I’ve been using OpenOffice for a while now. It has turned into a very solid office suite, including a great word processor (Writer) and a decent spreadsheet (Calc) and presentation application (Impress). And OpenOffice is free! Which begs the question: why aren’t more people using it?
Documentation seems to be one of the big reasons. OpenOffice is a complex beast, but doesn’t come with the world’s greatest documentation. Fortunately, there are people out there who are working to remedy this problem. I just stumbled across an excellent resource, Jean Weber’s Taming OpenOffice.org Writer 1.1. This book (available as a shareware PDF download) provides in-depth instructions for how to get the most out of Writer. I highly recommend downloading the PDF right now. If you find it useful, be sure to pay the $10 registration fee. It is well worth the price.