Open Office

Open Office is, as its name suggests, is an open source software package.  Completely free to use it allows you to work with word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics and databases (much like the Microsoft Office package).  The clear difference from Microsoft (apart form free) is uses an international open standard format.  It can also read and write files from other common office software packages.

Apache OpenOffice has been in development for over twenty years, so they have ironed out all the bugs which makes for a simple to use and efficient package. Itis easy to learn, and if you're already using another office software package, you'll take to OpenOffice straight away. 

This is one way of having 'office' standard software without the costs of the buying and maintaining Microsoft products.  Some indication is that it has been downloaded over 100,000,000 times!

www.openoffice.org


Please note - we really want to make your creative life more flexible and maximise your resources but PLEASE, make sure you back up ALL your computer filesbefore downloading and installing any new software and make sure it is compatible with your operating system and hardware.  We can’t take any responsibility if you ‘fry’ your files or lose your entire digital archive.

 

  • Published in Tools

LibreOffice

If you don’t want to use Microsoft Word for your writing, or can no longer afford to upgrade to newer versions, LibreOffice might be just what you are looking for - and free of charge, too. 

An open source package, LibreOffice is a free download which provides you with six programs, all of them compatible with Microsoft, which means you can open files already made in those programs (like Word or PowerPoint) and save your LibreOffice files back into equivalent Microsoft files. It also goes one set further and allows you to use the modern open standard, OpenDocument Format (ODF).

 

The package is extensive and includes:

  • Writer: A word processor similar to Microsoft Word
  • Calc: A spreadsheet program, similar to Excel
  • Impress: Presentation software, similar to PowerPoint
  • Base: A database, similar to Microsoft Access
  • Draw: A design program
  • Math: A simple equation tool
  • Charts: A chart creation module

The clear advantage here is that it is free and compatible.  If someone sends you a Word document, you can open it, work on it, in LibreOffice and then save it as a Word equivalent which can be shared with people who only use Word.

There are versions of LibreOffice for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux operating systems.

One great advantage is that it also supports Microsoft’s “.docx” files, which are the new files made by the most recent versions of Word.  Some other free programs don’t do that, so you have added flexibility here.

LibreOffice was developed by an international group of volunteers backed by a charitable foundation.  It really is free, really does work and, if you really like it, or find it useful, you can make a donation on the download site.  With the Home and Student versions of Microsoft Office (2010) running at £180.00 (on Amazon) you could save a small fortune. This might be the time to explore alternatives!

www.libreoffice.org

Please note - we really want to make your creative life more flexible and maximise your resources but PLEASE, make sure you back up ALL your computer files before downloading and installing any new software and make sure it is compatible with your operating system and hardware.  We can’t take any responsibility if you ‘fry’ your files or lose your entire digital archive.

  • Published in Tools

How do you Drive your Creativity?

Sitting in the studio staring at a blank wall is one of the most challenging activities when you are unsure what to do next.  We all have ‘dry’ days, sometimes prompted by a particularly successful piece of work which seems resolved and appears to have solved all the issues you were exploring – or you might just simply be having an ‘off’ day.

Jeffrey Paul Baumgartner, at Taxi, has put together a short piece on 10 Steps To Boost Your Creativity.

Stop staring at that wall and see how others are dealing with the problem.  There are steps which seems obvious and ones you may not have considered.  Short – pithy and, perhaps, just the jolt you need to get you going again.

10 Steps To Boost Your Creativity - Jeffrey Paul Baumgartner

  • Published in Finds
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