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Apache OpenOffice is a free, open-source software package that runs on Windows, Mac and Linux systems. A close relation of LibreOffice, OpenOffice is not web-based and doesn’t offer any cloud options. However, it remains a popular alternative to Microsoft Office for those who don’t need cloud storage or remote access to their documents.

Like any office suite, OpenOffice includes a word processor, spreadsheet program and presentation maker: Writer, Calc and Impress. For increased versatility, OpenOffice also includes a drawing program, database application and mathematical equation editor. Base, the included database application, isn’t just a personal database like Microsoft Access, but is also a front-end gateway solution to multiple database engines, including MySQL, Access and Adabas D. The included drawing program isn’t a replacement for high-end graphic software, but it does allow you to create basic on-page graphics such as charts and schematics.

OpenOffice is devoid of collaborative features, so it doesn’t allow multi-user editing or real-time collaboration. This office suite also fails to provide Microsoft SharePoint or Google Drive support and, unlike its sister suite LibreOffice, doesn’t offer access to documents and files stored in the cloud.

Because OpenOffice is able to read and write Microsoft Office files, including older versions, it’s a popular budget choice for office software. This software looks and feels like an older version of Microsoft Office and offers very similar functionality, but at no cost. Unusually for free software, OpenOffice supports more advanced features such as headers and footers, as well as citations and bibliographic formatting. The programs in this office suite each come with a variety of templates, and you can also import templates from other sources.

The software is free and open source, so there are no licensing restrictions. You’re not limited to a single user or a single device. This makes OpenOffice attractive to businesses of all sizes. For businesses that don’t need access to documents stored in the cloud or collaborative functions, Apache OpenOffice can save a significant amount of money.

There’s no live chat or telephone support available for Apache OpenOffice. However, you can access an active community forum and make use of the OpenOffice wiki, where you’ll find a FAQs page, user guides, tutorials and other support resources.

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