Recently, the new computers at my school have been switched completely to OpenOffice, and do not come with Microsoft Office anymore (cost savings). This has caused many problems. One of the big issues is compatibility. Many teachers and students have MS Office installed on their home computer. If they make a document in MS Office, it might not come out the same on OpenOffice. This is especially true for “powerpoints.” Many teachers use PowerPoints as a way to display notes. Since teachers are getting new computers, they must reformat their current presentations in order for them to work correctly in OpenOffice. Also, OpenOffice seems very slow and just not as intuitive to me as MS Office. I used OpenOffice to create a presentation recently (so it would come up without issues on the teacher’s computer) and it frustrated me. I had to Google how to do things that should have been simple. Things such as Print Preview are not in OpenOffice. If I clicked outside of a textbox, it would take me at least two tries every time to be able to edit the text again.
When viewing presentations, the effects seem to take longer and just lag whereas MS PowerPoint is nice and responsive. I’ve had to resort to viewing the powerpoint by clicking each slide in editing mode, which is very annoying.
Also, OpenOffice will always be a step behind MS Office in terms of features because they will be released in MS Office before the developers of OpenOffice start integrating them into their programs.
OpenOffice is a pretty good alternative to MS Office if you are creating everything IN OpenOffice, but if you frequently have to view MS Office documents, it would be better to invest in MS Office (or for PowerPoints, get the free Powerpoint Viewer from Microsoft)