Wednesday, September 12, 2007

OpenOffice to the Rescue!

Last night, OpenOffice saved my life....again.

I've got multiple computers. The main ones are my work laptop, which is huge and heavy, and my tiny OQO, which was out of commission for a bit.

Yesterday, I was tapped to come up with a quick Powerpoint presentation for a potential client. But, I was already at home, and didn't have the fat work laptop with me. So that meant that I had no access to Microsoft Powerpoint.

But, I'm a long-time user of OpenOffice. I primarily use OpenOffice Writer, as a substitute for Microsoft Word. I'm not much of a power user. Spell check, grammar checking, a bit of formatting, and away I go. I often use it to write blog posts (like this one) before pasting them into Blogger. OpenOffice Writer works great for what I need it to do.

I wondered if it would be the same for OpenOffice's Powerpoint-like tool, Impress? Well, I was about to find out, as I needed to make a slide deck fast, and it was the only tool I had at my disposal.

Turns out, it was just what I needed. As far as I'm concerned, it worked just like Powerpoint. Everything operated as expected. A colleague emailed me our PPT template file, I opened it in OpenOffice, built my preso, saved it back out as a PPT file, and sent it on to my colleagues.

They had no issues reading the file I sent them, and they had no idea that I built this with something other than Powerpoint.

And amazingly, OpenOffice is free. If you're looking for a word processor, or even a presentation creation tool, I'd strongly recommend it.

No comments: