What is Star Office? MS Office Vs Star Office

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MS Office Vs Star Office

The competitors of Microsoft always celebrate when there is any case against Microsoft or if a free Software is launched similar to Microsoft's Products. But those who are unbiased should always weigh the pros and cons of any software before judging the winner.

Sun Micro system's Star Office is the direct competitor of Microsoft's MS Office. Star Office software was free until its 5th version. Therefore Star Office was well received by computer users. Better still the features in Star Office was more or less similar to MS Office.

But from Star Office Version 6, it was not free. However it is still far cheaper than MS Office. Here we will see the features available in Star Office and see its Pros and Cons.

Components in Star Office

Star Office Version 7 consists of Writer (a word processor), calc (a spreadsheet), adabas (a database), draw (a drawing program) and Impress (a presentation software).

You can use Star Office in Windows 98/NT/2000/XP, with Pentium processor, 64MB RAM and 256 MB free hard disk space.

  1. If you have ever worked in MS Word, it is very easy for you to use Writer. You can even save the file you create in Writer as a 'Word 97/2000/2002/6.0' document. Similarly you can open a .Doc file using Writer.
  2. You can also save your document in Writer as RTF, Text or HTML format.
  3. You can insert tables, images and charts in Writer. Similar to MS Word, Writer also has Auto text and Auto Correct features. Auto Complete facility is also available. Which means when you type the first two or three letters of a word, Writer will prompt you with the full word. This reduces typing time.
  4. Spelling checker and grammer checker are also available in Writer. You can also send the document created in Writer through email.
  5. Writer can also convert the document you create into a PDF file.


  1. Similar to MS Excel, calc is a spreadsheet application. If the text you typed in a cell cannot fit inside the cell then 'calc' will display a small red arrow at the end of the cell.
  2. You can save the file you created in calc as MS Excel file or to a dbase database. You can also open Excel files in Calc.
  3. You can use the data in calc file to mail merge in writer document. You can also generate many beautiful charts.


Comparing to MS Access database, adabas is a very simple database. Very less features are available. However adabas can open ODBC, JDBC and MySQL databases. An adabas database cannot exceed 100MB storage size. Another restriction is that only three users can access the adabas database over the network. Due to all these difficulties not many people like adabas. Adabas doesn't have distributed database facility


Impress is a presentation software like MS PowerPoint. Animation and Transition effects are some of the features available in Impress. Plenty of templates are available in Impress. Therefore anybody can create a presentation using Impress very easily. You can also convert an Impress presentation into a HTML format and publish it in your website.


  1. Compared to MS Paint, Star Office Draw is more powerful and has many additional features. It is sure that everybody will like the Draw application. You can use Star Office draw to create Vector graphics, Animated GIF and even 3D graphics.
  2. Draw is also capable of handling many different image formats. You can create buttons and images in GIF, JPG or PNG format and use it in your website. You can also convert the graphics that you create in Draw into PDF, HTML or even shockwave flash format.

Pros of Star Office

  • Very cheap.
  • Star Office Draw software is very powerful.
  • Conversion to PDF is also a plus

Cons of Star Office

  • Star Office adabas database is very inferior

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