If you’d rather spend $450 than $25, this column probably
isn’t for you. For the rest of us who are on tight budgets these days, I
present Office Suite 2009, an incredibly competent replacement for the much
more expensive Microsoft Office 2007.
This suite mimics Office in every way imaginable, including
opening documents, spreadsheets, databases, PowerPoint presentations and more.
Instead of Word, the program is called Write. PowerPoint becomes Impress. Excel
is Calc. To the average user, those will be the only differences. Each Office
Suite component looks and acts like its rich cousin, and files can be opened in
the other’s programs. Create a file in Write, and Word will see it as a
compatible friend. Vice-versa, too.
You can prepare mailing lists, create business cards and
other documents, newsletters and web pages, using 24,400 templates or your own.
You can create pdf files that can be read by Adobe Acrobat Reader, and even
edit your photos. In short, anything Office can do, Office Suite can do, too.
Office Suite was developed by dedicated open source
volunteers who regularly add features to the programs. An update utility will
help you find those tweaks easily.
Still want to spend $450 on something you can get for about
$425 less? Be my guest, but don’t say you didn’t know there was a cheaper
Office Suite 2009 will run on Windows Vista and XP. To
order, send $25, plus $6 for shipping, to WashingtonCD, PO Box 351531, Los
Angeles, CA 90035, or online at www.washingtoncd.net.
Via McClatchy-Tribune News Service.