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LibreOffice 3.3: Hands-On With the Free Office Suite

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The LibreOffice project came about late in 2010 when it became increasingly uncertain what Oracle's intentions were for, which it acquired after purchasing Sun.

LibreOffice is overseen by the Document Foundation, which includes open source luminaries such as Red Hat, Ubuntu, and even Google. Because of these backers, LibreOffice is essentially the new kid on the block when it comes to cost-free office suites, and the LibreOffice folks have been busy putting together their first major release--version 3.3, which is now available for download at

Two downloads are necessary: the installer for LibreOffice itself, and a "help pack" executable, which contains US English helpfiles. If the latter isn't installed, clicking the Help menu takes you to the documentation section of the LibreOffice Web site.

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