Working on a computer means that you have to not only deal with the internet but different programs for writing, creating presentations, or structuring different tables in spreadsheets. Microsoft as well as Apple have their native Office programs pre-installed on a new computer, or available for payable download on their websites. And of course, they come with special features, individual design, and many different file formats (check out this article for information about native apple files).
Yet, there are open source solutions out there that work just as good as the paid versions! In this article, we’ll have a look at such open source office programs and all the different file formats for documents, presentations, spreadsheets, or drawings you create when using them.
Probably best known open source program pack for working on your computer is the creation of OpenOffice. The software creation was developed by Apache and is available for Linux, OS X, and Windows – including ports to other operating systems as well.
The most important programs included in the office pack are Writer (a word processing program), Calc (a spreadsheet program), Impress (to create presentations), and Draw (a simple drawing application).
Less known and yet just as strong as OpenOffice is the open source office suit LibreOffice, developed by The Document Foundation. LibreOffice is most popular among Linux users, yet the software also runs on Windows and OS X.
Linear to OpenOffice, LibreOffice includes a word processing program, a spreadsheet program, a presentation program, and a drawing application – all with the same names as their OpenOffice cousins; Writer, Calc, Impress, and Draw. What distinguishes it from OpenOffice is that it’s support of Microsoft Word files works better than when using OpenOffice’s programs. Furthermore, LibreOffice provides compatibility with Microsoft Offica via various import and export filters.
Another versatile office suit comes from the developers of Planamesa Software: NeoOffice. Contrary to the software packs listed above, NeoOffice was developed to utilize almost all features of the OpenOffice software to run on OS X platforms. Popularity of these programs shrank once OpenOffice was developed to be supported by OS X as well.
Since it has been forked from OpenOffice, NeoOffice consists of the same programs as it’s predecessor; a word processing program, a spreadsheet program, a presentation creator, and a drawing application. Since it was especially developed for usage on Mac computers, NeoOffice inherits the typical Apple design, as well as native Mac OS X text highlighting and file locking.
Native File Formats
All three office suits save their files in the OpenDocument standard which is an XML file format. In the following, we listed the most important file formats for Writer, Calc, Impress, and Draw of all three previously names office program packs.
- ODT, OTT
- SXW, STW
- ODS, OTS
- SXC, STC
- ODP, OTP
- SXI, STI
- ODG, OTG
- SXD, STD
- FODG (LibreOffice)