OpenOffice Impress Review

Open PowerPoint files for free and create your own presentations

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

There are tons of great presentation making features in Impress, and it supports all the common file formats that other presentation programs use. It runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

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.

  • Can't save to PPTX or POTX.

OpenOffice Impress Supported File Formats

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

Open Formats


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

As you can see, Impress can open PPTX files, but it can't save back to that same format. A free document converter can help if you need the file to exist in that format.

OpenOffice Impress Description

Here are some more notable features:

  • If you accept the defaults during the installation, you also get other free office tools like Writer, Calc, Base, Draw, and Math.
  • There are program extensions for Impress that you can install for added functionality, as well as free slideshow templates.
  • A wizard can guide you through setting up a presentation from scratch.
  • 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 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. They can be applied upon a click of your mouse or after a set number of seconds.
  • 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.
  • Rehearse Timings is a way to go through the slideshow to see how long it'll take you to get through all the slides. That way, the next time you present it with automatic slide changes, the timing will be as it was recorded.
  • Video and sound files can be imported onto a slide.
  • Notes can be added to slides; ideal for reading from during a presentation.
  • 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.
  • Macros can be used.
  • 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 the program can use for graphics, whether hardware acceleration should be used, macro security settings, how often to save AutoRecovery information, and custom websites for web searches.
  • Make custom slideshows that don't show all the slides.
  • Includes a built-in media player that supports sound and video files.

Our Thoughts on OpenOffice Impress

The wealth of features in Impress make it a great program for making presentations. Not only is it great for creating a new slideshow or editing an existing one, but it has all the bells and whistles you'd expect for presenting the file, too.

We especially like that you can use it in a portable form from something like a flash drive. However, we don't like that you're required to download the whole suite just to use this one program. This means you're downloading and storing files that take up around several hundred megabytes 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.

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

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

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