Computer maintenance tips, information, and technology news Simply Perfect

Recently my sister-in-law called me with the following problem: her daughter had a Word Document that she needed to work on for homework, but she could not get Microsoft Office to run because the version that came with her Dell PC was asking for a product key and she was having trouble locating it. I told her to try instead of rummaging through the house looking for the missing product key. office suite is the freeware alternative to Microsoft Office. While Microsoft Office has many features tailored to business use, has all the features necessary for home users and can be used in an office environment as well. I have been using it exclusively for two years now and am very happy with it. Take it for a test-run and decide for yourself. The price (free) is hard to beat and the quality of the software is outstanding. includes the following programs: Launcher: Makes it easy to choose a new document type, but individual OpenOffice programs can be started without the use of the launcher. launcher

Writer: Word Processor equivalent to Microsoft Word and Corel WordPerfect. It can open and edit Word Documents and Wordperfect Documents. It can also save in DOC (Microsoft Office) format but not in WPD (Corel WordPerfect) format. Writer

Impress: Presentation program similar to Microsoft PowerPoint. It can open and view PowerPoint Presentations. Additionally, presentations can be saved as Flash (SWF) so that they can be viewed in any PC with Flash Player installed. Impress

Calc: Spreadsheet program comparable to Microsoft Excel. Can open Excel Spreadsheets and is feature-rich. Calc

Base: Database program equivalent to Microsoft Access. Base

Draw: Vector Graphics program similar to Microsoft Visio and Microsoft Publisher. Draw

Math: Program for mathematical formula creation comparable to Microsoft Equation Editor. Math is a very robust Office Suite with the ability to save documents as PDF with just one click: save as PDF

The settings are extremely customizable and can be set to automatically save as Microsoft Word Document format (DOC) by going to Tools, Options from within any program. Click the plus sign next to: Load/Save, then choose General to edit the file format options (see screen shot below). Choose: Always save as Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP, then click OK. options

If you install it and decide it's not for you, can be easily uninstalled via Add/Remove Programs. You have nothing to lose, try today.