OpenOffice.org: 7 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do

OpenOffice.org–an application suite, not just a Web site—has tricks even Office can't manage. Here are a few that may not be obvious, plus a few ways to make it less annoying out of the box.

We are starting to see more movement in adoption of OpenOffice. There are many reasons, but a recent article in PC Magazine, http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2341228,00.asp, lists some really killer features. Pay special attention to legacy formats. Using OpenOffice one can open just about any file, DOC, XLS, PPT, old or new.

In addition, one of the things I really like about OpenOffice is the excellent support for styles and long documents. For example, instead of setting a heading as bold, 16pt type, sans serif, you define a heading style for heading 2 (h2) as bold, 16pt type, sans serif. Now, every time you start enter a heading for a new section, it will be styled the same way. To change the formatting, just go to your style window and adjust the default. All your formats are automatically updated. You can do this with any content type in your document, paragraphs, quotes, sections, bullets, etc. Although MS Office also has this feature, it is less intuitive, and not as front and center to the end user. As a result, I find that few people use it.

OpenOffice is not a step down, a crippled cheap shoddy free program that one uses only when cutting corners. No, Openoffice is an office suite full of enterprise features and robust document handling. OpenOffice is valuable at any price. It just happens to be free.  Download your copy today at: http://openoffice.org/