Useful Open Source Software:

| tech | software | foss |

update 6/11/2024: this is a post from a blog that I contributed to in 2011 called TechHacking, it shut down eventually but I was happy to be able to find some of my work through the internet archive.

If you are student, own a business, or work anywhere near computers you know that the office suite is one of the most fundamental pieces of software that you use to complete everyday tasks. Whether it is making a spreadsheet for a home budget, a presentation for class, or writing a resume, having a solid, easy to use, and efficient office suite to allow you to accomplish these tasks is vital.

Microsoft has created a benchmark in the Office Suite field with Microsoft Office. The only downfall is that it can be very expensive. Similarly, Apple has iWork which is also a very promising office suite. Some lesser known office suites are offered by IBM (Lotus Notes) and Corel’s Wordprefect. Although the latter are a little less pricey than microsoft’s product they still have a substantial price tag. is an easy to use, compatible, and productive piece of software which essentially does all of the same things that you would normally do in Word or iWork except – it is free. is open source software, which basically means that you are free to download, copy, use, distribute, and thrive in the software without ever having to pay for a license fee. is completely compatible with Microsoft Office, so you are able to share all of your work with anyone who does not use Openoffice, and you will be able to see any word documents that are sent to you. In addition to the standard word, spreadsheet, and powerpoint, Openoffice is also packed with other goodies such as a database application which allows you to create rich databases, a drawing application which allows you to make great posters and flyers, and even a equation editor which allows you to effectively communicate math on your computer. The best part is that all of these features are free.

Writer - The word processing application in the Productivity Suite

Calc - Spreadsheet application

Impress - Presentation Software

Draw - Drawing Application

Base - Database Software

As you can see from the pictures, Open Office looks pretty familiar. It has easy menu navigation, intuitive formatting options, and tons of free templates available on the website. 3 is developed using an open-software, “no secrets” approach. Anyone can look at the programs and suggest improvements, or fix bugs. not only sets the example for other open source projects, it is giving Microsoft, Apple, IBM, and Corel a run for their money. It is a shining example of how great pieces of software can be created when you work in an open environment, where the individuals and companies who are working on a project are more worried about quality, and less worried about how much to charge for their licenses.

OpenOffice.Org is a great piece of software, it is easy to use, it is free, and it runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux. Why not give it a try?

This is the first of a new series that I will be blogging about called “Useful Open Source Software” over the next few months I will attempt to introduce you all to the cream of the crop of open source software. I hope you will give it a try and tell me what you think. – Lev

Thank you for reading! Share your thoughts with me on mastodon or via email.

Check out some more stuff to read down below.

Most popular posts this month

Recent Favorite Blog Posts

This is a collection of the last 8 posts that I bookmarked.

Articles from blogs I follow around the net

Today in heavy-handed metaphors

Sam Altman is the owner of a massive, invasive, parasitical toxic sludge that respects no boundaries and ruins everything it touches, and that he thinks someone else should clean up. Also his new house has mold. OpenAI CEO's $27 million San Francisco ma…

via jwz July 19, 2024

Weeknotes: GPT-4o mini, LLM 0.15, sqlite-utils 3.37 and building a staging environment

Upgrades to LLM to support the latest models, and a whole bunch of invisible work building out a staging environment for Datasette Cloud. GPT-4o mini and LLM 0.15 Today's big news was the release of GPT-4o mini, which I wrote about here. If you build ap…

via Simon Willison's Weblog: Entries July 19, 2024

ESM3: A simplified primer to the model's architecture

A short primer explaining the architecture of the ESM3 model

via Emmanuel Blogs July 18, 2024

Generated by openring