Chapter 7. Business Basics: Word Processing and More

Got a quarterly report, monster spreadsheet, or 100-slide presentation you need to check over while you’re on the road? Netbooks may not have the most powerful videogame-churning processors, but there’s more than enough mojo under the keyboard to handle standard office chores like word processing, number crunching, and slideshow creation.

As described in earlier chapters, netbooks come with the basic software like WordPad to let you do light word processing and other texty stuff. But you’re not stuck with only these simple tools—you can use much more powerful productivity software (like the nearly universal Microsoft Office) on your netbook. Ubuntu Linux machines come with the OpenOffice.org suite (think Microsoft Office, but free) already installed and ready for you to dig into a document or worksheet.

But you don’t have to limit yourself to using programs installed on your netbook. With the Web within reach, you can do your office homework online and even keep it there using tools like Google Docs & Spreadsheets and other free services designed to let you stay productive on the run. This chapter shows you what’s out there, software-wise, if you need to get a little work done between Facebook visits.

Microsoft Office for Windows Netbooks

The core programs in Microsoft Office’s suite—Word, Excel, and PowerPoint—have been around in some form for 20 years and have enjoyed something close to world domination for much of them. For much ...

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