Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
OpenOffice is a free software suite to rival Microsoft Office. Exchanging documents between the two is not only possible, but quite easy.
I took my laptop in to be repaired and the technician added a program that he said that was as good as Microsoft Word or better: OpenOffice.org Writer. He suggested I keep it on and try it since it was free and if I did not like it, he would take it off. One problem that I have with this program is that my club members are unable to open my documents to them now. I think he should take this program off and return my microsoft word so that I can use it. What do you think?
I think you need to give OpenOffice Writer a little bit more of a chance.
There may well be reasons to revert to Microsoft Word, but exchanging documents with Microsoft Word users isn't one of them. You're probably just missing a simple step.
OpenOffice is a free, open source set of software that includes equivalents for not only Microsoft Word, but Excel, PowerPoint, and more. It's not perfect but it's actually very good, and it's a very reasonable alternative for many uses.
OpenOffice Writer, the Microsoft Word equivalent, saves its documents in "Open Document Text" or ".odt" format. In fact, if you do a File, Save As... you'll see:
As you can see, the "Save As Type" is listed.
However, if you click on the down arrow and drop-down the list, you'll see there are many other alternatives:
You can see I've circled one that you'll probably find interesting: "Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP (.doc)".
You can also make this the default save type if you like. In Writer, click on Tools, Options, expand the Load/Save branch, and click on General. You should be looking at something like this:
Under "Always save as" you'll find pretty much the same list. You can change that to "Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP (.doc)" (you may have to scroll up in the list to find it) and now you'll save your documents in Microsoft Word format by default.
So the short answer is that as long as you save your documents in Microsoft Word format you should be able to exchange them with others without much trouble.
Play with Open Office some. I think you'll find it's a reasonable alternative, and of course you certainly can't beat the price.