Free Software

Summary / Quick Tips

Microsoft Office is not the only option for word processing and spreadhsheets.

Download the widely used Open Office for free.

Or if you prefer to store and optionally share you documents online, try Google Docs

Open Office

Open Office has been around for a long time and is a well respected competitor of Microsoft office.

Open Office provides:

1) A word processor (called Writer)

2) A spreadsheet (called Calc)

3) Presentation software (called Impress)

They also provide database and drawing software, but we have never needed those tools.

We use Open Office because:

It can open many Microsoft Office documents.

It's free and regularly updated.

It can export documents to PDF format. (see below)

Google Docs

It's free to register and use Google Docs and they also provide word processors, spreadsheets and simplistic presentation software.

The benefits are:

You do not need to download any software.

Your documents are stored online and can therefore be accessed by any Internet enabled computer and shared with colleagues in remote locations.

You can export documents to PDF format. (see below)

Why Export Documents to PDF Format

If you want to send documents (e.g. invoices) to your customers, we recommend converting or exporting your documents as PDF. Most computers have the required software installed to read PDFs but if they don't they can download the reader for free. An additional benefit is that the document cannot be easily modified by the recipient.

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