Java & Apache OpenOffice, OpenOffice.org
Java is required for complete OpenOffice (OpenOffice.org) functionality. Java is mainly required for the HSQLDB database engine (used by our database product Base) and to make use of accessibility and assistive technologies. Furthermore some wizards rely on Java technology. See additional topics pertaining to the use of Java in OpenOffice.org and Apache OpenOffice in the Installation FAQ
So what does this imply for me? Base (the database component) relies completely on Java technologies to run, but other programs (like Writer, Calc and Impress) only need Java for special functionality. If you do not need to use Base and do not want to use any of the Wizards, then you do not need to have Java installed and configured for running Apache OpenOffice (and older versions of OpenOffice.org). You can completely prevent OpenOffice from prompting you about the use of Java by telling OpenOffice not to use a Java runtime environment (JRE). From the OpenOffice main menu use: Tools -> OpenOffice.org -> Java, and uncheck "Use a Java runtime environment". However, we do recommend that you have a Java Runtime Environment on your system to take full advantage of OpenOffice's features without any issues.
Legacy versions of OpenOffice.org (3.3 and below) included a JRE packaged with the download. The latest Apache OpenOffice 3.4.1 does not.
If you already have a JRE installed on your system in one of the standard areas for Java installation, OpenOffice should detect this installation and let you choose it for use in OpenOffice via the Tools-> OpenOffice.org -> Java. If you have a JRE installed that is not detected, you should be able to add it through this same menu.
If you choose not to configure OpenOffice with Java (or just forgot about it) you can easily install Java afterwards to get the missing functionality to work.
The current version, Apache OpenOffice 3.4, has worked reliably in a variety of environments using both Oracle Java and openJDK. Feel free to download a JRE from either of these sites if you feel you need this functionality.
The current version, Apache OpenOffice 3.4, has reported problems with using the 32-bit JRE on 64-bit Windows 7 systems. However, this problem can not be reproduced in all cases. Java 1.7 is the latest Java from Oracle.
Please report any problems you experience with using Java on OpenOffice through our bug reporting system, Bugzilla, or one of the other support venues listed in the support page, either the users list or forums.
For installing Java on Windows machines, one might appreciate: Download Instructions for Windows offline.