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An introduction to Open Office, part 1


About and how to install Open Office

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About Open Office

I'm sure most of you are familiar with Microsoft Office, and most you you need to use either or all of text-editor, spreadsheet or some kind of graphic program almost every day. Open Office, is in fact, a free application with the most of the functions MS Office has. Hey, I'm not an expert, but I bet Open Office beats MS Office any time, any day, and the superb thing is, it's free. 40 million+ users can't be wrong, and to quote Open Office community:

OpenOffice.org probably has over 40 million users. Oh sure we can't count them. We can only estimate. But as of 10 days ago, we had at least so far 49 million binaries downloaded. That does not include binaries distributed via the Linux distributors, alternative servers, CDROMs, or even P2P. It also does not include direct hits to our servers. So the number of users may be far larger or even smaller. But who's counting? Probably only Microsoft, and judging from its market behaviour it sees us as counting a great deal.


I must point out this introduction deals with the Windows edition of OO. Enough said, let's get started.

Where to get it

Follow this link to get to the download site, Open Office homepage.

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When you reach the download page, select the language, platform and location you want to download from:

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Finally before downloading, you should get the following page, which asks you to contribute back for this excellent piece of free software.  If you have a couple of minutes and a couple of dollars to spare, click on "Donate funds".  When that's done, click on "Continue to Download" and you will begin the file download process.

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Once the download is finished, locate the file and run it.

The installation process

The first two screens here deal with unpacking of the installation files themselves;  click next.

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Here you're asked where to unpack the files that will be used for the installation - the default is fine, so just click on "Unpack".

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Finally we get to the installation procedure itself - click Next.

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To be able to use this software, you have to agree with the license it is distributed under.  Read through the license, and if it is OK, click on "I accept" and Next.


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Enter your name and the organization you're working for (if any) - press Next.

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Here we get to select the setup type.  We're not doing anything fancy here, so it's easiest to just go with the Complete option.  Select Complete and press Next.

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On the following screen we're asked which files OpenOffice should be associated with, this means that if we associate the following 3 file types with OpenOffice, OpenOffice will be started whenever we open files like it.  Since OpenOffice is such a nice piece of software, we'll use it for all 3.  Click Next.

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Check that everything is OK, and press Next.

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This is the screen you'll see while the software is being installed.  It might take a while, so go make yourself a cup of coffee or tea, if you're into that.  :-)

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And finally, the software installation is done.  Click on finish.

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Starting up OpenOffice

Now we're starting up Open Office for the first time, and you can do that by going to Start > Programs > Open Office and clicking on Writer;  you'll get the following page.  Click Next.

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Again you have to read through a license, and if it's OK, click on Accept.

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Here we have to enter some user information, so OpenOffice knows what to put in documents if the information is required.  Enter your name and initials, and press Next.

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Finally you're asked whether you'd like to register.  For this article I'll keep it simple and not register - if you've got the extra time click on "I want to register now" and follow the registration process from there.

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If everything is done correctly, you should now be presented with the Writer view;  this is similar to Microsoft Word and we'll cover it in the next article.

This is the first in a series of articles about Open Office, if you have Open Office related topics you'd like to see covered here, let us know. Comments on this article, thumbs up or flames, can be sent to articles@nidelven-it.no.