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LeslieG
04-10-2010, 08:26 PM
Anyone use Open Office? How is it compared to Microsoft Office? I'd like to try it instead of buying it for a new computer I have since it's free, but I need it to be compatible with my Word and Excel documents and also don't want to relearn anything.

gojoe
04-10-2010, 08:45 PM
I've tried it. Still use somethings. You will have to relearn the functions. The major problem is you can convert a Microsoft file to Open Office but not the other way around.

dawson5
04-11-2010, 07:04 AM
We've used it for years and never had a problem with it. When my oldest was in 6th grade, we had to scramble to find a way for him to do a powerpoint presentation and did not have MS office. Now that my other two are in middle school, they actually are telling people about this and they are using it also.

It's freeware and there is a learning curve, but there are a lot of helpful people out there and plenty of forums. Plus there are templates made that you can get.

BuzzLiteyear
04-11-2010, 08:47 AM
I have also used Open Office. Other than a few formatting options that are a little different, it is a very good alternative to MS Office. I have also started using Google Docs. Google Docs are very simple, but they have the basics (document, presentation, and spreadsheet). The nice thing is that the document is saved on Google's servers and able to be accessed from any computer with internet access. You can also download them to your computer in word format.

lovndisney
04-11-2010, 09:00 AM
I use it all the time and have no problems opening microsoft files. If I am working on a file that i need to send i choose to save it as an xls file so I know the other party can open it. Try it...it is free afterall.

ajk912
04-11-2010, 10:45 AM
I've tried it. Still use somethings. You will have to relearn the functions. The major problem is you can convert a Microsoft file to Open Office but not the other way around.

Sure you can, just multisave instead of regular save. I save to openoffice format for using at home, and then microsoft format to my flashdrive and I take my flashdrive to the college so I can use it there..no problems at all!!!

bonoriffic
04-11-2010, 10:46 AM
Your free options are Google Docs, Open Office, and Office Live.

Google Docs shouldn't even be discussed. It is awful. Open Office is better than Google Docs, but still not a replacement. It is barely usable.

Currently in beta preview, Microsoft is making their core Office applications available for free on the web. http://www.officelive.com/en-us/

It won't be completely ready until summer. They are taking their sweet time in releasing the free web version, because frankly they know there is zero competition out there. Honestly, if Open Office was even slightly decent they would be worried, but nobody is bypassing Office for the free stuff in any meaningful way.

One cheap way to get Office if you know anyone going to college is this program: http://www.microsoft.com/student/discounts/theultimatesteal-us/default.aspx

$59.95 for the full Office Professional which is usually over $400.

gacompguy
04-11-2010, 09:14 PM
One cheap way to get Office if you know anyone going to college is this program: http://www.microsoft.com/student/discounts/theultimatesteal-us/default.aspx

$59.95 for the full Office Professional which is usually over $400.

While my experience has been that Microsoft doesn't police this beyond passing the initial eligibility requirements, it would be dishonest for someone to have another person purchase this for them if they themselves were not eligible. Here are the eligibility requirements from the web site:

1. You must have a valid e-mail address at an educational institution ending with the domain suffix .EDU (ie, leina@contoso.edu) OR have a valid email address at one of the educational institutions listed here.

AND

2. You must be a student at a U.S. educational institution and must be actively enrolled in at least 0.5 course credit and be able to provide proof of enrollment upon request.

That said, OpenOffice is a great product for what you pay for it. I've been using it on my MacBook for quite some time with no major compatibility problems. Google Docs definitely serves a purpose, but several PP's are right about it having limited functionality. If you can wait until June, Microsoft will be releasing Office 2010 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Office_2010) along with their web apps. I'd be willing to bet that the warehouse clubs like Sam's, BJ's, and Costco will probably have discounted copies available when it is released.

pooh17
04-12-2010, 05:36 AM
Anohter options is Lotus Symphony. Also free. It looks and feels more like MS Office, imo. It easily lets you open MS file formats and save to MS file formats.

Gwendolyn
04-12-2010, 05:51 AM
I am using Openoffice since a couple of years now. It's a bit different than MS Office, but I love it. I would recomment it to all who are doubting between MS office or Openoffice.

mistysue
04-12-2010, 11:49 AM
We've been using open office for our business and we love it!
Not only is it doing everything microsoft did for us for free, but we can export things right to a pdf, which spared us having to buy Adobe.