Choose The Best Office Software For You

Software, software everywhere. So many choices. So many applications. So many promises. What exactly do you need? Again this is the important question. Every home office computer needs office software. You need to focus on that instead of focusing on what office software *you want*.

Here's a real world example. Take any thirty something male. Ask them what their dream form of transport would be. 99% are going to name their dream sportscar, Harley or superbike. This is what they want

Now take the same thirtysomething what the most practical form of transport would be for them. The reality is that they probably have kids and a family so safe, reliable family transport is the what they need.

This same principle applies to choosing software for your home office. Everybody wants the latest and greatest version of Microsoft Office. In reality most people can do just fine with Microsoft Works or one of the new Open Source office packages.

Microsoft Works

This is the entry level Office suite product from Microsoft. It combines the power of a Word processor, Spreadsheet and Database product. Available in both a standalone and Suite version Works offers 90% of most home office owners everything they need.

Microsoft Office

The big cheese. Microsoft own this market. They came from relative obscurity to total domination within 5 years and things are unlikely to change.

Microsoft Office features Word, Excel, Access, Powerpoint, Frontpage, Publisher and Outlook. Combined these products provide all the features and power you could ever want. The problem with all these features is that most people never around to using half of them.

Open Office

This is a new development in the world of free office software. Whilst lacking some of the polish and bells and whistles of the Microsoft products it does offer Writer (word processor), Calc (spreadsheet), Draw (guess) and Impress (presentation) applications as part of its suite.

Open Office is an ongoing project so is being udpated regularly by its team of creators. The other huge advantage to OpenOffice is that it's totally free. Yup. Free. It won't cost you a dime. That's a hard deal to refuse.


You all hear people babbling on about Photoshop and Paintshop Pro and how this filter does this, that and the other. Reality again. Photoshop and Paintshop are exceptional products but have far, far too many features for the standard home office person. Something like GIMP will do the job just as well. GIMP is not an application you'll be familiar with but it provides all the features and power a standard home user could want. Gimp is also part of the opensource program so again is free :-)