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OpenOffice Part 2 -Basic Overview - Free Computer Tutorials

Posted by Jim Bernstein

In this section we will give you an overview of what each program included in OpenOffice is used for. It is not meant to show you how to use the programs but rather what you can accomplish by using them.

The Writer program is similar to Microsoft Word and is a word processing program used for things such as writing letters, resumes and other types of documents. If you use Word then you will notice how it is very similar looking and has many of the same features. It has more of a Word 2003 look rather than the newer Word 2007 & 2010 look.

Writer gives you the typical features such as formatting text, templates, drawing tools, mail merge, auto correct, spell checker, auto complete and so on. You have the usual open, save, new, and print buttons etc.

The Calc program is for making spreadsheets and is similar to Microsoft Excel. In fact you can open and save most Excel files with Calc. You can also create and use formulas just like in Excel. Calc provides you with functions, including statistical and banking functions. It will allow you to present data in dynamic charts that update automatically when the data changes.

Impress is a presentation application similar to Microsoft PowerPoint. It allows you to create PDF files from presentations and can export presentations to SWF files so they can be viewed by any computer with a Flash player installed. Impress lets you view, edit and save files in several file formats, including the .ppt PowerPoint format. Impress includes many drawing and diagramming tools to spice up your presentation.

Draw is a vector graphics editor and is similar to Microsoft’s Visio program. It allows you to create flowcharts, graphs and other illustrations from a quick sketch to complex plans. It also includes many features found in desktop publishing software. Draw has the ability to manipulate objects in two or three dimensions and has texture and lighting effects as well.

Base is a database application similar to Microsoft Access. It allows you to create Tables, Queries, Forms and Reports etc. Base includes support drivers for database engines such as Microsoft Access, Adabas D, MySQL, and PostgreSQL.

Math is a utility used for creating and editing mathematical formulas and is similar to Microsoft Equation Editor. It is most commonly used as an equation editor for text documents. Math can be used to insert mathematical formulas into Writer, Calc and Impress. It can also be used as a standalone application.

OpenOffice also includes many templates that you can use to create your documents with. There is a Template Repository where other OpenOffice users can place new templates for other users to download and use. There most likely a template already created for anything you can possibly need. If you can’t find it in the built in templates then you can get more templates online to add to your collection.

As you can see OpenOffice is a great office productivity suite that you can use for free. It’s always being improved upon by other users so it will just get better and better as time goes on.

Part 1 - OpenOffice Downloading and Installing


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