For me, the compelling features of OpenOffice are:
- It is free. I have three computers and am tired of
paying the license fees for MS Office.
- It has built-in PDF export capability. I’ve used third-party PDF tools for Windows in the past, but it’s nice to have that built-in.
- OpenOffice is “good enough”. It has its share of quirks, but it gets the job done.
I encountered a few issues with the presentation package. It seems to turn on a password feature automatically. One day I opened my file and it prompted for a password. Talk about scary! Luckily, it wanted a blank password.
The other issue, a much more serious one, was that images vanished. I had pasted them in from the clipboard. I’m assuming they were stored as links to the original image, which was in some temporary Windows file. At any rate, I fixed the problem by first saving my images to the same folder as my presentation file, then inserting them as links.
Incidentally, these are known issues.
So far, I’ve figured out every thing I need to do by experimenting. I’m very proficient with MS Office, so OpenOffice slowed me down because I don’t (yet) know where everything is at. I do have the impression that OpenOffice is slightly less organized than MS Office. But the differences are very minor.
Nothing has crashed yet. But then again, MS Office never crashes on me, either.
For anybody who is reasonably proficient with computer software, OpenOffice is easily good enough. They REALLY need to fix the problems with embedded images, however.
In my opinion, This article from Microsoft is the best evidence that OpenOffice is starting to get really good. If OpenOffice was not a threat, they’d ignore it.