Open Office () is open source software, collaboratively developed by people from all over the world. The Microsoft Office Suite (MsOffice), on the other hand, was solely developed by the Microsoft Corporation. They have pretty much the same content - a word processor, a spreadsheet application, a presentation maker, etc. However, they have some major differences that makes them unique from each other.
First - Open Office is cheaper than MsOffice. The cheapest MsOffice package starts at USD 149.99 while Open Office is absolutely free. A hundred and fifty dollars may not hurt a lot, but this becomes a considerable pain in the neck when a large company has a lot of computers to install it to, as the each MsOffice package can be installed on just one computer, as required by law.
Many universities across the world have shifted to OpenOffice because of this. The University of Melbourne and the US State of Maine are just two of them. Various private companies have also adopted them, such as Sumitomo of Japan, and also government offices, like the City Government of Berlin, Germany.
However, some institutions still prefer MsOffice due to its popularity and familiarity. Some features of OpenOffice work in a very odd and unintuitive way. For example, putting page numbers on text files in OpenOffice Writer can be one heck of a challenge, while it takes only a couple of seconds in Ms Word.
Second - OpenOffice has everything in it, unlike some MS Office Packages. All of the features of OpenOffice are already there - it has an equation editor, an HTML editor, everything. On the other hard, the basic MsOffice package, MsOffice Student Edition at USD 149.99, only has Excel (spreadsheet), Word (word processor) and PowerPoint (presentation maker), while everything else is a la carte. A full MsOffice package can cost as much as USD 499.99 - the same price for a mid-end laptop.
However, MsOffice gives more comprehensive technical support than its competitor. MsOffice offers phone-based support, something that is very important for someone who needs accurate answers fast. OpenOffice on the other hand, offers only forum-based support, which can be problematic especially when you do not know the name for the feature that you are having a problem about.
Every time you go over to someone else's house or even go to work you always seem to come across Microsoft Office 2003 and if you are like me you probably wonder why they don't make the upgrade to 2007. It's possible that they are afraid of the differences or even more likely the price!
Some of the featured changes in Office 2007 are the User Interface Ribbon, the menu bar, and the quick access tool bar. In office 2007 they did away with the standard drop down boxes click and click functionality. At the top there are seven categories; click on these to access the most used functions in previous versions of the software. They placed all of these functions in a user friendly graphical interface.
Most people are also used to the menu bar at the top containing all of the functions in the software that can also be found in the old GUI, they did away with this outdated feature and added an Office logo in the top left corner which contains most of the functions found in the file menu. Just to the right of this menu are the a few of the most commonly used functions, like save and print. One of my personal favorite features is the quick access tool bar that appears when you right click, for example in Word 2007 it contains the most used functions right at your mouse tip for easy access like Bold, Italics, and Underline.
If the new easy to use features are not enough to get you to switch or upgrade to Office 2007, then what is holding you back?
Office 2007 is not a huge system hog, the minimum system requirements are normal Pentium III PC with Windows XP SP 2, Server 2003 SP1, or Vista; at least 256 MB RAM and 2 GB hard drive space can be use to install Office 2007. If you already purchased Office 2003 then it's obvious you're already used to playing way too much for an Office suite software package. Office 2007 also offers eight different packages for you to choose from, these included Microsoft Office Enterprise, Professional Plus, Ultimate, Professional, Small Business, Standard, Home & Student and Basic 2007.
However, if you just are not a believer that $675.95 is worth it for a few office programs then visit my blog to find out more about the specific changes to Office 2007, what the packages include and how to get yourself a copy of Microsoft Office 2007 completely free, thats right obtain a working copy at absolutely no cost to you.
I cannot possibly tell you in the scope of this article many things a person can do with Microsoft Excel. It is used in homes, schools Kindergarten through college, and a variety of small businesses by thousands of people. Knowledge of office applications is a need in almost every place a prospective employer is hiring for. The salary a person receives depends on their level of ability. So the question is what do you want to learn about Microsoft Excel? There are some very practical ways to approach your goal of learning Microsoft Excel.
The first step is to figure out just how much you need to know based on what your needs are. The knowledge is out there to help you with a home project, job promotion or how to go all the way to Microsoft Excel Certification.
There is a surplus of ideas that come to mind for learning Microsoft Excel. The first place to start would be at your favorite book store. When you are shopping for your book it is wise to look at the contents first. If you are reading this article you are most likely a beginner; a good starting point would be to explore the excel window, learn a few keywords, and how to navigate a worksheet. Two things to consider are: if topics are within your level of expertise, and are structured for the beginner.
Most community colleges offer classes in office applications that are either credit or non-credit classes. Most local library's have free computer classes. If you are the type of learner who needs someone to coach you along the way these are good choices for you.
If you are the more adventurous type and self-motivated Microsoft's web site offers help and how to video courses that take you through step by step tutorials you can also link to information about Microsoft Certification. The web site's navigation is very easy so finding the video courses is a relatively easy try.
There are easy to read icons at the top of the page and you can just click on the office application of your choice to gain access to the free instructions. Be aware though that the video courses only cover Microsoft Office 2010. If you have an older version of Microsoft Office on your computer you may find some instructions by reading the links to find older versions or use the search bar to type in your version of Microsoft Office. For written instruction check the library, thrift stores, eBay, yard sales, and bookstores that carry older books. Just have fun with it and remember nothing you do on your computer is Permanent so if you mess up just start over.
So decide what your level of expertise is and what you want it to be. Figuring out where to start is the most difficult step in any project. You won't be so overwhelmed by all the information out there if you already know what you are looking for. Then have some fun with an inventory, such as a collection or if you are working out a family budget then use the formatting to make it have a visually pleasing look.
by Dorolis Day-Morris