View Full Version : Open Office
10-27-2008, 01:27 PM
Someone at work just asked me about installing MS office on a new home confuser. I thought for a minute and it came to me, "Have you looked into OpenOffice.org?"
I have seen some comments about Open O here, but I was looking for some indepth input on the subject, before I load this on a friend's confuser.
I may try it on mine tonight...
10-27-2008, 02:00 PM
I find OOo3 to be perfect for my needs. It's got everything I need (writer, spreadsheets etc) and has read (not write mind) support for those silly new .docx's (as well as all the other office07 parts), so I don't have to shout at my tutors too much now when they send me .docx, as I can at least read them!
If you are building a very light system then OOo can be seen as fairly bloated. If you just want a basic word equivalent then something like AbiWord might be better: http://www.abisource.com/
If you just want to be able to do most of the things you can in MS office though, then OOo is a great choice!
10-27-2008, 03:15 PM
does the job, its the most inportant thing ;)
mind that when you have made your own think in writer or calc, if you want to use it on an office pc, you have to save it in the appropriate extension, otherwise it wont work
10-27-2008, 03:46 PM
Let us be frank:
OOo 2.4 does pretty much everything that MSO does.
The standard document formats are well catered for, presentations "just work", except for the .pps shows that you might get in an email, but they will open ok in "Presentation" and then you can switch to slide show.
The main trouble I have is with work document templates in 2.4. afetr import from Word.
Most often the formats are interpreted badly in a series of problems such as:
* successive body paragraphs either do not have the same font or font size that they should have
* level 2 headings have uneven tabulation between the heading number and the heading title
* dot-points have uneven tabulation between the dot-point and the point text
* tables are badly tabulated
* tables are offset from their original position
* headings are offset from their original position
* embedded fonts (a daft idea anyway when you can write to a PDF)
so, as you can tell my only problems here are with the Word Processor application's interpretation of a word document.
These issues take just minutes to fix and are not a show-stopper.
However, it does become problematic if you want to do some more work at home on OOo that you started at work earlier in the day. It becomes slightly worse if you then did all that work at home and then find that you open the document in Word the next day at work and the formatting has gone haywire again right before a meeting.
So...don't use it for this purpose.
Otherwise, go crazy.
It does everything you want it to.
As S. Starbuck says, OOo 3 may be have produced improvements that will make it better for your needs.
I have yet to spend time with OOo 3, especially moving documents between platforms, to see if some of formatting the interpretations have been fixed.
Whilst I am expecting some improvements I am not expecting miracles. But then, I am coming from the view of a heavy-user with high requirements so I do anticipate the need to lower my expectations on some of these finer details. (I used to do a lot of low-level o ffice automation programming in VBA and it will take some time to convert some of those skills to Python and Java, for example)
For general use, you should find that OOo suits your needs quite adequately.
You may have to go looking for formatting options to start with, but you will become familiar with it very quickly and operate it with confidence in very little time.
The great big kicker is whether or not the conversion is worth it ... to keep your document formatting = hundreds of $$$ - Vs. - saving yourself a ton of $$$ and spending a little time tidying up the formatting in some documents when you need to use them again.
To give you a little benchmark, I have saved around 8 thousand dollars in software costs by migrating 3 of of my home machines to Linux in the last year or two. this was relinquished in OS, Office, groupware and several programming IDE licences. I had some issues with replacement drivers for some attached hardware for a few months, but the bullet was finally bit with Intrepid Ibex Alpha (I am hopeful that you are all going to enjoy the Ibex release). Whilst I still interact with windows at work, quite often I am finding workplaces with more and more linux so it is making the conversion experience worthwhile as I can help with some of their issues due to the experiences I have alread had and resolved.
OOo is as good under linux and windows and solaris from my tests, so you can be confident that getting it to do something "special" at home should carry the day at work as well.
If you make the committment to give it a go, make sure that you really do give it a good work out and find out what does and does not work that you used to find easy, and find the right way to do it in OOo.
If you think it through you will win.
10-27-2008, 04:11 PM
Hello Frank, What have you done with AMDave??
10-27-2008, 04:25 PM
Ha Ha - You legend.:icon_wink:
I keep falling for that one.
thant wasn't really Frank, was it!?
/me smacks forehead
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