OpenOffice Impress Review

Open PowerPoint files for free and create your own presentations

OpenOffice Impress is the free presentation software that's included in OpenOffice, which is an office suite that also includes a word processor, spreadsheet program, and database software.

There are tons of great presentation making features in OpenOffice Impress and it supports all the common file formats that other presentation programs use.

OpenOffice Impress
What We Like
  • Automatic spell check as you type.

  • Intuitive interface.

  • Tons of basic and advanced features.

  • Doesn't require installation (there's a portable version).

What We Don't Like
  • The whole office suite must be downloaded just to use Impress.

  • Boring program interface; not the most user-friendly program.

  • Large setup file, so download may be slow.

  • Other office tools try to install alongside Impress.

OpenOffice Impress Supported File Formats

Below are just some of the file formats supported by the OpenOffice suite, specifically the ones that work with Impress. If you're using Impress as a replacement for Microsoft PowerPoint, you'll be pleased to know that it can open PPTX files.

Open Formats

PPTM, PPTX, POTM, POTX, PPT, PPS, POT, ODP, OTP, SXI, STI, SXD, CGM, UOP, UOF, ODG

Save Formats

PPT, POT, ODP, OTP, SXI, STI, SXD, UOP, ODG, as well as HTML, PDF, SWF, and image formats like JPG, GIF, SVG, TIF, PNG, RAS, BMP

OpenOffice Impress Description

  • OpenOffice Impress works with Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • If you accept the defaults when installing Impress, you can also get other free office tools like OpenOffice Writer, Calc, Base, Draw, and Math
  • There are OpenOffice Impress extensions you can install, as well as free Impress templates
  • A wizard can guide you through setting up a presentation from scratch
  • A presentation can be previewed in a web browser
  • Slides can be hidden so you can keep them without displaying them during a presentation
  • Keyboard shortcuts can me modified for several commands
  • A menu on the bottom of OpenOffice Impress allows for easy access to things like shapes and other import options
  • The case of words can be changed in batch, such as making the first letter of every word capitalized and changing all letters to lowercase or uppercase
  • The number of allowed undo steps can be modified to up to 100 steps
  • Slide Sorter makes is really easy to rearrange several slides
  • A number of slide transitions are available like Shape Plus, Uncover Left, and Wipe Down
  • Tons of toolbars can be shown or hidden and even detached from the main program
  • Common formatting options are allowed like changing font type, size, color, and alignment
  • Tables and charts can be used in OpenOffice Impress
  • Video and sound files can be imported onto a slide
  • Notes can be added to slides
  • Loads of animations can be chosen from like ones for an entrance, emphasis, exit, motion path, and other types
  • Advanced tools are available like Color Replacer to replace up to four source colors at once with a custom tolerance level and XML Filter Settings
  • A header and footer can be applied to slides, notes, and handouts to include the current date and time, custom text, or slide page number
  • OpenOffice Impress supports macros
  • Over 10 layouts can be chosen for organizing content on slides
  • Advanced style formatting is allowed for background objects, titles, subtitles, and more, such as changing the transparency, graphics, font, bullets, tabs, font effects, numbering type and many more options
  • A massive gallery of images holds things like arrows, bullets, computer images, finance pictures, rulers, and many other types of importable graphics
  • A side menu is available for easy access to text properties, animations, styles, and the gallery
  • Several advanced options can be modified such as the amount of memory OpenOfffice Impress can use for graphics, whether hardware acceleration should be used, macro security settings, how often to save AutoRecovery information, and custom websites for Internet searches

Final Thoughts on OpenOffice Impress

There are so many features in OpenOffice Impress that I think it's a great program to use for making presentations.

I especially like that you can use it in a portable form from something like a flash drive. However, I don't like that you're required to download the whole office suite just to use the Impress portion. This means you're downloading and storing files that take up around 700 MB of storage even if you only want to use the presentation software.

Similarly, if you download the installable version, you have to download the whole suite at once which might take a while to get if you have a slow internet connection. However, once you begin installing it, you're given the option to only add Impress to your computer if you don't want the other office tools.

I also like that OpenOffice Impress can open such a large number of popular file formats. Some of the more common ones include those found in Microsoft PowerPoint like POTM, POTX, and PPTM.

The interface isn't too hard to navigate through but I find WPS Office's Presentation program to be much easier, and it even includes many of the same tools and features.

You can download the portable version of OpenOffice from PortableApps.com.