Microsoft Office: Can’t live with it, can’t live with… ok, so that’s not entirely true. A number of you likely live without the Microsoft Office suite and, for that, I commend you. That’s not because there’s anything wrong with Office per se; it’s a pricing thing. I don’t always have the money to fork out for a new Office license for whatever systems I acquire, especially when compelling freeware alternatives present themselves in an easy-to-use (and easy-to-download) kind of fashion. Same goes for you.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “But Dave,” you ask, “why not just install OpenOffice.org and be done with it?” That is certainly a solution for your Office woes. However, that doesn’t mean that the OpenOffice.org suite is the end-all be-all alternative to Microsoft Office Insert-Year-Here. From Web apps to downloadable programs, it’s entirely possible to recreate some of the best parts of this paid-for hunk of apps without resorting to the tried-and-true OpenOffice.org open-source bundle.
And guess what? By going the piecemeal route, you’ll be able to find some new features that simply don’t exist in either aforementioned bundle! So, that said, click the jump to check out some of the best freeware and open-source Microsoft Office replacement apps for your system!
Let it not be said that I don't pay attention to the demands of the readers. No sooner did I wrap up another comparative analysis of three slammin' freeware applications for altering your desktop in new and unique ways then, well, you all talked. And talked. And talked.
That's not a bad thing, however. A number of you voiced support for your favorite applications and utilities that you use to radically transform the look of your traditional Windows desktop in some pretty awesome ways. It would be a shame to let these suggestions languish in the comments thread of an old article, however. So, this week, Freeware Files is all about you. I'll be featuring your suggestions for applications and showing people why they should consider your alternatives for giving their desktops a refreshed look.
Got it? Click the jump and let's check out what your peers are using to make their Windows desktops look amazing!
"Gosh, I sure wish I could make Firefox look more like Google Chrome," you ask yourself. I'm not going to question your choice of browsers--however you decide to surf the Web is up to you. Nor am I going to point you in the direction of some kind of Google Chrome skin for Firefox. It's not like Chrome and Firefox are that radically different in regards to the look of their buttons and such. Differences exist, but nothing so groundbreaking as to warrant a customized skin for your Firefox browser. Plus, I think it would look lame. Case closed.
Or is it? Google Chrome does have a nice interface as a whole. I'm not talking about its colors or its icons, but its general layout. You do get a little bit more screen real estate to work with over Firefox's available space. Status bar? Gone. Giant bar of tabs? Relocated to the top of the browser. Favorites toolbar? Well, that's still there... but suppose you wanted to alter this, as well as Firefox's other GUI bars, at the touch of a button. You could jam on the F11 key to enable full-screen browsing, but then you lose the rest of your Windows interface in exchange for the extra browser room.
Now is the point in our one-sided conversation where a useful add-on called Hide GUI bars comes in to save the day. I'm not going to belabor the point too much, as I bet you can tell exactly what this extension does by the name itself. As always, I'll get into specifics after the jump!