Open Office Tutorial is published as a free, self-teaching tutorial or guide to assist consumers with using the Open Office suite of software programs. As an avid Open Office user for more than five years in both personal, academic, and corporate settings, a common issue that would arise for me over the years would be figuring out how to use both the basic and advanced features offered in the powerful open source suite of tools that is Open Office. Our focus on this site will be to focus on the more commonly encountered issues by new users of Open Office and proceed to more advanced Open Office Tutorials that power users will sometimes encounter problems with.

What is Open Office?

Open Office (or OO for short), has been in production for more than 20 years at the time of the launch of Commonly looked at as a free or low-cost alternative to Microsoft Office, OO includes word processing, database, presentation, spreadsheet, and graphics software tools and is available in a number of languages. The software suite is able to be run on any operating system (OS) that supports Java. More powerfully, Open Office only saves content in Internationally supported formats and is cross-compatible with both WordPerfect and the MS Office suite of products.

Apache Open Office Component Applications

Apace OpenOffice comes with a number of component applications (or programs) for the end-user to enjoy. These include Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math, and Base.
Writer : The Writer application is one of the most-used in the software suite of programs. It is the AOO (Apache Open Office) alternative to the commercially available Microsoft Word and WordPerfect programs.
Calc: The Calc application is a spreadsheet program similar to Lotus 1-2-3 and Microsoft Excel.
Impress : Impress is a presentation program that is similar to Apple Keynote and Microsoft Power Point. It is also able to export files to the Adobe Flash (SWF) format that allows playback on any computer with the Flash player installed.
Draw: Draw is a popular vector graphics editor that brings similar features to the Microsoft Office drawing functions and even Microsoft Paint (with more functionality).
Math : Math is a popular tool that can be used to edit and create Math formulae. It is similar to MathType and the Microsoft Equation Editor. These formulae can subsequently be embedded into other Open Office documents.
Base : The database management program (Base) bundled with OpenOffice that is similar to Microsoft Access. IT is able to work with a number of database systems to include MySQL, Access, and ODBC data sources. The program comes natively with HSQLDB.

Open Office Tutorial Approach takes a self-taught or self-teaching approach to the guides

Legacy Brother WP-1400D editing electronic typewriter

published on the site. The guides are written assuming a basic level of competence while using a computer (ie you know how to login), but take care to ensure we cover each click or step required to conduct an action. When possible, images or pictures are included within the tutorials to allow readers to compare their results while following the tutorial to see if they have conducted the step(s) appropriately. Power or advanced users will be able to skim much of the tutorial and get at the meat of the task(s) required to do the work; however, basic or beginning users will want to ensure all steps are followed.

Just How Easy is Open Office to Use?

Many consumers approach free or open source software tepidly if they have any experience using applications that were low or no cost. This is due to the fact that many other programs released in open source remain in constant development and assume that all users of the software are “advanced” and capable of doing mystical things such as “building” or “compiling” the software package. OpenOffice is just the opposite. If you are at the uber-geek level of computing skills, you can go there; however, the production team releases stable builds of the software package allowing the programs to be used without fear by “normal” or “beginning” computer users with an installation process similar to other commercially produced computer applciations.

Are There Advertisements Embedded in Open Office?

The short answer is no. There are no advertisements, Spyware, etc bundled with any of the OO releases. The majority of current OO users previously used MS or Wordperfect Office (or other competing wordprocessing and spreadsheet programs). There is also a growing population of OO users who have been using Google Docs, but have found the need for a stable, offline capable office productivity suite of applications. OO is distributed without license fees and is released under the LGPL. LGPL permits business, home, or academic use of the software package.

Can Open Office Handle My Needs?

Open Office is considered a mature suite of software applications and supports the Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, OS X, and Sun Solaris Operating Systems to name a few. Most home computer users that end up using the software suite do so when they find themselves with the choice of paying a significant amount of money for a commercial toolkit such as Microsoft Office or seeking a lower-priced alternative such as OO. The best thing that I like about trying out the OO suite of programs is that it costs me exactly $0 USD to do so! You can do the same and determine if Open Office is for you or not.

What Are Some Alternatives to Open Office?

Two of the best known alternatives to Open Office include LibreOffice and NeoOffice that are equivalently priced at $0 USD. Please note, that if you see someone offering Apace OpenOffice for sale on Ebay for something like $1.99 or a small amount of Bitcoin, then they are likely just looking to scam a few bucks from you as the project is released for free for the Apache build.

LibreOffice was created from the OpenOffice codebase and is developed as a separate open source initiative. It provides six free programs with the software download that include: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math and Base.

NeoOffice was originally created in 2003 when OpenOffice would not work on Mac OS X. Since that time, both OpenOffice and LibreOffice have been expanded to support the Mac OS; however, the developers of NeoOffice include Mac specific functionality that is not found in the other codebases that is popular with power-Mac users.

Is Open Office being Updated?

The short answer is yes, Open Office is still being updated. One of the succeeding projects of the original Open Office is Apache OpenOffice (AOO) and is very similar to NeoOffice and LibreOffice. Similar to past versions of Open Office, the software suite of applications includes a spreadsheet program (Calc), word processor (Writer), presentation application (Impress), database management application (Base), formula editor (math), and a drawing application (Draw). Apache OpenOffice is available for download and use on MacOS X, Linux, and Windows and has ports to other operating systems (OS’s) and is available in 41 languages. Although the project went almost 10 months between updates in 2017, the open source project released AOO build 4.1.4 in October 2017 and continues to see up to 100,000 downloads per day.

Open Office Tutorials

Getting Started – How to Install Open Office (Windows, Linux)

(Linked as Content is Published)
Open Office Writer Tutorials
Open Office Calc / Spreadsheet Tutorials
Open Office Impress / Presentation Tutorials
Open Office Draw Tutorials
Open Office Base Tutorials
Open Office Math Tutorials


3 Responses to Open Office Tutorial

  1. Christine Abbott says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing some tutorials on using Open Office Draw. Any chance of these happening any time soon?

  2. Agnes Ma says:

    I need to learn Open Office Base Tutorials. When will this one posted?

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