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 OpenOffice versus MS Word?

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Juan Freizwidatt
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:44 am Reply with quoteBack to top

My daughter just got a new computer but the MS Word software it came with is just a trial version, she has to pay $169 to activate it. Can the wizards here suggest the best (free) alternative? I've heard OpenOffice is good but she only needs the word processing aspect, none of the spreadsheet or other applications are necessary. Is there something out there that has a simple interface that someone who has only worked with Word can quickly master?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:19 am Reply with quoteBack to top

With Openoffice you can choose which parts you want to install. So you could just install the word processing component, Openoffice Writer, and tell it not to install the others.

Other than that, Wordpad is ok for running off quick documents with only the basic formatting functions. Handy if you don't need anything more advanced for the task at hand. It can't save in the .DOC format though.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:38 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hey Juan Freizwidatt

I'm no major fan of microshaft but it is the biggest elephant in the room and sets many defacto standards.

If your daughter is a student then she can get a very good price for MS office from http://www.microsoft.com/student/discounts/itsnotcheating/default.aspx and pick up MS Office Ultimate for about $75 dollars. This will also get her the new 2010 version when it comes out.

It's a genuine offer of long standing and I managed to score a copy myself a while ago so it works.

The offer followed some sort of trial to reduce piracy called 'It's Not Cheating'. It applies to OZ students but perhaps there is something similar in other countries too.

MS also have the MSDN academic alliance software centre that works worldwide. From here a student / academic can get premium MS products for nix ... including XP and VISTA. Not sure if WIN7 is there yet.

Then there is MS Dreamspark (https://www.dreamspark.com/default.aspx?wa=wsignin1.0&lc=1033) which is more or less like the MSDN alliance site ... actually it offers less come to think of it. But you can get a slew of goodies here too and all legitimate. Including teaching modules.

HTH

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:20 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Juan, I would definately go with OpenOffice.
I installed it on my daughters computer for all of her homework. It's free, does everything that MSWord does, and more.
I especially like that it can handle so many other formats, including pdf.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:13 am Reply with quoteBack to top

My laptop had a 60 day trial that said I could only open word/excel 20 times or something. I opened word and left in minimized at the bottom of the screen. I reset that annoying 'download updates' to download the updates but not install them and restart the computer unless I said to. That way I didn't have to re-open any of the microsoft programs very often and managed to keep that trial going for 30 months.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:13 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Go with Open Office. It's free, the interface is nearly identical to the corresponding Microsoft components, it exchanges documents with MS users nicely, and you can choose which programs you actually want to download.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:28 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Another vote for OpenOffice. It's free and does everything you need (plus much more).

There's just one thing, if you're used to MS Office you should expect a series of minor annoyances until you get to know OpenOffice a bit better. Nothing grave, just be prepared to google a couple of things that suddenly work slightly differently.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:38 am Reply with quoteBack to top

At home i use openoffice, when i was a student i used Microsoft office. The differences in excel are too big and not easy to overcome unless you know how to use both very well.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:37 am Reply with quoteBack to top

And another vote for OpenOffice. Wish it had been available when I was working in a typing pool many decades ago. But then we only had electric typewriters way back then Shocked .

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:11 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I use Open Office. Installed on a U3 USB memory stick, so it and associated documents can be used on any PC.
Office 2007 has a Home and Student version with three licences, which makes it quite cheap for a multi-PC household. You may even have a spare licence.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:10 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I also vote in favour of open office if you can't afford word - just install Writer and none of the other packages if you just want word processing.
As mentioned above it's very similar to Word, and you can customise many aspects of it to make it even more so.

I am a big fan of Word (years of experience = hard to switch to anything else) but installed openoffice on my home machines to avoid excess costs, and I'm very happy to work with Writer there (less so with Calc and Impress, the OpenOffice versions of excel and powerpoint which are still missing certain specific capabilities which are essential to me).

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:00 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

OpenOffice Writer for me. Does more than Word and you can save docs in Microsoft Word format if you wish.
I use it on principle (I hate Gates he just steals other's ideas) and it's free! Very Happy

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:28 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Where I volunteer (used to be paid, but the funding ran out), we recommend Open Office to our patients. As my fellow volunteer says, MS thinks computers should be free and software should cost money, the folks at Open Office think computers should cost and software should be free.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:56 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Openoffice has one major advantage going for it. It's not Microsoft, and therefore everybody loves it*.


*except those that have been brainwashed by the big corporate giant from Seattle.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:28 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^
It's not Microsoft, therefore it doesn't crash after you've made a certain number of unsaved changes, lol.

To date, I've only managed to break Openoffice once. (Although to be fair that was actually quite a nasty bug that prevented the PC from shutting down, so I pretty much had to pull the plug.
Just make sure the "Use Openoffice dialogs" option is always turned off. Something about that in their knowledgebase that I didn't bother reading all the way through because it didn't tell me how to fix it.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:02 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm all for free software, and I even run Linux most of the time, but honestly I feel OO is a nightmare to work with. Writer has this annoying habit of completely mutilating documents once in a while, the UI is annoying, and the .doc support it has works... sometimes.

Then again, I also think that whoever designed the Office 2007 UI needs to be hit with something heavy until they regain their sanity. I'm still using 2003 for now.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:39 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Even if Microsoft Office didn't demand a leg, a kidney, my firstborn, and 51% of my soul, I'd still choose OpenOffice over it.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:44 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Recently downloaded Open Office because MS Vista and Windows7 can be snooty with Office Professional 1997, similar but FREE and I like it better. Aslo installed Serfif Page PlusX4 mcuh cheaper than MS Publisher and works the same.

MS need to drop prices to stay in the market place.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:25 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I quite like Open Office, but I use MS 2003, as it is the one that I learnt on !

Quote:
Then again, I also think that whoever designed the Office 2007 UI needs to be hit with something heavy until they regain their sanity


I agree !!!!!
Got a preview copy of 2010, jury is still out on that !

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:47 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^ Word 2007 is an abomination, it wasn't broken in 1997 so why wreck it?

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:45 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I like open office, and the only modification I made was to have it save documents as .doc rather than whatever the default extension is. The first time I sent a document to someone who uses Word, they couldn't open it. (Thanks Microsoft!)

Another advantage to OO is that it can handle the annoying new .docx files, whereas the older version of Word cannot. I have a friend still using an old version of Word (maybe 2003) and she can't open .docx files, so she sends them to me, I save them as .doc and send them back. One day she too will get OO. I hope.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:34 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Tell the daughter to try AbiWord (free software). Just text editor. Available in M$ Winblows or Linux flavours.
This comes at a cost, though. She owes me a kiss or a pint of lager. The choice is hers Wink

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:12 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Kam Fong as Chin Ho wrote:
I have a friend still using an old version of Word (maybe 2003) and she can't open .docx files


Shsht... Wink

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:47 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I use 2003 at work and 2007 at home (need it for classes). 2003 has an update in it from not too long ago that lets you open docx files just fine now. I've used OpenOffice and MS but actually prefer the MS. Like I said, I had to get 2k7 so it didn't hurt to be able to get a student version for $60.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:59 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I think I win MS office Professional 1997 which I still use with XP machines.

Have noticed that Internet Explorer 8 and Windows 7 can be bad friends but tuch wood are OK at present.

Has anybody else had a problem wuith Google Chrome? Emails won't accept C&P?

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