-- Heavy on Office, Light on price.
March 12, 2018 -- Heavy on Office, Light on price.

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Apache OpenOffice

I have been a user of OpenOffice off and on from when it was Star OfficeSuite; at the time it was the only Office Suite for Linux systems, and today is cross-platform and highly compatible and indeed equivalent with Microsoft Office.

While not being used across my current place of employment, in a previous career it was the sole office suite utilized by the business entity, selected because of its price and compatibility. With it I was able to send documents to other (larger) businesses who utilized current versions of Microsoft Office, and they were able to see the issued documents with high compatibility and no display issues.
  • Price: the version I used was free.
  • Compatibility: With exception of specific tabling in the word processor and macros in the spreadsheet tool, there was perfect compatibility.
  • System compatibility: I was able to access and use it with fairly old systems, and did not need a new or current PC to install and operate.
  • The system is fairly bloated. The amount of space the office suite takes up is increasingly larger and larger with each iteration.
  • Macro support is weak.
  • Greater XLSX and DOCX extension compatibility without required "conversions" would be good.
  • The initial cost in terms of price and time value of setup was negligible: immediate benefits.
  • High compatibility means less troubleshooting and conversion is required, saving time.
  • Weak macro support means that occasionally you will be required to use another suite.
The products are certainly equivalent, with OOO having a much better price and better performance than the non-Microsoft offerings.

I've used Lotus Smartsuite (now deprecated), Coral Office, Star Office (a previous version of OOO), and Microsoft Office. Functionality across all is equivalent, with some being better than others (Coral is notably speedy, but is weak on features and compatibility). OpenOffice is a good option because of its price and compatibility.
OOO is excellent for personal use or small businesses which cannot afford a Microsoft Office license. With it, you can expect high compatibility between MSO and other office suites, as well as an intuitive menu system that borrows many attributes from more widely-known office suites (particularly MS-Office).

It is a large installation, and leans heavily on JRE (Java Runtime Environment), which explains its high compatibility. Unfortunately that also means it is not optimized for the devices on which it runs, and you will find slower load/save/document conversion/export times compared to other office suites.

But the price wins. You can't compare it to others.