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Introduction to StarOffice 6.0 and OpenOffice.org 1.0

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If you're considering jumping the Microsoft Office ship, but are worried about the quality of the other players, read this introduction to StarOffice 6.0 and OpenOffice.org 1.0 — the open source alternatives from Sun and the open source community.
This chapter is from the book
  • One-Minute Guide

  • Top Ten Reasons to Use StarOffice or OpenOffice.org

  • StarOffice Essentials

  • OpenOffice.org Essentials

  • What's New in StarOffice and OpenOffice

  • Switching From Microsoft Office

One-Minute Guide

StarOffice and OpenOffice.org are your free tickets to ride the Microsoft Office train without actually going anywhere near the station. StarOffice and OpenOffice.org open all the Microsoft Office formats—Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. And you can save any file in any of those formats, too. You can create a new Microsoft text document, spreadsheet, or set of slides without ever using Microsoft.

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Goes beyond Microsoft Office In addition, StarOffice and OpenOffice.org open over 200 other formats. Your old AmiPro and Interleaf and WordPerfect files, GIFs and SVG and PNG graphics—just about anything. Not only do you get the ability to open and edit all the files Microsoft does, but you get a whole lot more.

StarOffice and OpenOffice.org StarOffice and OpenOffice.org are two very similar versions of the same software. Sun took StarOffice, gave the source code to the OpenOffice.org community, and then kept developing StarOffice themselves. So you've got StarOffice, backed and developed by Sun Microsytems, and OpenOffice.org, backed and developed by the OpenOffice.org open source community. StarOffice gives support and training; OpenOffice.org has a lot of documentation and FAQs on its site, too.

The features are pretty similar, so you can use this book with either one. Whenever there are significant differences, we'll point them out.

What each one costs StarOffice is $75, OpenOffice.org is free.

Going from Microsoft Office to StarOffice or OpenOffice.org StarOffice and OpenOffice.org are somewhat similar to Microsoft Office. If you're an MS Office user, you'll still have to do some learning, but you'll have lots of "Oh, this is the same" moments. Plus, with StarOffice and OpenOffice.org you've got a great drawing/image editing program, Draw, which goes way beyond the minor tools you get in Microsoft Office. Draw is an excellent program, simpler for some than Adobe products, but with lots of power and features.

Get started Just hit Chapter Chapter 2, Installation, on page 19, or to learn more, read ''StarOffice Essentials'' on page 7 or ''OpenOffice.org Essentials'' on page 8. To see what's changed, see ''What's New in StarOffice and OpenOffice'' on page 11.

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