I’ve been using Open Office as my MS Word alternative for a long time, and while it’s not quite as slick as Word (and I haven’t even used the “ribbon” versions of Word yet), it’s getting better all the time, and has the added bonuses of being free and able to export to PDF with the click of a button.
My major gripe with Open Office, though, has always been it’s super slow start up time. I honestly used this as an excuse for not writing on many occasions. Instead, I would waste my time looking for a different word processor that would start up faster and still feel as solid and easy to use as OO (and be free). I never found one.
And now I don’t have to.
In Open Office 3.2 (see list of features), they’ve reduced the time it takes to open up a document from around 10 seconds to just about 6. And often times it feels like less than that. And even more importantly, it feels fast enough that I know I won’t have to wait for it to start up just to get to work.
I just wanted to add that the reason I use Open Office instead of Word even though I have Word installed and registered on my computer is because I’m using a work computer. I use it for all my personal computing (only when I’m not working, of course), but if, for some reason, I were to lose the use of this computer as my writing instrument, I would be able to replace it cheaply and easily. I could get a cheap laptop for $300, download Open Office, download my files from DropBox, and be off and writing.