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  • September 2013
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I Can’t Pay for That (No Can Do): School Productivity Edition

A home computer or laptop can be a helpful thing to have when it comes to your schoolwork, but what happens if it doesn’t come with the software needed to open the files your teacher sends you? Or to create presentations in the format your teacher expects?

Buying popular word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software can cost up to $100 or more. While we offer access to all of these products at all of our Carnegie Library locations, we also understand that the teenage brain starts revving up around 9 or 10 PM, which, coincidentally, is when we’re closed.

So what can you do when you have a presentation due the next morning? Here are a few free options that can keep you productive at home, provided you have access to a laptop or PC.

office-freeKingsoft Office Suite

This free office suite, available to Windows users, offers fully-featured word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software that is very reminiscent of Microsoft Office 2003. Can open and convert documents from popular office suite software, so you shouldn’t have to worry about not being compatible with what your school uses.


OpenOffice is an open source office software suite that offers word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, database, and math applications, all free and constantly improved upon by a large community of coders. The most recent version, 4.0, makes it even more compatible with the Microsoft products your school likely uses.

unnamedGoogle Drive

Google Drive is a cloud-based office suite that requires nothing but a log-in–no download of any kind–which allows you to access your documents from anywhere you can access a web browser or the mobile app. All your documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, etc. are kept in online folders, so be careful about using it if you don’t have reliable Internet access.

Hopefully, these options can save you a lot of time and aggravation! And a bit of money as well, which you and your family can use during the upcoming Pittsburgh Gives Day of Giving on October 3rd, upon which any donation of $25 or more will be doubled without any additional cost to you!

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

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