OpenOffice, A Free Cross Platform Alternative to MS Office

Whatever the software, Microsoft dominated the market until some years back. The highly used text editor like MS Word was one of them. Apart from that, the presence of the magical Excel sheets and PowerPoint presentations gave value to a program like MS Office Suite.

However, instead of getting such an expensive office suite, OpenOffice is there to help you out. Out of the MS Office alternatives availed, OpenOffice is one of them.

This is what the OpenOffice alternative to MS Office is. OpenOffice is available for operating systems like Windows, Linux, and Mac. Let us have a look at the software in more detail.


When we speak of ‘Writer’, we are speaking of ‘MS Word’. Writer is almost a photocopy of MS Word. The options that are available in MS Word also come in Writer.

You can create documents, edit them, rename them, track the changes made. While working with Writer, you will get a feel as if you are still in the MS Word environment.

Open Office 3

Those who are aware of the features of the MS Word Suite will know the similarities between the Microsoft package and OpenOffice. As MS Word can be custom installed, there are options to select in OpenOffice as well.

The OpenOffice installation wizard will guide you through the process.


Impress is the substitute for PowerPoint. As you create slides, give them various effects and make an impressive presentation, Impress does the same for you.

It gives you breathtaking templates, which you can work on to create and publish presentations, which seem as they are prepared by a pro.


Calc serves you in the same ways, as does the Excel program. There is visibly no difference between the two programs. Calc has also rows and columns exactly the way one uses in Excel spreadsheets. Interestingly, the dropdown option of the OpenOffice also uses the same word – spreadsheet.


Draw is synonymous with MS Publisher. Draw has loads of features stacked in it, which one can get to see in any other standard desktop publishing software.

There is a huge stock of clip arts in the Open Clip Art Library. You can use the available ones to add in your document.

A Final Word – A Flip Flop Of Two Good Software

One may agree on the fact that OpenOffice free cross platform, can be duly seen as a potential alternative to the good old MS Office we have loved for years and years now. Though it is ‘open’, it is yet not as good as, what the MS Office is. If on one hand MS Office contains the built in Ribbon feature that comes in Office 2007, on the other, OpenOffice boasts of a portable version that is portable to carry around on a flash drive.

MS Word gives you liberty to work with both the .docx and .doc formats. However, in OpenOffice, you can only have the software open the .docx files. It is lame when it comes to saving the files in the same format.