Microsoft products are nice to have, but they are expensive. I use Open Office to create all my documents. It is freeware available from:

This is not from some fly by night. It is from APACHE. They have been providing software for years that includes secure server software that computer professionals prefer.

I also use Microsoft notepad for creating text files. Text files are great, because EVERYONE can read them, regardless of their operating system (macintosh, etc).

Notepad has one other useful application. If you have tried to import quotes from a .pdf or other complex format document, there is a lot of formatting crap that will not import properly into the word processor YOU are using. Here is how to fix that.

Let's say someone has a filing you DISAGREE with, and you want to respond to that item. Open a new blank .txt file in Notepad. Leave it on your desktop. Go to the document you want to grab from. Highlight the area you want to copy. Hold down "CONTROL" then press "C". Move your cursor with the mouse to your blank .txt document in Notepad. Hold down "CONTROL" then press "V". The highlighted text in the original document is now copied on the Notepad document. But it is without the glumpy nasty formatting stuff, which can screw it up if you just drag and drop the original into another word processor.

How it works, if you care: Notepad is simply too stupid to know about formatting. It ignores all the formatting crap and deletes it. Now you can save it into your favorite word processor and highlight in bold, underline, italicize it to your hearts content.

Secret Wizard stuff: Ancient Wizards who used to type witty things on their screen after the C:\>_.
"CONTROL-C" cuts. "CONTROL-V" pastes. So it has been ever since DOS Wizards who casually typed batch files and such many eons ago. Back before DOS, when there was CPM...... All versions of Windows support this handy fool proof method. Get your friends to go gee whiz, where did you learn that? Tell em the wireless girl showed you.

Anyway, this is supposed to be about Open Office.

Create your new Open Office document and save it in .odt, their proprietary format as you work. I always use .odt for the native copy. I edit it all I want in that mode. Once you are really, really, finished for the last time, save it again in .odt.

Then while the document is still open, go up to the task bar at the top left and use your mouse to get the drop down from "FILE". Choose "SAVE AS". You now get a dialog box that allows you to choose a NEW NAME if you like. Most importantly, it allows you to choose ANOTHER FORMAT like .doc to save it. This will create a file that Microsoft office products can read without their head exploding. I do not have a version that does .docx yet. So maybe that is not supported. So you have to buy Microshaft stuff if you want to read or deal with that. Sometimes .docx works fine in Open Office, but sometimes it butchers the formatting so badly that it is gibberish. That is how to save files in Open Office to other formats. But there is NOT ANY SELECTION FOR .PDF! WHAHOPPEN?

For a .pdf file export, use your mouse to point to upper left task bar "FILE". Get the drop down and notice "EXPORT FILE" and "EXPORT FILE AS .PDF" Click on EXPORT FILE AS .PDF. You will now find in your DOCUMENTS directory a copy of your file created as a .doc or whatever, but in .pdf format.



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