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OpenOffice.org Impress is a presentation program which is part of the open source OpenOffice.org Software suite and can be compared in functionality to Microsoft PowerPoint. In fact, OpenOffice.org Impress is compatible with the Microsoft PowerPoint 2003 file format and can in most cases be used as a perfect replacement for Microsoft PowerPoint. The entire OpenOffice.org Software suite, which includes Writer, Impress, Math, Base, Calc, Draw, and a few other programs, can be obtained free of charge at the OpenOffice.org official web site.

Using OpenOffice.org Impress

You run OpenOffice.org in the same way as you would run almost any other application like Microsoft Word or Mozilla Firefox. In the case of Windows, this usually means running it from the start menu. When you first open OpenOffice.org Impress, you'll be presented with a wizard for creating a new slide show.

Features

Many of the features are similar or identical to those on Microsoft PowerPoint. OpenOffice.org Impress provides several built-in templates for your slide shows, but many more are available online. The toolbars at the top provide you with most of the most common features and the menus in the menu bar provide a more comprehensive set of features.

Importing Microsoft PowerPoint .ppt Files

Microsoft PowerPoint 2003 files can be opened in the same way as files of OpenOffice.org Impress' default format. Simply choose Open from the File menu and find the Microsoft PowerPoint slide show file in the Open File dialog box and click Open to start editing the file in OpenOffice.org. If you wish, you can save the file under OpenOffice.org Impress' native file format by using File > Save As.

Other Features

OpenOffice.org Impress supports all of the features you would expect from a sophisticated presentation program such as spell checking, macros, the ability to insert content such as tables and formulas from other programs both in the OpenOffice.org suite and not, document recovery after abnormal shutdown, many automatic formatting features, and many many more.