Open Office

Reply Mon 27 Dec, 2010 04:09 am


just wondered if anyone has used OpenOffice as opposed to Microsoct 2007 and if so what are their opinion on it. I want word and Excel but dont want to fork out the £70+ price tag

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Reply Mon 27 Dec, 2010 08:33 am
I've downloaded it and barely used it (I have Office 2003), but it seems acceptable at first blush. Why don't you download it and see?
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Reply Mon 27 Dec, 2010 08:38 am
We have Open Office at my work but we also have Google Docs so it's possible that I'm thinking of one and not the other. Okay and compatible but sometimes slow opening -- but again I may be thinking more of Google Docs.
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Reply Mon 27 Dec, 2010 09:06 am
I use OpenOffice almost exclusively. I highly recommend it, and I think you should save the 70 pounds unless you have some reason to do otherwise.

I have written documents at work using OpenOffice that I have sent to people who read it with Microsoft word. And, I have read documents that people have sent me. Again, no problem.

There are a couple of odd things that OpenOffice doesn't do well. The most important is the little notes and change logs, that you can use in Microsoft Word. This feature is used when many people are working on the same document, and you can leave notes about why you made each change. One of the few times I needed to use Word is when I was working on a project that relied on this feature.

I have also had no problems reading and writing Excel documents.

One other caviat, when you share with Microsoft users, you need to remember to save documents in Microsoft formats rather than in the (in my view superior) OpenOffice formats which Microsoft doesn't know how to read. This is very easy to do, in fact you can set up OpenOffice to always do this.

Here is my advice. OpenOffice is a very well made, intuitive, full-featured product. You should install it and use it. Then in the future if for some reason you feel like you need to drop the 70 pounds on that other software, there is no reason you can't (since you can easily move your work to Microsoft if you ever need to).
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Reply Mon 27 Dec, 2010 09:13 am
I've used it for several years without major issue other than incompatibility issues (file formatting issues) with trying to re-edit a doc file on another computer that only has MS Word or when I had to turn in a research paper in via email to a professor, etc....

The latter was fixed when I converted the file into a PDF file which is a great free option in Open Office Suite.

I stopped using it after a freak major catastrophe hit and Open Office destroyed a major research paper by eliminating 14 pages of embedded endnotes, numbering et al.
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Reply Mon 27 Dec, 2010 09:22 am
I use O-O at home and generally don't have any issues. It is not as good with graphs as Excel and has some other idiosyncrasies, but you get a lot for free.
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