Using Open Office has saved our company thousands in licensing fees. Everyone in our organization uses it and we have yet to run into a compatibility issue when sending files to our clients. Sometimes we’ve found that the spell check doesn’t install properly initially and it is necessary to manually set it up. You’ll need to install the dictionaries and ensure spell check is enabled.
Here’s what we did to get it going. Note: You will need to be connected to the Internet so the dictionaries can download.
1. Go to File -> Wizards -> Select your language -> Click the “Start dicOOo” button.
2. Now follow the prompts until it asks you to restart Open Office
3. Once restarted go to Tools -> Options -> Language Settings
4. Under Writing Aids verify/modify the settings and click OK.
5. Under Languages verify/modify the settings and click ok.
You should be good to go. I had to modify mine in one more spot because my Locale is different (long story).
1. Under Format -> Character -> Font the “Language” setting should match what you set in your Language Settings -> Languages
Now any new document you start will have spell check enabled.
We referenced this forum post, spell checker in openoffice.org, to get us started on the right path.
Download a copy and give it a try! OpenOffice.org
Hope this helps!