system is the same. You don't even have to know which application was used to create a document - OpenOffice will use the correct one.
No need to retype: Many people already have documents which they have created using other common office software packages. Apache OpenOffice can read these files with a very high degree of accuracy, making migration to OpenOffice very straightforward. In fact OpenOffice has been able to read files which the original software package had said were corrupted and unusable. If your friends or colleagues use different software, you can still swap files with them.
Part of a community: When you're starting something new, it's great to know tens of millions of people have been there before you. Apache OpenOffice is developed, translated, supported, and promoted by an international community of tens of thousands of enthusiasts. If you have ever waited for ages for paid-for support from a commercial software provider, community support from enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteers may come as a surprise. You may even find yourself talking to people who have developed or translated the software you are using.
Apache OpenOffice can be downloaded and used entirely free of any license fees. Apache OpenOffice is released under the Apache 2.0 Licence. This means you may use it for any purpose - domestic, commercial, educational, public administration. You may install it on as many computers as you like. You may make copies and give them away to family, friends, students, employees - anyone you like.
Free of charge: It's hard to believe that high quality, easy to use software like Apache OpenOffice can really be free. But thanks to contributions of time and money, from individuals and companies (large and small), OpenOffice is free for you to use today. Furthermore, the open-source licence used by OpenOffice means this freedom can never be taken away. The OpenOffice community are delighted if you find our software of use.
Freedom from worry: A free software licence means much more than a one-off cost saving. It means you never need worry again whether your software is legal, or whether it will expire some day. For people responsible for a number of computers - from just a few in a small business, hundreds in a school, thousands in a corporation - this is a huge weight off the mind. No need for software audits, for keeping invoices for years, no worry about ending up in court because you misread some small print in a licence agreement.
Apache values your freedom: Apache OpenOffice will read and write files which can be used in other common office software. It was the first software in the world to fully support the ISO standard for office file formats which is being adopted by a growing number of software vendors. If you want to use other software, we want you to be free to do so. If you want to change your PC from Microsoft Windows to Apple Mac to Linux, we want you to be free to do so.
- The product is a multi-platform office productivity suite including a word processor, a spreadsheet program, a presentation manager, and a drawing program, with a user interface and feature set similar to those of other office suites.
- OpenOffice reads and writes in Microsoft Office and iWork productivity suite formats.
- Available for Windows and Mac computers.
- OpenOffice runs on Solaris, Linux (including PPC Linux), and Windows.
- Written in C++ and with documented APIs licensed under the LGPL and SISSL open-source protocols, OpenOffice.org allows any knowledgeable developer to benefit from the source.