I'M just getting started with Linux and I'M using Ubuntu. Straight from the CD Ubuntu came loaded with Open Office - Word, Spreadsheet, & Presentation. But how do I get the whole Open Office package? And what happens with the ones already on my system? Do I need to remove them first? Thanks for any and all replies.

If your install came pre-loaded with open office then what makes you think you are missing packages? You can use apt-get to install packages and apt-cache to search for them.

For example:

sk:~# apt-cache search openoffice | grep ^openoffice
openoffice.org - OpenOffice.org Office suite
openoffice.org-base - OpenOffice.org office suite - database
openoffice.org-calc - OpenOffice.org office suite - spreadsheet
openoffice.org-common - OpenOffice.org office suite architecture independent files
openoffice.org-core - OpenOffice.org office suite architecture dependent files
openoffice.org-ctl-he - Turns on CTL support, & sets Hebrew as the default CTL locale

Then to install a package: apt-get install openoffice.org-calc

The entire OO package isn't installed in the standard Ubuntu LiveCD installation. It's missing openoffice.org-base and maybe one or two other bits. Also openoffice formula is hidden in the main menu, but you just have to make the shortcut to it visible in the menus if you want to access it directly.

Assuming you're using still using GNOME as the desktop manager try going to system->preferences->main menu.
In the window that opens up, select the "Office" icon from the list of menus, then in the main pane you'll see several icons, including one for openoffice.org formula which is deselected.
Select that sucker and hit ok and you've got formula available from the main menu.

That takes care of formula, to get base installed, you can either do it through the command line:
sudo apt-get install openoffice.org-base

or by using the graphical package manager, or the add/remove programs (or Ubuntu software centre if you're using 9.10).

I think there's also a meta-package that installs all of openoffice.org, you'll probably see it if you go via add/remove programs (or the Ubuntu software centre for 9.10). I think it's listed as "OpenOffice.org Office Suite" in 9.10, probably called something similar for earlier versions of Ubuntu too.

If you install the meta-package, it should just download and install any missing OO.org packages (like base). It shouldn't affect any of the already installed OO.org packages.

After installing the meta-package, if there are any items that don't show up in the Applications->Office menu, then go back into the menu editor (as per the instructions above) and enable any unchecked OO.org items that you want to enable.

Hope that's of some help.
Cheers for now,