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.