Monday, February 13, 2012

Using OpenOffice as a free alternative to Microsoft Word

I am a big fan of "FREE."  I think most educators are.  Right now for my document needs I usually use Google Docs, but there are some things about Google Docs that I don't like or that haven't been developed yet, so I end up using OpenOffice.org.

I recommend using OpenOffice.org to everybody who doesn't want to use online word processors and doesn't want to pay for the super fancy word processors.  With OpenOffice I can do just about everything MS Office can and sometimes more.

A problem some run into when using OpenOffice is that they just hit the save button and that saves the document as an .ODT file instead of a .DOC and then when the user that they send the file to tries to open it they get stuck if they too do not have OpenOffice on their machine.  Today I would like to demonstrate how to use OpenOffice to save a document as a MS Office document so that you can share it with others.

Tutorial

1.  Go ahead and open up OpenOffice Writer.
2.  Type up your document.
3.  When you are ready to save, hit the "Save" icon at the top left corner.  Its the one that looks like a disk.





4.  On the "File Name" type in the name that you want it to be called.    Then click the "Save as type" drop down menu and you can see all of the ways you can save this document.  I always choose the "Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP (.doc)" option as it is still the most widely used and should work on any machine running Microsoft word.  Then hit the "Save" button.












5.  This next box pops up every time you save it to a different format unless you click the check box at the bottom.  This is just a warning that you are saving it into a different format.  Sometimes your formatting might be a little different when it converts the document to a ".doc" file.  I always hit the "Keep Current Format" options.  I find that it works the best.










That is all there is to it.  Now you can email that file or share it with others who are using Microsoft Office.

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