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  #1  
Old 09-16-2014, 01:06 AM
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Apache Open Office

Anybody ever use this? My nephew, an IT guy, recommended it. Seems it will support, or open rather, existing word files. I had my hard drive wiped and operating system reinstalled but I no longer have office starter which was a good enough Word and Excel for me. Not sure I want to pay every year to use the more complete office.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/20100...ft-office.html
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  #2  
Old 09-16-2014, 06:20 AM
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I used to use it on my laptop years ago - I stopped using it after I discovered LibreOffice, which I found much better.

That or you can buy for $99/yr a license of Office 365 home edition - and get all the real Microsoft stuff.

But of the free options, I think LibreOffice is a better product.


Use ninite.com to grab an installer for your office product, your adobe reader, + PDF creator - run it weekly/monthly to ensure you're up to date:

https://ninite.com/

(all of those products are in the 'Documents' section of ninite).
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  #3  
Old 09-16-2014, 07:27 AM
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There's also Google Docs which is free.
It takes a little getting used to but it works.
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:19 AM
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I use OpenOffice all the time, and love it. The interface is just like what MS Office used to be like, before the stupid ribbon on top. It remembers where you left off by default, which is an awesome feature, especially if you're working on a long document over several days.
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Old 09-16-2014, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyb View Post
I used to use it on my laptop years ago - I stopped using it after I discovered LibreOffice, which I found much better.

That or you can buy for $99/yr a license of Office 365 home edition - and get all the real Microsoft stuff.

But of the free options, I think LibreOffice is a better product.

Use ninite.com to grab an installer for your office product, your adobe reader, + PDF creator - run it weekly/monthly to ensure you're up to date:

https://ninite.com/

(all of those products are in the 'Documents' section of ninite).
Good call. I should've known by now, the point is getting through to me however, that you need to be very careful about who you download software from.

I read somewhere else of someone saying they thought Libre was a better product. I'm trying more and more not to be a cheapskate, at least in matters where it make more sense to spend the money, but somehow the annual license thing bothers me. I mean what, Microsoft is not satisfied with owning the operating system market? A one time sale of the office software is not good enough? Maybe some competition can be introduced into the mix.
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  #6  
Old 09-16-2014, 02:16 PM
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I use it as well, I have no problem with it for my applications. Good free stuff if you ask me.
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  #7  
Old 09-16-2014, 02:20 PM
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I get what you're saying about the buy vs rent - but for me the home edition allows up to 5 computers - latest version and I have 2 PCs, laptop, my wife's PC and my son-in-law - so $99/year is a deal. The cheapest I can find even the home/student to BUY is $139.99 - and I don't get all the programs, plus I don't to the latest version when they upgrade. $99/yr or $9.99/month is a heck of a deal to me. Libreoffice runs on my laptop beside Office 2013.
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Old 09-16-2014, 03:11 PM
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Open Office and Libre Office are of course the same - Libre Office is a clone they made when Oracle bought Sun (the owner) since people felt Oracle is too proprietary. Don't know that there have been dramatic improvements in either. Neither is as good as MS Office - but hey, they're free.

The spreadhsheet is a lot worse than Excel. My primary computer at work is Linux and everything works as good or better than Windows - with 2 exceptions: email and spreadsheet. I keep a 2nd machine with Windows just so I have Outlook and Excel.
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  #9  
Old 09-17-2014, 12:36 AM
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I'll try it, but your remarks about Excel or rather the Open Office spreadsheet are not encouraging. Excel is a powerful tool.
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  #10  
Old 09-17-2014, 04:48 AM
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When an open source/free product forks into two products - calling them the same is a gross simplification. LibreOffice != OpenOffice.

The spreadsheet is a tad more difficult to use than office and no outlook is a pain (use thunderbird).... Or spend $99 on O365home again.
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  #11  
Old 09-17-2014, 06:27 AM
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Going with one of the free or web/in-browser options also makes it easier to ditch Windows altogether later.

The online stuff of course has important properties around backup, safety and the like.
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Old 09-17-2014, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by st_o_p View Post
Open Office and Libre Office are of course the same - Libre Office is a clone they made when Oracle bought Sun (the owner) since people felt Oracle is too proprietary. Don't know that there have been dramatic improvements in either. Neither is as good as MS Office - but hey, they're free.

The spreadhsheet is a lot worse than Excel. My primary computer at work is Linux and everything works as good or better than Windows - with 2 exceptions: email and spreadsheet. I keep a 2nd machine with Windows just so I have Outlook and Excel.
Sorry, but I completely disagree. MS Office is not as good, particularly because of the ribbon and hiding things I frequently want to access, like font things. Review pane functionality is better in Open Office. Instantly opening to where you were is better, though the newest MS version has a "do you want to go back where you left off?" "toast", which if you see it in time you can use, otherwise you're screwed.

All the spreadsheet functionality I need is easy in Open Office Calc too. Filters, sort, pivot tables/charts, formulas.

If I didn't have MSDN Premium through work, I wouldn't bother with Microsuck at all.
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Old 09-17-2014, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Squiddie View Post
Going with one of the free or web/in-browser options also makes it easier to ditch Windows altogether later.

The online stuff of course has important properties around backup, safety and the like.
And important security concerns.
And dependency on a provider to access your content.

You can get a 1TB USB backup drive dirt cheap.
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Old 09-17-2014, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyb View Post
When an open source/free product forks into two products - calling them the same is a gross simplification. LibreOffice != OpenOffice.

The spreadsheet is a tad more difficult to use than office and no outlook is a pain (use thunderbird).... Or spend $99 on O365home again.
And exactly what groundbreaking features does one have that the other doesn't? For the average user they are virtually identical (although I'll admit I'm not power user of either).


Quote:
Originally Posted by mark_m5 View Post
Sorry, but I completely disagree. MS Office is not as good, particularly because of the ribbon and hiding things I frequently want to access, like font things. Review pane functionality is better in Open Office. Instantly opening to where you were is better, though the newest MS version has a "do you want to go back where you left off?" "toast", which if you see it in time you can use, otherwise you're screwed.

All the spreadsheet functionality I need is easy in Open Office Calc too. Filters, sort, pivot tables/charts, formulas.

If I didn't have MSDN Premium through work, I wouldn't bother with Microsuck at all.
I have no problem with the ribbon. Opening huge files chokes Open/Libre Office while Excel works like a charm. Also when people email a spreadhseet out - it is usually produced by Excel. Often when you open it in Open/Libre office it doesn't look exactly the same and of course things like macros don't work (so some cells don't populate, etc). They finally fixed the filtering last year or thereabout - now you can filter by mutliple values with checkboxes, before the open one was attrocious - you could only filter by one value or none at all. But overall it's usable, just not as good - for my personal usage.
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Old 09-17-2014, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by mark_m5 View Post
And important security concerns.
And dependency on a provider to access your content.

You can get a 1TB USB backup drive dirt cheap.
Sure. Just saying that regular people and backup often don't mix. And USB can kinda suck. And sometimes the computer literate people **** up backup the most.

As you say, now you need to consider your security needs AND whether you actually understand the security model in place. Good luck

Still, for regular fluff, why not a free online thing. It works and has little worries if it isn't too secret.
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  #16  
Old 09-17-2014, 05:49 PM
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I've used Open Office for over a decade. At first, I'd say that Excel was better than the Open Office Calc, but the differences aren't that great for what I do. The main thing that got me away from MS Office for home use was having a problem with licensing after re-installing Office on a reformatted computer. It also use to be annoying to pay for the same software every time I migrated to a newer OS, especially when they want more than the cost of new low-end PC.
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  #17  
Old 09-17-2014, 08:46 PM
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And exactly what groundbreaking features does one have that the other doesn't? For the average user they are virtually identical (although I'll admit I'm not power user of either).
Nothing 'groundbreaking' - but the differences are real.

LibreOffice has better support for DOCX, XLSX in my experience - openOffice development sort of stalled, but Libre's community based development continues to march on.

Personal choice I guess, but I prefer the community driven + developed effort.
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  #18  
Old Today, 10:37 AM
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Another thing I HATE about Microsoft Office 2013 - waiting 1 whole MINUTE for the "Please wait while setup prepares the necessary files" dialog to close before you can do anything. Really? Why does it need to do that every time I open Word? Stupid. Just Stupid. Open Office is SO much better.
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  #19  
Old Today, 11:35 AM
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I configure/implement/customize cloud based software that sometimes requires the customer upload excel files into the system. My company provided Office 365, but the problem is that the excel files that need to be uploaded sometimes contain leading zeros (meaning, columns with numbers that start with zero, like 00536, and if the company needs to download the file to manipulate the data, if they open the file in Excel, it strips out the leading zeros. There could be hundreds or thousands of these, so they’d have to put them all back in and re-save the file before re-uploading to keep from royally screwing up the system by creating new entries (536 for what should be 00536).

Anyway, for this reason, the company documentation recommends all customers (and we) download OpenOffice and use that for these files, since OpenOffice calc does not strip out leading zeros when you open an Excel file with it, so no possibility of screwing things up. For this reason, I’ve had it on my computer alongside Office for a few years. Probably won’t make any difference for you, but it works great. I also put OpenOffice on my parents’ computers so they didn't have to buy Word/Office. To the average Word/Excel, user, they won’t really notice a difference IMO.

If I didn't get Office for free, I'd probably just use OpenOffice, or LibreOffice, which I hadn't heard of until reading this thread. wyb knows his stuff when it comes to these things, so I'd say its worth a look.
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