I have written several times about OpenOffice.org, the free replacement for the $400+ Microsoft Office suite of programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more). I am very impressed with OpenOffice.org and am now using it more often than I use the Microsoft products. This article is being written in OpenOffice.org's word processor program. You can read my review of OpenOffice.org version 1.1, written two years ago here.
Now the prestigious PC Magazine has reviewed the beta version of OpenOffice.org 2.0. They like it so much that they awarded it four stars (out of a maximum of five) in their rating system. That's high praise indeed.
According to PC Magazine, the new version OpenOffice.org 2.0 is much faster than the earlier version and even more compatible with Word than ever before. In addition, the word processor in OpenOffice.org has several features not available at any price in Microsoft Word:
- a find-and-replace feature that uses wildcards and regular expressions
- an impressive macro and scripting feature that organizes your macros in a tree-structured display
- advanced find-and-replace operations are easier to manage in OpenOffice.org Writer than in Word's confusing Find dialog
According to PC Magazine, the bottom line is, "It does most everything that typical users need it to do, and does some things better than Microsoft Office." Not bad for a free program!
You can read the full review by PC Magazine at http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1850984,00.asp
You can download OpenOffice.org at no charge at http://www.openoffice.org.
Please note that the download is a 75-megabyte file. That is easy to do on a broadband connection. However, anyone using a dial-up connection may prefer to purchase a CD-ROM of the program for $5.00 or so. Details on CD-ROM sales in a number of countries can be found at http://distribution.openoffice.org/cdrom/index.html#cdrom