For years now, OpenOffice.org has been quietly building an excellent, open source alternative to Microsoft Office. I switched to it even after paying for M$ Office and I never looked back.
Aside from being a full featured Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Presentation package and more, it is capable of opening any office file you throw at it, then saving in a rainbow of formats.
BE CAREFUL– by default, it wants to save its documents in the open .ODT format, but most of the world runs on .DOC (MS Word format). If you want to save your work as .DOC, just do “Save As…” and choose “MS Word”.
There is also a side project for Macs called NeoOffice.org. This was because, for a long time, OO.o was not available on the Mac. Now OO.o is available for Mac, PC, and Linux.
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