Posted tagged ‘Open Office’

Freebie Friday – Open Office

April 8, 2011

A huge obstacle that is often faced in rural ministry is the lack of funds to buy tools and resources.  To help combat this problem the Rural Ministry Blog has started Freebie Friday!  Every Friday we will take a look at a free resource that could benefit anyone involved with rural ministry.

Today’s free resource has been around for quite some time – Open Office.  Open Office is a free Office suite containing a word processor, spreadsheet program, presentation software (similar to PowerPoint), database software and more.  Open Office is compatible with Microsoft Office and will open any Word, Excel, or PowerPoint document, including those created in Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010.  Open Office can also save in Microsoft Office compatibility mode so anything you create in Open Office can be opened in Microsoft Office.

Product Review: I have used Open Office for several years and really love the product.  I feel that the Open Office word processing and spreadsheet programs are at least equal to Microsoft Word and Excel.  However, the Open Office presentation software is not quite as nice as PowerPoint.  You can still create a quality presentation, but it’s not as feature rich or easy to navigate as PowerPoint.  The Open Office database program has some pretty serious shortcomings.  Yes, you can create a database with it, but it is nowhere near Microsoft Access as far as usability and features.  I have yet to be able to open a Microsoft Access database with it, so this aspect of Open Office is not at all useful to me.  The bottom line: If you do not need to create databases then Open Office is for you!

To download Open Office click here or go to  During the download process you will be asked if you would like to make a donation.  Making a donation is totally optional, but donations are what keep Open Office going so I would suggest that you consider donating something.

Please Note: If you want full compatibility with Microsoft Office please follow these steps after you have installed Open Office

1. Start the Open Office Writer program and click on the Tools menu

2. Click Options

3. Along the left hand side double-click Load/Save

4. Directly below Load/Save click on General

5. On the right side of the screen go to Always save as: and click the drop down menu (see figure 1)

Figure 1

6. From the drop down menu choose Microsoft Word/97/2000/XP

7. Just to the left of Always save as click the drop down menu beside Text Document and click on Spreadsheet

8. Under Always save as choose Microsoft Excel 97/2000/XP

9. Repeat these steps with Document Type  Presentation and Always save as Microsoft PowerPoint 97/2000/XP

Disclosure: Neither the Rural Ministry Blog or Harry Colegrove benefit in any way from this product review