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Instructions for Downloading and Installing OpenOffice

The most widely used computer applications in business are office applications, which include: word processors, electronic spreadsheets, database management systems, presentation graphics editors, and a variety of other software used in business. These programs are often marketed together as a "suite" (collection of functionally related programs). The most widely known office suite is the proprietary package named Microsoft Office, consisting of MS-Word (word processor), MS-Excel (electronic spreadsheet), MS-Access (database management system), MS-PowerPoint (presentation graphics editor), and more. As dominent as this software is in the business arena, there are alternatives, and some of them are free. One such alternative is the [open source] package named [OpenOffice]. It contains office applications that are comparable to those in Microsoft Office and which can read and write the data formats of those applications. Also OpenOffice can be run on any popular personal computer platform, including Mac, Linux, and Windows. As such it provides an excellent free alternative to the more expensive proprietary packages on the market.

Step-by-step instructions for downloading and installing OpenOffice

  1. Using any web browser, open the web page at: []
  2. On the website's homepage, you should see a large download link with a green downward pointing arrow. To obtain the standard English language version of the program for a Windows computer, click or tap that link.
  3. After a brief delay, you should see a dialog box in which you can select either Run, Save, or Cancel. Use the black drop arrow next to the Save button to select Save as and then navigate to the Downloads folder under the Favorites group in the panel on the left side of the window. Then click or tap on the Save button.
    Note : Unless you have previously downloaded software and saved it to a specific location, Windows typically suggests a "Save in" location of the Downloads folder. If you have previously downloaded software and saved it to a specific location, Windows will suggest a "Save in" location of the last folder used to save downloaded files. If you prefer to save the installation program file in some folder other than the one suggested, then use the droplist via the arrow on the right edge of the Save in text box to browse through the folders on your computer and select a place to store the program file.
  4. The file should download showing a progress report and estimating the time required. Depending on your system and Internet access method, this can take anywhere from minutes to hours. When complete, choose the Open Folder button to view the folder containing the downloaded file. If your computer has not automatically scanned the downloaded file for viruses, try right-clicking on its name to see if a choice to scan it is offered on the menu. If so, choose it.
  5. Next run the downloaded OpenOffice installation utility by double clicking or tapping its name (typically something like Apache_OpenOffice_4.0.1_Win_x86_install_en-US.exe). Accept any security requests and walk through the steps offered by the OpenOffice Installation Preparation utility. Click the Next button, then the Unpack button and wait while the downloaded package containing the software is extracted into a folder on your Desktop (this can be removed after the installation is complete).
  6. The installation of the separate components of the software will begin automatically and launch the OpenOffice Installation Wizard. Click or tap the Next button. Enter any identifying information that you want the program to store and again click or tap the Next button. At the Setup Type screen, select "Typical" and click or tap the Next button. If you object to having a shortcut placed on the desktop for the new software, uncheck the checkbox with that label. Then click or tap the Install button.
  7. When the installation process is complete, you will see a Finish button. Click or tap it and close the Downloads folder and the web browser. You should see a new icon on your Desktop labeled "OpenOffice 4.0.#" (the "#" will represent the latest version number).
  8. The software setup process will require that you launch the program by clicking or tapping the OpenOffice 4.0.# icon on the Desktop.
  9. Then, click or tap Next>>
  10. Enter any identifying information you care to and click or tap Finish. The program suite will launch and offer a menu of its applications.
  11. Click or tap Text Document to launch its word processor named "OpenOffice Writer".
  12. Type some text and save it to the disk by typing the keystroke combination Ctrl+S. When the Save As dialog box opens, accept the default filename of "Untitled 1.odt" and the default file location in the Documents folder by clicking or tapping the Save button.
  13. Then quit the program with Ctrl+Q.

At this point the installation files folder that was placed on the Desktop during the installation process can be deleted, unless you want to preserve it for archival or sharing purposes.

Notes about file data types and filename extensions

The installation process automatically registers new filename extensions such as .odt (OpenOffice Text Document) with your installation of Windows. As you attempt to access files that OpenOffice can read, Windows 8 will offer you the opportunity to alter the program association settings for files with names matching the extension of the current file. For example, if you double-click on a file with an RTF extension, Windows will list a few programs that can read type of file. If you want to change the Windows file association settings on your computer to always launch OpenOffice Writer each time you double-click on an RTF file, then select the choice containing the program name "swriter.exe". Note: you can change these settings at any time using the Open with choice on the right-click context menu for any file.

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