One of the best practices you can follow in the workplace is to have an alternative to the programs you use every day. For Microsoft Office, the most popular and free alternative is the OpenOffice.org suite. It comes with programs that are used to create presentations, spreadsheets, and text documents with Draw, Calc, and Writer respectively.
While similar to Office files in purpose and function, these OpenOffice formats have different file extensions that can generate compatibility issues. OpenOffice Writer, for instance, creates documents with an .odt extension that not everyone may be able to open. The solution: convert ODT to PDF.
Using OpenOffice as a PDF converter has many advantages—it is free, quick and simple. Yet, keep in mind that this method is exactly that: a quick, simple solution. PDF documents are more robust these days with support for retaining form filling capabilities and multimedia, which simple PDF creation solutions will not be able to handle. Thus, for creating PDFs from more complex content, a dedicated PDF creation tool is the more practical way to go.