How to Use OpenOffice

by eHow Computers Editor

Open Office is an open source office suite. It is compatible with all the major office suites, but Open Office is free to download, use and distribute. Open Office offers 6 components: Writer, Impress, Math, Draw, Calc and Base. Open Office also offers extensions and the community is continually working on new and improved features.

Download the latest version of Open Office to your computer. Open Office is a multi-platform suite, meaning it can run on almost all platforms, such as Windows, Mac, Linux, Solaris and FreeBSD. You can also download Open Office in a variety of languages.

Use Open Office Writer as your word processor. It's comparable to MS Word with some helpful added features. You can save documents you've created in Writer in a multitude of formats (including doc.) so people can open them using different programs, including Word.

Use Calc as your standard spreadsheet program. It comes complete with wizards to help guide you through its many functions, and it can open and save your spreadsheets in many formats including XML, OpenDocument standard format and Excel format. Calc comes with many advanced features, but novices easily learn it. Calc comes with a fully featured HELP program that walks you through creating and editing spreadsheets.

Create great presentations with Impress. You can save work in Impress in ppt. format if you want to collaborate with Powerpoint users, or you can save in OpenDocument format. You also can use Impress to create Flash versions of your presentation.

Use Draw to create drawings, graphics and diagrams. Draw also lets you create Flash animations of your creations.

Access databases with Base. Base has wizards, different views and can also access dBase files for simple work. Base supports Adabas D, ADO, MS Access, MySQL and any other database driven by ODBC and JDBC.


  • check Use Math to add mathematical equations to documents in Writer, Calc and Impress. Math comes with all the symbols and markups you need to communicate effectively.