Tagged With openoffice.org

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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Windows only: OpenOffice.org 3, the latest version of the free, open-source office suite, has gotten a full thumb drive packaging by the PortableApps.com team. That's great news for anyone working while travelling, or who wants to test out the features and improvements of the 3.0 release without a full installation on their system. This OpenOffice version has also been rolled into the full PortableApp suite, a customizable, menu-launched package of nifty tools for your USB drive. OpenOffice.org Portable 3.0 is a free downoad for any thumb drive, but requires a Windows system (or Linux system with WINE) to run. It doesn't appear to require Java on the host machine.

OpenOffice.org Portable 3.0

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Windows only: SoftMaker Office is a free, lightweight office suite consisting of two fast, simple applications. The first, TextMaker, is a Microsoft Word-compatible word processor that runs lean (using around 12MB of RAM on my system) and is surprisingly feature rich. The second, called PlanMaker, is an Excel-compatible spreadsheet app that likewise offers impressive functionality, speed, and an equally light footprint. As if all that wasn't good enough, SoftMaker Office can run off your thumb drive, so it's a no-brainer when you need to open a Word or Excel document on someone else's computer. If you need an occasional word processor or spreadsheet app but don't need all the extra bloat of Microsoft Office, OpenOffice.org, or even previously mentioned Go-oo, this one's worth a try. SoftMaker Office is a free download, Windows only. Thanks johnsmith1234!

SoftMaker Office 2006

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Windows/Linux: Free application Go-oo is a fork of the popular Microsoft Office alternative OpenOffice.org focusing on speed and greater compatibility. If you've ever used OpenOffice.org, Go-oo's load speed may blow your mind the first time you launch it, and it maintains a relatively small footprint while you're using it. The actual look and feel of Go-oo is the same as OpenOffice.org because it's essentially the same application (it's even still called OpenOffice.org). It is, however, stripped of some of the new features available in OO.org 3.0. Go-oo is free, Windows and Linux only. If you're a frequent OO.org user and you give it a try, let's hear how it compares in the comments.

Go-oo

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OpenOffice.org only (Windows/Mac/Linux): The Sun PDF Import extension imports and edits PDFs with the free Microsoft Office alternative OO.org. Rather than import the PDFs into the Writer program, the extension works with OO.org's Draw application. Once imported, you can still edit text or other portions of the document. The extension isn't perfect, but it appears to be under active development and could come in really handy under the right circumstances. The Sun PDF Import extension is free, works wherever OpenOffice.org 3.0 does. Want to learn more about whether OO.org can replace Office? Check out our first look at the latest release.

Sun PDF Import Extension

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Free, alternative office suite OpenOffice.org's latest version 3.0 is now available for download by testers. OpenOffice.org 3.0 Release Candidate 1 offers several new features and improvements from its last major release, including better Mac support and collaboration capabilities. Let's take a look at the notable fso you can decide if it's worth taking another look at OpenOffice.org as an alternative to Microsoft Office.

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Windows/Mac/Linux (OpenOffice): The Sun Wiki Publisher, a free extension for the OpenOffice.org office suite, lets you edit and contribute to any MediaWiki-based page on the web, assuming it accepts anonymous editing or you have credentials. The real benefit lies in being able to use OpenOffice's styling tools—bolding, lists, tables, and the like—instead of having to remember the MediaWiki markup style. Creating a new page is relatively simple, but editing an existing page requires, at least with this version, copying and pasting an article in Writer, then sending it to the wiki for updating. For those rocking their own wiki web pages (or thumb drives), this extension might make a nice go-between. The Sun Wiki Publisher is a free download, works wherever OpenOffice.org does.

Sun Wiki Publisher

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Windows/Mac/Linux (all platforms): OpenOffice.org, the free office application suite, has released a beta of its 3.0 version to the public with a few key features rolled in. The biggest update is native support for Mac OS X platforms, meaning no need to install X11 packages on older Macs or switch to NeoOffice for a smoother experience (although NeoOffice plans to release a 3.0 of its own, so stay tuned). OpenOffice also adds built-in conversion filters for Office 2007/Mac Office 2008 files, a new "solver" function for spreadsheets, enhanced notes and viewing options in Writer, and other enticements for those willing to risk a few bugs. OpenOffice.org 3.0 beta is a free download for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux systems.

OpenOffice.org 3.0 beta

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Windows only: Open OpenDocument Format (ODF) files in Microsoft Office using the OpenXML/ODF Translator, a free plug-in for Microsoft Word. One of the most obvious benefits is being able to open OpenOffice.org-created word documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, although other apps (like Google Docs) are starting to hop on the OpenDocument bandwagon as well. Users of Office 2007 should be able to install the plug-in and get right-click access to ODF files; those with earlier copies may have to install the Compatibility Pack and .NET 2.0 to get it working. The OpenXML/ODF Translator is a free download for Windows systems only; make sure to grab the right language version of the plug-in at the SourceForge link below.

OpenXML/ODF Translator Add-in for Office

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Linux only: Expand OpenOffice.org's document opening, saving, and conversion powers to Office 2007 documents with the OpenXML Translator, a free plug-in intended for Ubuntu systems (although other Debian-based systems might be able to use it as well). Grab a package for your 32- or 64-bit system, install it (hitting the via link if you need help with that) and OpenOffice will be able to read and save files to the .docx format. Conversion from Microsoft Office-authored files remains hit-and-miss, but it's a nice step forward for the free and open-source office suite. The OpenXML translator is a free download for Linux systems only.

OpenOffice.org OpenXML Translator

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Windows warrior Dennis O'Reilly takes a look at making Microsoft Word and OpenOffice.org's Writer app play nice together‐as nice as possible, anyway. For those dual-booting, rocking OO.org without Word, or managing with both apps is keeping documents uncluttered with pictures and embedded objects, setting OO.org to always save to Word file formats, and changing a few config options to help Writer do a better job of importing files. The two apps will still argue over the occasional font and formatting differences, but O'Reilly's guide can help you find some common ground on your desktop.

Make sure Word, OpenOffice.org Writer play well together

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Windows only: Free web site/software combo DocSyncer has just rolled out its public beta, pitching a set-it-and-forget-it way of syncing your computer's documents with Google Docs. After signing up and installing the software, DocSyncer goes to work uploading all the Microsoft Office and OpenOffice documents it finds in your Documents and Desktop folders. You can then choose which file types will be synced to Google Docs and set DocSyncer to open those files with local software instead of Google Docs, but you'll likely want to make a few more tweaks before leaving it running.

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Windows/Mac/Linux: The OpenOffice.org2GoogleDocs extension imports documents from Google Docs and Spreadsheets to OpenOffice.org and exports from OO.org to GDocs so you can work with your docs both online and off as you see fit. Whether you're primarily a Google Docs or OO.org fan, this desktop-to-web integration seems like an excellent way to take your docs with you whether you're online or off, and if nothing else is a quick and simple way to backup your local documents to the internet. The OpenOffice.org2GoogleDocs extension is free, works anywhere you've installed OpenOffice.org (Windows, Mac, or Linux). Web site DocSyncer is looking to do similar things for your Microsoft Office docs, but right now it's in an invite-only beta. OO.org2GDocs is here right now.

OpenOffice.org2GoogleDocs