If you need flexibility at a great price, and you don't need online collaboration, OpenOffice is for you
August 31, 2018

If you need flexibility at a great price, and you don't need online collaboration, OpenOffice is for you

Nathan Bowman | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Apache OpenOffice

We use OpenOffice in most of our divisions, typically as a translator/swiss army knife for opening almost any file type and being able to work in it. We're a consulting firm, so we get lots of documents from all of our various different clients, and not having to email them back and say "Hey, we can't use your files, can you send us something else" keeps us looking professional. It also lets us do some neat tricks that other document suites don't - like being able to directly edit .dbx files in calc - things that keep us ahead of the curve.
  • The number one strength of OpenOffice is the flexibility it gives. We can open any file type, save any file type - it's pretty much invincible. Even if we're going to work on this in a different program, just being able to open some of these ancient files that we get from local city governments is a huge win for us.
  • It's also administrator friendly - I'll use it a lot on the road because the licensing is so much easier to deal with than trying to check out a license from a server or make sure that everybody has internet connectivity.
  • It just looks pretty! It's legitimately a quality product, the layout looks good, it's not nearly as pushy as "other suites," and for the money it's the best!
  • I would like to see more inclusive design - things that make accessibility a priority. Some of our users are older or vision impaired, and being able to include them is important to us.
  • This is nit-picky, but I don't like how it opens the startup menu every time - like you open a program, and it opens the overall menu. So, for example, I want to work on a database file in calc, so I open up calc - the first thing it does is say "which of these programs would you like to work with?" I just opened Calc - that's what I want, why are you asking me if I want to edit a presentation?
  • For whatever reason, formatting can sometimes be a little wonky around pictures - I get that that's a thing, but man I wish someone would perfect the ability to drag and drop pictures without exploding everything else in the document, you know?
  • Well, because it's free, it's by far one of the top performing pieces of software we use in terms of ROI. We save thousands by not having to get so many licenses for other software suites.
  • I don't know that there's much more I can add - it's completely free, and the competition charges scads more money - if you're talking about ROI, you can't get much better than dividing by zero!
The big benefits that OpenOffice gives us is the flexibility, the cost, and the ease of licensing. We do have some Office users, and we keep licenses for them. We looked at Office 365, and that was a good way to work for some people, but the requirement to be constantly connected to the internet was difficult for some of our field staff. Same with Google Drive, though that was more popular than Office 365. We don't do a ton of collaborative work, so the lack of online collaboration wasn't a dealbreaker for us, though I can see how 365 or Google Drive would be much more helpful for a team of people working on a single document.
OpenOffice is the best for smaller offices, or offices that need flexibility and the ability to work with multiple file types. It's amazing when you're starting out and you can work without worrying about licensing, fees, or restrictive trial programs. It just works, and it works for free - which is pretty much the best case.