Are you using an older version of Microsoft Office and thinking of buying the latest product?
Don’t waste your money… get a free professional office suite
Almost the first thing that early computer technology was used for, was the development of word-processing machines and electric typewriters, such as IBM’s Selectric, that could save documents for recall later.
The ability to create and edit typed documents, calculate mathematical results and present ideas to a group were fundamental to the early market success of personal computers. For example, my first use of a computer was to type reports while doing military service. The fact that the reports were more legible than the handwritten efforts of my counterparts and that multiple copies could be made easily, meant that I looked like a genius (instead of just someone with typing skills.)
Since 1989 Microsoft Office has been the premier office suite owing to it’s widespread use in business. It’s main disadvantage is that it is expensive. A quick search puts the Microsoft Office 2010 Home and Student version at around R750. This is a bit pricey if you just type the occasional letter.
For almost 10 years I have used a free office platform called Open Office for all my letters, invoices and spreadsheets. For the last 2 years I have used the latest evolution of Open Office called “Libre Office”
LibreOffice is a free and open source, professional office suite, developed by The Document Foundation. It is descended from OpenOffice.org from which it was forked in 2010.
Libre Office includes free word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software for professional or personal use. It also has a built-in PDF converter and automatic spell check. It is fully compatible with MS Office, and is a worthy alternative, especially if you are not sharing documents as MS Office files outside your own computers. Libre Office files can be exported in a variety of formats including all MS Office formats. Better yet, it can import all MS Office formats with minimum fuss.
Although Libre Office looks a bit like older versions of MS Office (like Office 2003), it takes some time to get use to. This is well worth the effort for the money you will save. Libre Office is a fully functional replacement for MS Office and is undergoing constant developement in co-operation with it’s users. You can find out about the Libre Office or download the latest version from this link.