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FREE Office Suite Program Download

Updated on July 8, 2012

Do You Use Open Office, Google Docs or other office suites offered as free downloads?

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Similar to MS Office Suite but Free

Need an office suite program but can't afford Microsoft Office? An organization called OpenOffice.Org offers free downloads of a full featured, six program, office suite that includes a word processing program, a spreadsheet program, a database program, a presentation program (like MS PowerPoint), a math program and a draw program. All of these programs are compatible with their MS Office counterparts and all can both read files produced and saved in Microsoft formats as well as save files created in Open Office in the MS Office format. In addition, the Open Office Suite of programs are cross platform in that they will work on Windows, Linux, Unix, Apple and the Sun Microsystems Solaris operating systems. The Open Office Suite of programs is available in both English as well as many other world languages.

How Can OpenOffice.Org do This?

Open Office Org is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing software that will run on other operating systems besides Microsoft Windows. As such they are a competitor of Microsoft competing directly with Microsoft in the area of the office suite of programs and indirectly in the operating system arena by writing software that runs on platforms other than just Windows. The organization receives technical assistance from companies like Sun Microsystems and Google as well as volunteer programmers from around the world who help write code in their spare time. They also receive help from volunteers in other areas such as marketing and promotion.

Sun Microsystems made the code for StarOffice version 5 available to Open Office Org and this became the basis for the office suite. Open Office Org made improvements to the StarOffice code and released the new version as Open Office Suite version 1. Version 2, a major rewriting of the software has just been released free download at OpenOffice.Org.

StarOffice itself was originally developed in the mid-1980s by a German company named StarDivision. Sun Microsystems later purchased the StarOffice suite line and marketed it as part of their product line. Like the OpenOffice Suite, StarOffice version 5 was originally distributed as a free download by Sun Microsystems - I picked up a free CD (it was also available as a free download from the Internet) at a trade show about 6 years ago. I just used the spreadsheet and word processing applications but found them to be very good and, for the most part, files moved back and forth between StarOffice on my home computer and Microsoft Office at work without problem. I have recently downloaded OpenOffice 2.0 and have been very happy with the results so far. One word of caution - both StarOffice and OpenOffice will open and read files that have been created and saved in Microsoft Office formats and will also save files in the Microsoft .doc (Word) and .xls (Excel) formats. However, files created and saved in a OpenOffice or StarOffice format cannot be opened using Microsoft Office. Sun Microsystems has continued to upgrade and sell StarOffice (they now charge about $99 or less for the full suite). The current version of StarOffice is version 8. Like OpenOffice, StarOffice continues to work on Windows, Linux, Unix, Solaris (the Sun operating system), Apple and other operating systems.

You can obtain a free download of the most recent version of the OpenOffice Suite by going to

Which Office Suite Software Do You Currently Use?

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    • profile image

      Lona Skaggs 

      6 years ago

      I was using Microsoft Office 2010 home and business; my system had to be reset to factory and I ahve lost my MCI card details; so I have nothing but Windows LiveSkydrive and Google Doc. I need a computer software and can't afford to repirchase from Mcrosoft; the suport sytem can't understand my problem; and the trials will not download even if I had my KEY I do not have a version to put the key into. I am really lost.

    • saif113sb profile image


      7 years ago

      Very interesting and great information hub.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I use SSuite Office Excalibur.

    • profile image

      Kaye Brown 

      8 years ago

      I'd like to try

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice one!

    • KMST profile image


      9 years ago from Dhaka, Bangladesh

      Whatever you say, MS Office is the best. But Openoffice is good enough as a free opensource option.

    • TechieGuy profile image


      9 years ago

      I have installed OpenOffice on my home desktop after uninstalling Office 2000. I did that mainly because it required configuring at times which meant I had to find the CD. No problems like that with OpenOffice.

      I also have a laptop, but managed to get Office 2007 Ultimate for $64 Canadian through a promotion from Microsoft. I figured it was a good enough deal to buy the software and install it.

    • Chuck profile imageAUTHOR

      Chuck Nugent 

      11 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Joubess, Thank you for visiting my hub and for your comment. I use the OpenOffice at home and MS Office at work and for most wordprocessing and spreadsheet files I have no problem moving files back and forth between the two systems. Usually I leave files from work in MS Office format as OpenOffice will allow me to read and edit them as well as save them in MS Office format. For files created at home I have to remember to save them in MS Office format before taking them to the office as MS Office won't open them.

      For months I have been using Google's document and spreadsheet programs which makes working from both places very easy as I just do the work online and, when necessary can download it in either format depending upon which computer I want to store it on.

      Thanks again. Chuck

    • joubess profile image


      11 years ago from Baton Rouge

      Reading this has also given me a good reason to check this out. I sure can't spring for MS Office 2007 anytime soon. My most recent version is Office 2002.

    • The Lokaine Narra profile image

      The Lokaine Narra 

      12 years ago

      I have a dear friend who believes Open Office is wonderful and who often recommends I give it a try. Your blog has given me an additional reason to take a serious look at the software.

    • Paul Edmondson profile image

      Paul Edmondson 

      12 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      I'm wishing we had an edit comment feature right about now. Sorry. We'll get it soon.

    • Chuck profile imageAUTHOR

      Chuck Nugent 

      12 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Thanks for the comments. I'm sure this was a keyboard problem.

    • Robin profile image

      Robin Edmondson 

      12 years ago from San Francisco

      I think he meant "SHIFT to free online services...". LOL!

    • Paul Edmondson profile image

      Paul Edmondson 

      12 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      OpenOffice is a nice alternative to MS Office. However, there has been a shit to free online services for word processing and spreadsheets. Google Docs & Spreadsheets is one service.


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