OpenOffice Definition & Meaning

OpenOffice is an open source software for word processing, spreadsheets, and other office-suite applications. The software mainly utilizes the C++ and Java languages and is free for all users. Apache currently manages OpenOffice, making it available and visible for users and developers.

OpenOffice history

OpenOffice was initiated as StarOffice and grew under Sun Microsystems, the company that acquired it in 1999. It transitioned to OpenOffice and grew significantly in the 2000s. In 2011, Oracle (which owned Sun Microsystems) gave OpenOffice to Apache, no longer wanting to maintain it as a corporate platform. There are a couple of other similar projects that followed OpenOffice, but Apache is considered the official successor. Although, the original website, is listed as discontinued, Apache currently uses the same domain name.

Apache made the platform open-source, expanding it to anyone who wanted to be involved in the software community or development; the company markets it as honest because anyone can report or view issues and participate in improving the software. It’s completely free and available to users under the Apache License 2.0 as well.

OpenOffice features

Users can share and distribute OpenOffice software to anyone else they know, unlike other software that require one login or user. The software only requires one download; though it includes six different functions, they all integrate well with each other.

OpenOffice receives migrated content from other office productivity suites well, enabling it to transition different documents into the application. It’s available in multiple languages, and it runs on many major operating systems.

OpenOffice applications

OpenOffice offers six applications for users:

  • Writer, a word processor for document creation
  • Impress, an application for designing visual presentations
  • Calc, a spreadsheet application
  • Draw, a platform for designing a variety of images
  • Math, an application for mathematical functions and equations
  • Base, a database management and design platform


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Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps is a contributor for websites such as and Enterprise Storage Forum. She writes about information technology security, networking, and data storage. Jenna lives in Nashville, TN.

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