Wednesday Nov 18, 2009

Last Week's OpenOffice Reviews

1. Why I Dumped Microsoft Office –, 11/11
The blogger has been using OpenOffice 3.2 beta for a week and said, “this program rocks...the developers of OpenOffice have really made a lot of great improvements.” He said the OpenOffice suite has “a good 90% of the functionality of Office 2003,” and pointed out that “there is a low learning curve for the transition between Microsoft Office and OpenOffice.”
2. 9 Best Free Alternatives to Paid Commercial Software –, 11/11
Blogger Dan said “OpenOffice replicates almost all of the same, functionality, menus, and even file formats,” of Microsoft Office, making it a viable alternative. He said “for most fans of the old office, or students who just need to jam out a paper now and then without paying Microsoft, it will do the trick.”

3. 10 Helpful & Useful Apps for Small Business –, 11/9
Joe Manna, in discussing the top 10 apps for a small business, said OpenOffice has “a great core set of apps that allow you to author documents, presentations, and spreadsheets with ease.” He said the office suite is often “underrated,” but that it is “very suitable for many small businesses and entrepreneurs.”

4. 4 FREE Online Tools that you SHOULD be using in ANY business –, 11/7
The blogger, who has been using OpenOffice for the past 9 months said, “Not once have I 'missed' any of the features available in MS Office.” He continued to say, “all said and done, OpenOffice has served me just fine. I would go ahead and say that it is perfect because apart from being a direct replacement of the most popular office software, OpenOffice is free.”

5. 3.1.1 for Mac: first impression –, 11/7
The blogger was pleased to see the “command + shift + right arrow or left arrow” was again available in Calc of the 3.1.1 release of OpenOffice. He said of the entire suite “it's much more stable,” and said because of that “I'm putting the schedule to shift my staff from Microsoft Office users into OpenOffice users.”

6. Lesser Known, But Very Helpful Features in Writer –, 11/5
Jack Wallen highlighted several lesser-known features available in OpenOffice Writer to include notes, mail merge, and styles and formatting, all of which he said can be used “to make OpenOffice Writer work as a much more powerful tool in your office.”

Tuesday Nov 10, 2009

Recent OpenOffice Reviews

1. Countdown to OpenOffice 3.2 – Writer -–, 11/4
The blogger is writing a multi-part series looking at the new and upgraded features coming in the 3.2 release of OpenOffice. He focused on changes to Writer in this post, saying they “should prove to be very useful” highlighting upgrades to the word correct-auto complete, alternative text for writer objects, and apply style shortcut functions.
2. A Guide to Locating Free Database Software –-, 11/4
David Ryan described OpenOffice as “a professional level set of programs available free,” noting that as a group it is “well-matched with Microsoft Office.” He recommended the software suite for Base, noting that it is SQL compliant and runs on a variety of systems.

3. Freight Broker Training Resources –-, 11/3
Blogger John Thomas described OpenOffice as a “slick resource that will give you everything you need to view spreadsheets, documents, and PDF files.” He also pointed out that a word document can be easily converted into a PDF file with the click of a button in OpenOffice.

4. OpenOffice vs Microsoft Office –-, 11/1
Jaimie Dobson tested OpenOffice this past week and said he would highly recommend the office productivity suite to a budget conscious business owner not only because it is free, but it has “loads of free add-ons and templates, looks and works like MS Office including the same keyboard shortcuts, [and] will open MS Office documents.”

5. Microsoft Office: Free Alternatives Are Available –-, 10/31
In discussing options to MS Office the blogger said “many people like the features and appearance of OpenOffice,” which closely resembles MS Office 2003, and may “actually seem an improvement in appearance and organization” versus Office 2007. However, he noted that OpenOffice cannot save in the new proprietary MS Office 2007 formats, which can lead to compatibility issues.

6. 6 must have add-ons to enhance your experience -–, 10/29
The blogger said one of the greatest aspects of OpenOffice “is the extent to which you can customize it with the thousands of freely available add-ons.” He then listed his six favorite add-ons that he said will “take your to the max.”

7. Install OpenOffice on Ubuntu 9.04 (command line method) -–, 11/5
The blogger posted a tutorial that demonstrated how to install OpenOffice in Ubuntu 9.04 using the command line.

8. Base and Impress Tutorial Videos for ShowMeDo -–, 11/3
Ian Ozsvald posted two free introductory tutorial videos for using OpenOffice Impress and OpenOffice Base. The remainder of the series, 8 total for Base, and 3 total for Impress, are available inside ShowMeDo for paying members or existing authors.

Thursday Aug 13, 2009 3.1 deep dive from PC Pro

PC Pro's Simon Jones published a deep-dive review of 3.1 and said the update “brings some welcome features and some much needed polish to the nearest thing Microsoft Office has to a competitor.”

Simon highlighted the new anti-aliasing of graphics, which he noted “greatly improves the clarity of charts and drawings,” and the showing of shadow objects while dragging, saying both of these features alone make OpenOffice “look much more professional.”
There were several new features Simon found to be of value in Calc, including the zoom control on the status bar, the displayed hints about syntax functions as a formula is typed, and the auto-complete of the function names. He described sorting in Calc to be more logical and consistent, saying this “makes for a big improvement in usability.” Simon also noted the removal of some performance bottlenecks, which resulted in a faster calculation speed of large, complicated workbooks.

Simon also detailed the improved commenting feature available in Writer, along with the new file locking implementation included in the suite, which allows a user to tell if a file is already opened by someone else, even if that person is using a different OS.

Overall, a nice deep dive indeed!

Tuesday Jun 23, 2009

Consumer Reviews of OpenOffice

1. Set of free Microsoft Office powerful offline alternatives -- Piyada's World, 6/17
The blogger writes OpenOffice is "probably the best alternative of MS Office and each time I use it I am just confused how this is free!" He says after using OpenOffice "There is no real reason to buy an office suite," and says the great thing about OpenOffice is its cross-platform ability that can be used in any major OS without worry.
2. OpenOffice instead of Microsoft Office -- 2 Tech Divas, 6/15
Tech Diva Donna writes she "can't seem to shell out hundreds and hundreds of dollars for software," and when her free trial of Microsoft Office expired she "downloaded the next best thing." She says OpenOffice "will get you out of a jam and you can work with Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents easily," and recommends it for anyone "in need of a Microsoft Office substitute."

3. A Cost-Effective Alternative to Microsoft Office -- GoFaxer Blog, 6/15
The blogger writes is great in today's economy where "many people are looking to save money but not affect the quality of their work." The blogger notes that the programs included in the OpenOffice suite "are very similar to how Microsoft Office runs," and says 3.1 is "a reliable substitute to the expensive and ever changing Microsoft Office."

4. OpenOffice -- Philonica et Neotestamentica, 6/11
The blogger writes that he had been skeptical of free open-source software programs but admits "I was very surprised when I finally installed the OpenOffice suite and gave it a try." He notes that he has primarily used the word processor and that "my first impressions of OpenOffice programs are very good."

Wednesday Jun 17, 2009

At a Glance: Last Week's Developer Reviews

JavaFX 1.2 drove several positive review and tips blogs this week, starting with a blogger who decided to try it after hearing Larry Ellison's encouraging comments at JavaOne. He noted, “I definitely had a much more pleasant experience with JavaFX than I was expecting,” and said “it is one of the better documented developer technologies out there with no lack of tutorials.” A blogger upgraded to JavaFX 1.2 to continue working on a mobile JavaFX app he was developing, then published a second post with user tips saying “JavaFX is great for the UI…it’s also a good candidate for writing controllers.”

Bloggers eagerly discussed NetBeans upgrades and tips, and Sunny Talks Tech kicked it off by urging readers to go download the “shiny and new NetBeans 6.7 RC2.” The author at MySpace Pros reviewed 22 different IDEs and concluded of NetBeans, “This open-source IDE is a sweet deal: whether you’re developing in PHP, Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, or something else, you’ll find rich editing features, as well as support for FTP and MySQL.” Finally, a NetBeans Zone blogger said, “NetBeans has got improved IDE support for JavaFX, beyond the SDK update -- much improved.”

VirtualBox positive reviews were in full swing this week – starting off with who recommended using VirtualBox as a “completely free replacement for the popular virtualization software VMware,” noting that because VirtualBox is dedicatedly supported by Sun it “ensures that it always meets professional quality criteria.” Blogger Rkania was disappointed with VMware as it could not support the Compiz effects in Ubuntu, she then found that VirtualBox could handle the task. Finally, an App your Mac blogger wrote that despite being free, VirtualBox “is still feature rich, and equals its rivals in a variety of ways.”

OpenSolaris 2009.06 received a stellar review in ZDNet, titled, “Getting Better All The Time,” by Jason Perlow. Jason said, “OpenSolaris 2006.09 is indeed a significant release for the project and is an excellent enterprise workstation and server OS, and I’m looking forward to tracking future progress of the developers working on it.” Blogger Ganesh Navingre commented this week on DTrace, calling it a wonderful concept available for programmers to utilize for debugging purpose.”
The functionality of drew positive reviews from Linux Journal and blogs this week, as reporter Bruce Byfield walked through the process of creating a query in any database set up in Base. Bruce concluded that Base queries “are simple enough that anybody can use them.” Potpiegirl blogger also provided OO.o tips by writing a tutorial on how to create a PDF Ebook through, noting when using OO.o “all the links WILL work...they will all 'take' and work great.”

Tuesday May 12, 2009

At a Glance: Last Week's OpenSolaris, VirtualBox and NetBeans Reviews

OpenSolaris and ZFS had blogs buzzing last week, starting off with a look at OpenSolaris 2009.06 from Phoronix’s Michael Larabel who called out several feature improvements. Michael highlighted the Image Packaging System, ZFS snapshot time-slider and new desktop artwork, as well as saying the new “Firefox package is bleeding edge.” OpenSolaris
Blogger Simon shared an extensive post about his experiences using Solaris and ZFS on a home fileserver, concluding that he “learnt a lot over the last year about ZFS, and using it has convinced me that I made the right choice in selecting both Solaris and ZFS.”

Gabe Reys, a Solaris systems administrator for a multi-national company, published almost 40 posts to date. His topics include everything from helpful tips on using global and non-global zones in Solaris, to managing ZFS filesystems, to basic and advanced uses of DTrace.

Sun xVM VirtualBox
VirtualBox 2.2 continued to garner positive blogger reviews this week, as Brighthub’s Steve Mallard gave VirtualBox a 5 out of 5 rating in his review that said installation was “straightforward and easy.” Steve also noted that, “VirtualBox has dozens of options and features found in virtualization software that cost hundreds of dollars…the value of virtualization cannot be stressed enough.”

Blogger Tom Puleo said he was really happy with VirtualBox, and “when given the chance, will choose it over Virtual PC or VMware.” He said he liked VirtualBox because it is “fast” and “great for day to day use.”

Blogger Carl reported that he has experimented with a lot of virtualization software and had “come to like VirtualBox best.” After switching his Windows XP virtual machine from VMware to VirtualBox, Carl says “I'm not likely to switch back from VirtualBox any time soon.”

NetBeans 6.7 was the focus of several positive reviews this week, with Dean at Grails Blog saying that the 6.7 Beta is a great release for the Grails community. Dean noted, “NetBeans' support of Grails functionality is nearly on par with that of IntelliJ 8.1.”
The blogger from stated that the new release of NetBeans has excellent support for PHP, and highlighted key aspects such as syntax highlighting, a navigator, and code folding, as well as “nice support for PHP debugging.”

Blogger Brian Silberbauer discussed how when he’s teaching a course on JEE, he begins with NetBeans. He noted, “This is a great help to the students as it gives them the overview of what we will be working with and shows them how quick and easy it is to create a JEE application in NetBeans - It takes the complexity fear out of them (to a certain extent).”

Monday May 11, 2009

Positive reviews in PC World and The Register

Over the weekend, 3.1 got couple of very positive reviews.

Scott Gilbertson of The Register says 3.1 has met the most important criterion of any software upgrade by being "considerably snappier than its predecessor." He notes that ordinary tasks such as opening new documents and inserting charts happened faster "than what we were used to under version 3.0," stating that "you'll definitely appreciate the improvement."
Scott says the biggest change to the new release is the "much-improved" graphics handling that allows graphics to "look much more refined." He notes that the upgrade was a long time coming, but now that it has arrived he says " graphics finally look every bit as good as the competition."

In a PC World review, Rodney Gedda noted that the new version has made "big improvements in usability and the user interface." He highlights the "dramatic performance improvements" in Calc to include improved sorting of cells, additional functions for statistical analysis, and formula hot hints. He also notes an increased ease-of-use with Calc's new zoom slider control, and the ability to rename sheets with a simple double click.

Rodney was also impressed with improved file locking that not only prevents "people accidentally overwriting other's changes" but allows collaborative document editors to now have a "structured conversation" through the updated comments feature.

Sunday May 03, 2009

OpenOffice wins Linux Magazine's 2009 Readers' Choice Award

Linux Journal has announced that has won their 2009 Readers' Choice Award for "Favorite Office Program."

Over 6,000 readers voted in this year's competition and OpenOffice won its category by more than a landslide. ;-)
The editors noted, ", bolstered no doubt by its recent 3.0 release, retains its crown as your Favorite Office Program with the same share of your vote as last year, 85%."

Congratulations, well deserved!!!

Thursday Apr 23, 2009

Recent OpenOffice How-To Articles from ZDNet, Linux Magazine and bloggers

1. Linux Mint and OpenOffice -, 4/16
Jamie Watson provides a tutorial in his article specifically aimed at those using Linux Mint 6, which still only has OpenOffice 2.4.1, but want to upgrade to the latest OpenOffice 3.0 release so that they will benefit from not only being able to open MS Office 2007 files, but the additional security fixes as well. He gives specific and detailed instructions for changing the software repositories in Linux Mint to update to OpenOffice to the 3.0 version.
2. How To: Install OpenOffice 3.0.1 in BT4 - Remote Exploit Forums, 4/17
The blogger writes that several friends have asked for help with installing OpenOffice 3.0.1 on BT4. The blogger provides instructions on how to install OpenOffice, and also warns that BT4 users should not use the apt-get install, as that will lead to the 2.4 version.

3. Using as an Outliner - Linux Magazine, 4/17
Dmitri Popov has written an article on how to turn OpenOffice's Writer application into a lightweight outliner. He describes how to create a custom style or modify an existing model, in addition to using Writer as a two-pane outliner.

4. Logical Notation in OpenOffice 3.0 - Wide Scope, 4/20
Andrew Cullison writes that he has found a simple way for philosophers using OpenOffice to insert logical notation into their papers by adding special commands in the AutoCorrect Feature. Andrew's blog post gives a complete tutorial on how to do so.

Finally, check out Maijaliisa's blog for this week's OpenOffice user reviews.

Monday Apr 06, 2009

Recent OpenOffice Reviews

Last week Computerworld featured an image gallery of the 25 most anticipated open source releases of the coming year, including 3.1. The slide notes, " 3.1 adds a bunch of new features that make it ever-more-similar to (maybe even better than) You-Know-Who's office suite, from notes in the margin (that you can comment on) to better drag-and-drop for graphics objects. You can download the developer build and decide for yourself."
Dmitri Popov from Linux Magazine assured readers that they did not have to be an expert to get started with OpenOffice's Basic programming interface. "This is because comes with its own Basic-based programming language," he said. Dmitri added that although OpenOffice Basic was not the most difficult programming language, it still required some time and effort, especially for non-programmers. In his article, Dmitri aimed at providing a few pointers and code snippets to readers, so that they could put OpenOffice Basic to some practical use without learning the language from scratch.

In a E-Commerce Times post suggesting cost cutting measures around the office, Dana Gardner and a panel of experts recommended the use of OpenOffice as they believed MS Office to be a "big fat cow that needed to be sacrificed." They propagated the use of open source solutions like OpenOffice and StarOffice that would "go a long, long way toward saving money."

Friday Mar 27, 2009

At A Glance: This week's JavaFX, OpenOffice and OpenSolaris Reviews

JavaFX bloggers continued to promote the use of the new software, with one blogger at Free Ebook Manual Download providing an informative tutorial of the software and saying "it was designed from the ground up to make GUI programming easy." Blogger Luis Barragan also encouraged the use of JavaFX 1.1 in several IDEs including NetBeans 6.5.
JavaFX was named one of 14 "Best Bets" on PC World's list of 101 innovative and free tools. It was included on a similar post on Many Money Savers Blog, saying "If you are looking for an office suite program that is free, you can't beat OpenOffice." also was compared positively against MS Office, as blogger Matthew Bhowell said that it was a valid competitor because it offers similar features, provides the ability to create and use existing files on any version, and the free availability of the suite. Another blogger found the cross platform use beneficial as they used OpenOffice to open an old WordPerfect file that MS Word wouldn't access.

OpenSolaris made a strong impression with bloggers testing out the software, as Alyce Mendoza said that OpenSolaris 2008.11 “is progressing to be a great salutation frontward for the desktops newest participant…hats off to everyone setting in the work.” Only a few days into testing OpenSolaris, blogger Randall Rode also said that he was “loving it,” especially the “nicely packaged” Sun Web Stack including Apache, PHP, MySQL and Ruby. OpenSolaris

Tuesday Feb 24, 2009

OpenOffice reviews and how-to articles

1. OpenOffice - the free office suite -- Bukisa, 2/17
The blogger provided an overview of including its history of origin, community surrounding this free open source software product and its different features. He recommended trying the product as " you could replace Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat - saving hundreds of dollars."
2. OpenOffice 3: Useful, Compatible - and Pretty -- My Mp3 Player, 2/17
Touting OpenOffice as the "initiate spring challenger to Microsoft Office," the blogger announced that the looked bigger than ever. According to him, 3 was the "best, clever and most widely compatible software ever."

3. Taking Your Microsoft Office Templates, and Making Them Available in or StarOffice -- Training, Tips, and Ideas, 2/16
An and StarOffice instructor showed multiple ways of using Microsoft Office templates in and StarOffice.

4. How To Install An OpenOffice Dictionary Manually -- Xual - dedicated to users, 2/11
Sometimes the wizard to install dictionaries did not work for Xual, so she went ahead and presented a step by step guide on how to manually add a dictionary in

5. OpenOffice is the best free open source Microsoft Office alternative -- Using Windows Blog, 2/10
The blogger was very frustrated with Microsoft Word's drawing capabilities. She tried OpenOffice Draw, and felt "an all new appreciation for the OpenOffice suite." The blogger found it a very well put together application and recommended trying this office suite.

6. Tom's Budget Software Pick -- Tom's Macs Blog (, 2/7
Tom Nelson noted that the suite had transformed itself into a more pleasant experience by adding a native OS X Aqua interface. Tom also noticed that one of the best things about was that it was a free open source application, thus saving hundreds of dollars to run a fully functional and highly productive office suite on the Mac.

Saturday Feb 21, 2009

PC Magazine's OpenOffice Tips & Tricks

PC Magazine's Edward Mendelson took a look at 3.0, highlighting "7 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do" with the open source office suite. He noted, " 3.0 costs absolutely nothing but comes closer than anything else to letting you delete your copy of Microsoft Office (which probably cost you a lot)."
The majority of his list are tips and tricks to get the most out of the application suite, but one item provided an Easter Egg 1990s-era shoot-'em-up Space Invaders game. ;-)

Edward's list also included instructions on how to perform tasks such as editing multiple parts of a document at the same time, using OpenOffice to open legacy documents, saving files in Microsoft Office format by default, automating actions via macros and changing the default single quote character.

Friday Feb 13, 2009

Recent OpenOffice Reviews

1. PRODUCT REVIEW: OpenOffice 3: Useful, Compatible - and Pretty -- 94blog-software34, 2/9
The blogger reviewed OpenOffice 3.0 and said it was "the most superlative multi-use, widely compatible software ever." He was impressed to see that it included six "full-blown" applications even though it was free, and the most exciting enlargement was enhanced inauguration on the Mac. He concluded that OpenOffice 3.0 did attain "a new assemblage of spiffier, and more modern-looking icon."
2. 3 review -- Macworld, 2/9
John Brandon from Macworld reviewed 3.0 and called it "a powerful productivity suite with one major additional feature: it's free." John went on to say that "OpenOffice 3 is a major upgrade with plenty of new features, native OS support, and all the tools most people would need to get their work done." John gave three out of five stars.

3. Save money on software -- Thrifty Tips, 2/9
Blog Thrifty Tips recommended using -- a "great productivity suite" -- as a free alternative to Microsoft Office. He elaborated that not only did OpenOffice support graphics and databases, but it also offered word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. He considered OpenOffice as the ideal choice.

4. Free Software? No Problem -- Australian Bookkeepers, 2/9
The blogger listed several free alternatives to commonly used software, including He wrote, "Consider this open-source word-processing program, which offers all the essentials and rarely crashes." He also added that OpenOffice made the whole process of producing PDF's "a snap" and yet demanded far less processing power than its rival.

5. iApprove: OpenOffice -- iApprove and other stuff, 2/9
Blogger Janette Morgan discussed her switch from WordPad to OpenOffice for her various needs that arose while writing novels. Though Janette had first tried OpenOffice because of the word counter, she ended up staying with it for various other reasons -- the most important one being the flexibility of OpenOffice's printer, which did not insist on taking dimensions.

6. 6 Software Programs To Help Your PC -- Identify Theft Internet, 2/8
John Jones declared OpenOffice to be one of the six must have software programs that helped PC's to perform better. John believed that with Word documents or PowerPoint presentations gaining prime importance, working with Microsoft Office documents no longer meant buying a copy of Microsoft Office due to the availability of OpenOffice. John also encouraged its use among businesses running on a tight budget and kids who wanted to write papers for school.

Thursday Jan 29, 2009

Redmond Magazine's positive OpenOffice review!!!

Redmond Magazine Editor-in-Chief Doug Barney has compiled a number of reader opinions around various facets of 3.0 in a very positive "Reader Review" of the suite.

"The interest in this open source suite is clearly high. After I asked for comments in my Redmond Report e-mail newsletter, 18 readers quickly wrote in and shared their experiences," he noted.
Doug provided views and hands-on insights from his readers on various components of the product, including: installation, user interface, usability, stability, manageability, extensibility, innovation and performance.

Overall, the reader comments Doug shared are quite positive, especially as they relate to features and competitors.

Doug noted, "To battle OO.o and other rivals, Microsoft is turning Office into a system with tight integration with other Microsoft tools, a strategy that is in some regards working. 'If it wasn't for the promise of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server [MOSS], I would seriously question the expenditure on Microsoft Office within my organization,' Anderson says. 'I've frequently stated with executive staff that unless MOSS becomes an organizational strategy for our company, I see no value in spending money on upgrading Microsoft Office.'"

That's a pretty strong statement coming out of a Microsoft-focused publication! :-)




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