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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

By Bruce Byfield on September 11, 2007 (9:00:00 AM)

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Every few years, I check in on how OpenOffice.org Writer compares to Microsoft Word. The first comparison came in 2002, the second in 2005. In those two comparisons, OpenOffice.org emerged as superior, not least for its greater stability. With Microsoft Office 2007 now out for six months and OpenOffice.org 2.3 about to be released, what's the situation today? To find out, I compared the two programs on the tools that most intermediate to advanced users are likely to use.

The Interfaces

Dozens of keyboards must have been worn out in denouncing the introduction of ribbons in Microsoft Office 2007. At least one company now even offers a program to give Microsoft Office 2007 its former look. However, stripped of the hype, ribbons are nothing more than a merger of menus and toolbars, and anyone who keeps an open mind about change should be able to adjust to them for most purposes in less than 20 minutes. The main problem is not so much the idea of ribbons as the poor arrangement of items on them -- despite the effort to group related functions in one pane. Configuration options are difficult to find, and the arrangement of some functions seems completely arbitrary, with some that used to be in the File and Edit menus in a tab on the upper left, others on the far left and right sides of the Home tab, and still others dumped randomly on the Insert tab. Many users, I suspect, will miss the arrangement of some of the File and Edit items under the large logo button on the left of the ribbon area.

OpenOffice.org Writer 2.3 retains the look of the older versions of Microsoft Word that it originally borrowed from, with some borrowings from other programs and macros that have been integrated into the program. The result is chaotic, but it has the virtue of at least being familiar chaos. Instead of ribbons, it uses floating toolbars that pop up in the appropriate context. Although these toolbars sometimes spring into existence right where you are working, on the whole they are much less disruptive than a complete interface overhaul.

Verdict: OpenOffice.org, not because it is well-designed, but because Microsoft Word's changes seem pointless and upset users for no good reason.

Styles

Word processor styles are like declarations of a variable in source code: They allow you to save effort by doing work once instead of repeating it each time that you need it. With styles for characters, paragraphs, lists, frames, and pages, Writer remains one of the most style-oriented word processors available, often forcing users to apply styles in order to take advantage of advanced features. With floating styles and formatting window, Writer is one of the easiest programs in which to apply styles.

Microsoft Word 2003 toyed with its own floating style window, but in 2007, its developers opted for placing styles in the right half of the Home tab's ribbon. This arrangement displays a half dozen of the most common styles and a drop-down list of 10 more. These styles are further subdivided into style sets reminiscent of those used for templates in early Word versions, such as Elegant, Formal, and Modern. To change styles, you have to drill down several layers, while you create new styles via formatted selections in a document rather than from a menu choice. I appreciate the one-line previews of each style, but the overall result, as with the general interface, is a lot of cosmetic choices for no strong reasons. Meanwhile, the lack of page or frame styles continues to severely limit layout in Word.

Verdict: OpenOffice.org.

Page layout

Writer's page layout lacks only the ability to repeat a text frame on each application of a style to have the power of an intermediate desktop publishing program. Word, however, has little concept of the page as a design unit. Its Building Blocks, which include a number of different page layouts, is a step in the right direction, but the feature is far more rigid than Writer's page styles.

Verdict: OpenOffice.org.

Templates

Previous versions of Word lured users to corrupt their documents by applying multiple templates to them. Word 2007 seems to have removed that temptation by not providing an interface in which to apply multiple templates. In theory, this change should make Word files less prone to corruption, but only extended use will prove whether that is so.

Word installs with dozens of templates, with even more templates online, vastly outdoing the handful with which Writer ships. You can get dozens of free Writer templates online without any difficulty, but the mystery is why OpenOffice.org doesn't ship with them, or at least link to them, the way that Word does.

Verdict: Microsoft Word.

Outlining

Nothing has changed in outlining in either program: Word still has an Outline view with a collapsible tree view, and Writer still has a list of Headings in the Navigator floating window. Word's Outline view allows users to conceal individual headings, while Writer's Navigator only gives you the option of hiding headings beneath a certain level. Writer also requires some customizing of Tools -> Outline Numbering before the Navigator shows body text, while Word displays it by default.

Verdict: Microsoft Word. OOo Writer's outlining remains only adequate.

Bulleted and numbered lists

Word 2007 improves on earlier versions by providing a tool for setting up nested lists with a limited number of layout options. Otherwise, lists in Word 2007 remain prone to corruption when you start editing them unless you set up SEQ fields for numbering and design macros to apply them automatically. Nor does Word allow fine-tuning of such details as the space between a bullet and text, although you can define your own list styles.

Writer has not changed its implementation of lists in version 2.3, but it had little room for improvement. If you use list styles, you can nest lists and move list items around without the slightest problem, and edit their layout in detail.

Verdict: Despite some improvements in Word 2007, Writer is not seriously challenged.

Tables

Despite some serious limits in older versions of Writer, today both Word and Writer handle tables about equally well, providing similar features for creating tables and allowing the same range of formatting choices. In both cases, too, the formatting leaves something to be desired, with Writer's Autoformats being useful only for tables with the same numbers of rows as the applied format, and Word's table format being easily corrupted if you change the options on a particular table. Although some users like Word's tool for drawing a table, it is hardly an efficient tool, and is not much to weight against Writer's ability to implement basic mathematical functions and the convenience of its centralized formatting options. In Word, formatting always seems to involve drilling so far down into the dialogs that you forget your original purpose.

Verdict: Tie. Both could be improved.

Headers and Footers

For years, Word has been notorious for an awkward, pre-WYSIWYG tool for headers and footers. That tool finally hit the recycling bin in Word 2007, but what replaces it is only slightly better. Word 2007 not only defaults to four choices of header or footer, three of which are of dubious use, but is still limited to having different headers for the first, odd, and even pages unless you use sections in a document, and has only limited formats.

By comparison, in tying headers and footers to page styles, Writer allows for a greater variety of headers and footers with less effort. In addition, its headers and footers have more formatting options. It helps that footers and headers are individually defined styles in Writer.

Verdict: OOo Writer.

Footnotes and endnotes

Writer's notes are highly customizable in every aspect, from the text style to the design of the marker in the text to the separating line and whether continuation notices are used when a note flows over on to another page. Word's functionality is only basic by comparison.

Verdict: OOo Writer.

Cross-references

No point in belaboring the obvious: Writer's cross-reference tool continues to be arcane and usable only when some custom fields or macros are added to automate the process. Word's haven't changed much, either, but had less need to. Both would benefit from the ability to create and store introductory text in a cross-reference.

Verdict: Microsoft Word.

Indexes, tables of content, and bibliographies

Word's formatting of indexes and tables remains rudimentary compared to Writer. For instance, Word's designers never seem to have considered the possibility of more than one order in table of content entries, nor heard that leader dots between an entry's text and page number is a sign of faulty design. Writer's indexes and tables allow far more customizing, although at the expense of a slightly confusing or overwhelming interface.

Word's sole advantage is its ability to choose which standard citation formats to use automatically for bibliographies. You can set up Writer to use a particular citation format, but only by doing a lot of customization.

Verdict: OOo Writer -- but that doesn't mean that Writer couldn't improve its bibliographies.

Master documents

Master documents are collections of files that ease the editing of what would otherwise be long or large documents. For more than a decade, one word has been used over and over to refer to master documents in Microsoft Word: Don't. Over all the versions of Word in that time, master documents have been prone to crashing and corrupting their subdocuments. That hasn't changed in Word 2007.

For anyone who has struggled with Word's master documents, Writer's are a pleasant surprise. Easy to use and generally stable, the few times they do crash, they don't destroy the subdocuments.

The ironic part is, Word needs master documents, since it cannot reliably handle documents longer than about 40 pages. By contrast, Writer can handle documents hundreds of pages long, provided you have the necessary RAM to move through them efficiently.

Verdict: OOo Writer.

Drawing tools

With the release of version 2.0, Writer gained equality with Microsoft Word's tools for manipulating basic shapes, charts, and graphical text. Nothing has changed in the two applications' most recent versions.

Verdict: Tie. Possibly, the round might go to Word for a larger selection of integrated clip art.

Unique features

As in earlier releases, Word includes a grammar checker -- a mixed blessing, since it can encourage as much as correct errors, but still a feature that Writer lacks. In addition, Word 2007 includes research and translation links. Other unique features in Word includes a selection of options for displaying changes in a document, a split pane view for comparing two versions of the same document, and a multiple clipboard.

In comparison, Writer has few if any features not shared by Word. By default, it includes the export of files to PDF, but an add-on gives Word the same ability.

Verdict: Microsoft Word.

Conclusion

As in the previous two comparisons, Writer emerged as the winner in the majority of categories. However, in many categories, the decision is not as obvious as in previous comparisons. For the first time in several releases, Word's designers seem to be making significant changes. These changes are not always successful -- in fact, the reordering of menus into ribbons might be seen by the cynical as an attempt to hide some long-term embarrassments, such as the ongoing problems with master documents. But at least the effort is being made. Writer, by contrast, seems to be standing still, and some of its problems -- notably, cross-references -- are almost as long-neglected as some of Word's.

As free software, Writer has advantages that Word is unlikely to match -- its philosophy, its price, its easy availability, and its frequent updates. However, speaking only in terms of functionality, Writer seems to be coasting a little on its reputation. If that continues, its superiority may be eroded, or dissolved altogether.

Bruce Byfield is a computer journalist who writes regularly for Linux.com.

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on Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Micosoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 198.240.213.26] on September 11, 2007 09:58 AM
Another advantage of OpenOffice.org Writer is that its document format, ODF, is open and well-specified. Probably most users don't understand why they should care about that - but they should.

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Re: Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Micosoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 132.199.174.149] on September 11, 2007 01:02 PM
I do appreciate the fact that ODF is an open and well designed ISO spec. However, the available implementations of ODF (AbiWord, KOffice and the like) seem to disagree about the interpretation of the spec sufficiently to make document exchange a PITA. From a practical point of view it is more important to me that OO is available on several platforms. I can continue to edit files from my workplace Windoze box at home on my FreeBSD box. Couldn't do this with Word.

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Re: Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Micosoft Word, round three

Posted by: The Chief on September 12, 2007 08:29 PM
Yes, I have used both, and I prefer Open Source.org

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Re: Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Micosoft Word, round three

Posted by: The Chief on September 12, 2007 08:41 PM
I still prefer OO writer to Word

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Re: Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Micosoft Word, round three

Posted by: Nico on November 17, 2007 03:29 PM
I prefer using OO with my powerbook too ... i avoid to use MS products generally .... <a href="http://www.scheinschatten.de" target="_self" "title"Music and Movie Download">Nico</a>

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 121.115.255.186] on September 11, 2007 11:46 AM
All of this is interesting, but the reality is that those of us who work with files provided by our customers need perfect compatibility with Word, something that OO.o does not yet offer. I nearly went out of business because of the way Writer mangled Word documents.

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Re: Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 193.33.94.130] on September 11, 2007 12:38 PM
On the other hand, this week I have been grateful Open Office existed. I had to translate a 90-page MS Word document which had been heavily annoted with comments and track changes. In order to tranlate it, I accepted all changes and removed the contents, while the translation software converted it to .rtf and back (whithout altering the formating in any other way).

Using MS Word I was unable to further edit the document as after a few succesful saves it would invariably crash on save. After one day of frustration, I decided to use open office to edit the file. The resulting doc was stable and required only 10 minutes to restore the lost formating (the footer, the title numbering and alignment).

While I strongly dislike Open Office as too much of a MS Word clone, with its own problems in terms of features and interface, its stability with long and/or complex documents has been life saving feature. I would rather have a stable, functioning piece of software - even if ugly - instead of a fancy, feature-rich application, which only works in certain quirky ways and only up to a modest limit of complexity.

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Re: Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Jon Tyler on September 11, 2007 02:08 PM
You surely do not believe anyone will take you seriously on this. Number 1 - If you can not recognize deficiencies in your business, you can not blame Writer. Number 2 - I use Writer everyday to receive and send Word docs and have yet to have a document "mangled." I would like to know the exact situation in which his happens to you. Number 3 - If you are going to spread FUD, it is better to find an audience that doesn't know better.

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Re(1): Mangled .DOCs

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 58.69.228.16] on September 11, 2007 04:58 PM
I've found that Writer has trouble with Word's frames. They're often out of alignment. Same with drawing objects, they were off their original Word locations. Best to create things like organizational charts in another program then Paste (maybe Special).

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Re(2): Mangled .DOCs

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 64.252.40.128] on September 12, 2007 12:22 AM
Frames? Using a word processor to do desktop publishing is just asking for trouble. Right up there with using a spreadsheet as a database. Use the right tools for the job and you'll better stay in business. BTW - what DO you do that Writer almost put you out of business? Do you write tech docs for Microsoft or something?

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Re(1): Incompatibilities (examples)

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 121.115.255.186] on September 12, 2007 12:55 AM
Jon, I' ve had all kinds of problems with Writer, which I've documented on a Linux list I started.
Here is the main quote:
Here is a summary of some compatibility issues I've encountered when
attempting to work with MS Office files in OpenOffice on Linux. As far
as I can determine, these are distribution-independent problems; that is,
they will bite you no matter what distro you are using.

1. Font substitution problems
The most serious problem comes with bullets and numbering fonts. For
some reason, OOo changes the fonts used in MS Word documents for bullets
and numbering. In some cases, the WingDings font is used. This is more
than a cosmetics issue; when the Word document is then transferred to
Windows and opened there, the font changes remain. If, for example,
"Appendix A-1" appeared in the original, it will now show only WingDings
symbols. Some numbers and bullets display as boxes or other symbols.

Obviously I can't submit such documents to customers and expect them to
change all the fonts back to the original. It might be possible to go
through all the settings and define different font substitutions, but
that just makes my job more tedious than it would be to use Word in the
first place.

2. Uneditable embedded objects
If the original PowerPoint slide has, say, an embedded chart that was
created in Excel based on numeric and text data, and I am asked to
replace the original Japanese in the chart with English, OOo apparently
lacks the ability to edit the original. In PowerPoint (Windows), it's
simply a matter of clicking on various parts of the chart and
replacing the original data.

3. Indenting
MS Office and OOo have different ways of using tabs to set indenting. In
some cases, this results in compatibility problems with numbered or
bulleted headings, etc., even when creating a document from scratch in
OOo.

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Re: Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 84.52.174.5] on September 11, 2007 08:52 PM
That's exactly why OpenDocument Format (ODF) is so important. To prevent format lock-in like you are experiencing now with Word files. ODF is completely open format and completely free and that's why everybody and anybody can provide proper support for it and this means that it is much more easy to select whichever application that supports ODF format to edit your documents.

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Re(1): Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.197.106.70] on September 12, 2007 09:32 AM
Just like HTML is a completely open format and completely free. And as one can naturally see from HTML, everybody provides proper support for it and its display is consistent across a number applications and platforms.
...
</sarcasm>

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Re(2): Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 84.52.174.5] on September 12, 2007 10:36 PM
Well it sure is much easier to provide proper implementation if the format is open like HTML and ODF. Not to mention it is more accessible to a wider range of implementors because it is really free and not endangered by patents. And another important thing about HTML and ODF is that the formats are developed by cooperation of a large number of companies, organizations and even some individuals. Current closed MS Office formats and the proposed OOXML format fail on all this points and OOXML is just another Trojan horse pretending to be an open format that is going to bring just more lock-in and restrictions and take away freedom from computer users all over the world. This is why it is so important to support OpenDocument Format (ODF). It's fighting for our freedom.

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Re(2): Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 62.92.248.210] on September 13, 2007 11:54 AM
You are talking about M$'s implementation of HTML....
You can't blame the HTML-spec when Microsoft is trying, yet again, to fuck up a standard to lock people on their products....
M$ obviously thinks standards are such fun that everyone should have their own....

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Micosoft Word, round three

Posted by: Franky on September 11, 2007 12:01 PM
Since for Word you mention a PDF add-on, you should also be aware of a grammar plugin for OpenOffice (see http://www.languagetool.org/ ).
Of course it isn't always perfect, but it is a very good start.
[Modified by: Franky on September 11, 2007 12:01 PM]

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Micosoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 74.141.214.92] on September 11, 2007 01:03 PM
What about tracking changes? Any comments on the two? This seems to be one of the biggest reasons OO has not easily integrated in a corporate environment.

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Re: Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Micosoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 89.219.12.54] on September 11, 2007 04:21 PM
What's with tracking changes. AFAIK OOo does that more or less OK?

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Re(1): Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Micosoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 132.199.174.149] on September 11, 2007 04:53 PM
It does. I wrote several manuscripts together with a Word user and never ran into problems. So tracking changes does not just work, it even works with documents edited in Word.

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Re: Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Micosoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 206.170.173.184] on September 11, 2007 04:47 PM
Tracking changes in Oo seems to have nice compatibility with word, but are simply not as pretty. I've used it with word documents with little or no issue before.

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Re: Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Micosoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 208.57.86.144] on September 11, 2007 04:49 PM
I use change tracking with documents in OO all the time. I'm not sure what the perceived issue may be?

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Re(1): Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Micosoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.89.111.225] on September 11, 2007 11:24 PM
The biggest issue is cosmetic. I've had clients say no to OO because the interface is far clunkier. They are used to printing with the changes next to the text (similar to the way people would acutally markup changes) so they can take it into a meeting and discuss.

A big issue for lawyers.

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Re(2): Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Micosoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 74.141.214.92] on September 11, 2007 11:39 PM
I agree. While comment tags in the tracking theoretically in OO, they look horrible and do not display like they do in Word. To me, if they beautified some if this it would _bury_ Word. As it stands, the clunkiness is indeed a huge roadblock.....again, even though "it works".

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Re(3): Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Micosoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 121.44.204.53] on September 13, 2007 10:15 AM
Luckily there is a Google Summer of code project which aims to beautify and improve the usability of comments in openoffice. "Notes2" is aimed to be in the 2.4 release of openoffice. You can find info on it here: http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Notes2

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Micosoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 201.1.173.32] on September 11, 2007 01:16 PM
Thought not yet available in English or Spanish, the CoCrOO Project has a good, working, Portuguese grammatical corrector plug-in for OO.o, now in it's second incarnation.
They are in need for expert consulting in the English and Spanish languages so as to adapt it to work in those languages. If anybody is in it for contributing, their list (Fórum) may be reached on their site: http://cogroo.sourceforge.net/index.html. You may post in English there.

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Micosoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 76.17.191.115] on September 11, 2007 01:47 PM
To track changes, use Edit->Changes->Record to start recording changes. There are other options in there for viewing and merging changes.
http://www.tutorialsforopenoffice.org/tutorial/Change_A_Document_Red_Lining_Or_Tracking_Changes.html

Or you can look at the changes between two documents by going to Edit->Compare Document

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Micosoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.80.34.124] on September 11, 2007 02:22 PM
I hate those fsckin pop-up floating toolbars in OO.o. If I wanted a toolbar covering part of the document I'm working on I can put one there. Of course it would lack the surprise value of suddenly popping up and obscuring my work but hey, you can't have everything. Rather than save time it creates extra work for me to close the damn things whenever they get in the way. I looked for a way to prevent that behaviour but it seems the functions are either forced on me or the ability to change it is hidden away somewhere so obscure that I'll never find it in a week of Sundays.

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Re: Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Micosoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 206.170.173.184] on September 11, 2007 04:48 PM
If you dock those popups to a toolbar, they'll pop up there rather than in your document proper. For some it's nicer that way.

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Missing outlining

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 158.193.81.58] on September 11, 2007 02:36 PM
The outlining in OO is miserable, for me that is the key reason why I do not swich. For structured documents I work with most of the time the way how OO handles outlining is a DECISIVE minus.

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Re: Missing outlining

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 65.24.125.200] on September 12, 2007 12:08 AM
Did you miss the part about styles in OOo? Outlines in OOo writer are much better than Microsoft Office.

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Re(1): Missing outlining

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.210.249.184] on September 14, 2007 12:38 PM
"Outlines" != "outlining"

Word's outlining view has no counterpart in OOo, and it is pretty crucial for long document authoring.

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Re(2): Missing outlining

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 145.53.74.162] on September 14, 2007 02:45 PM
When I try to look up outlines and outlining in both Word 2007 and OOo 2.4: In both of them it is about the possibilty of promoting and demoting paragraphs and the thereto pertaining styles.
What is outlining according to you??

regards,
Peter Paul Jansen
The Hague, The Netherlands

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IBM's contributions to OOo: Comments?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 207.228.164.137] on September 11, 2007 03:59 PM
IBM has announced it's joining OOo and making significant code contributions. Any thoughts on how that's going to affect this comparison in the next iteration?

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Re: IBM's contributions to OOo: Comments?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 84.52.174.5] on September 11, 2007 08:54 PM
I guess this is a great step and will only make OpenOffice.org even better. Great step IBM. Many companies could learn from you.

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Re: IBM's contributions to OOo: Comments?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 131.216.164.112] on September 26, 2007 11:47 PM
Considering that IBM is responsible for the piece of garbage known as Notes -- the absolute worst email client known to man, with the least usable interface -- I don't see this as a positive turn of events.

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Re(1): IBM's contributions to OOo: Comments?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: unknown] on October 04, 2007 02:14 AM
If you look at the mess eclipse has ended up in as a java development env I would be worried. It has bloat and crawls and has become completely useless as an actual dev env. Seems to keep pandering to a lot of hype and I had to switch back to 3.1.2 after switching 3.2.1 then 3.3 and attempting several versions in between.

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 129.34.20.23] on September 11, 2007 04:22 PM
On the subject of bibliographies, evaluating the built-in tools is sort of beside the point, because neither has even adequate functionality. However, if you use Word, you can use EndNote, which is extremely powerful, and more importantly has at least in the academic world become the standard. One of the main things preventing me from dropping Word entirely is the fact that EndNote doesn't work with OpenOffice/ODF, and I have collaborators who insist on Word (left to my own devices, I prefer latex/bibtex for research articles, etc).

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Bibliographies & Citation Integration

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 129.105.37.63] on September 11, 2007 06:23 PM
On the subject of bibliographies, evaluating the built-in tools is sort of beside the point, because neither has even adequate functionality.
I agree that both are lacking. The format of embedded citations is worth mentioning. OOXML has a finalized model. ODF doesn't. ODFs model will hopefully be better than MS Word's, but kudos to MS to actually implementing something.
However, if you use Word, you can use EndNote, which is extremely powerful, and more importantly has at least in the academic world become the standard.
Endnote is popular, but hardly ubiquitous. Many academics use LaTeX still. Even those who don't have a wealth of programs to choose from to manage citations (unfortunately, many of the popular ones are all commercial/proprietary garbage from ISI). And there are still A LOT of researchers who just do this whole thing manually.

Endnote sucks. It is an expensive solution that has poor compatibility with different versions & yet simultaneously has a bad data model. <a href="http://bibus-biblio.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page">Bibus</a> and <a href="http://www.zotero.org/">Zotero</a> are free and open source & work with both MS Word and OO.o Writer.

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Re: Bibliographies & Citation Integration

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.192.213.199] on September 12, 2007 05:07 AM
I hate to disagree, but bibus is a pain to work with compared to endnote - I tried to write a journal article and it just took way too much time...

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Re: Bibus

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 75.34.17.86] on September 12, 2007 02:33 PM
Care to elaborate? I agree that bibus is tedious to get setup correctly on some platforms (but you only have to do it once per machine). It is also not as good for searching collections (but you can easily import files into it). Once it is setup, it can put citations into MS Word and OO.o Writer as efficiently as Endnote.

Zotero may be even smoother--it has a more limited number of citation styles at this time, but it is quite good about scraping reference metadata off the web.

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Re(1): Bibus

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.210.249.184] on September 14, 2007 12:40 PM
That Zotero has a more limited of styles is a temporary situation. Bibus uses the same very limited key-value data model as ODF 1.0; Zotero supports a wider range of citation sources.

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Re: Bibliographies & Citation Integration

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 75.61.79.146] on September 12, 2007 06:37 PM
The use of Endnote vs. LaTeX varies in academia depending on the field of endeavor. My colleagues in Computer Science and Physics always talk about LaTeX. In Information Systems (my field of endeavor) though, Endnote is the most popular choice. The document format used by Endnote is horribly incompatible across its own versions and the "Cite while you write" feature works in select versions of MS Office. Repeated requests from me to make Endnote compatible with OO.o have gone unheard by Endnote's makers. I've looked at Bibus, and yes, its a pain to set up. Maybe a week or two with it, and I'll be set. I'll have to take Zotero out for a spin sometime soon.

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Re(1): Bibliographies & Citation Integration

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 81.97.21.90] on October 23, 2007 05:52 PM
I'm a phd student in law, so not a computer whizzkid, and decided not to use office or endnote (£££!). I use openoffice and bibus, I didn't find bibus a pain to set up, in fact I thought it was very easy. I'm really pleased with bibus!

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Ribbons are good

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 216.229.170.227] on September 11, 2007 04:34 PM
I normally hate Office, but ribbons are far superior to menus, even with poor organization.

Great article!

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Versions

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 58.69.228.16] on September 11, 2007 05:02 PM
I haven't used Word in some time (2001?) so I wouldn't know if you can save different versions of the doc in the same file. Writer's versioning has saved my ass a significant number of times.

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 211.11.148.2] on September 11, 2007 08:28 PM
boolshit

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Re: Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 64.89.60.46] on September 11, 2007 11:53 PM
What? OO.o is actuall a very decent piece of software.

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Re(1): Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 67.64.136.30] on September 12, 2007 06:59 PM
It is, but this article seems to focus on avoiding the shortcomings of OO.o and finding as many shortcomings of Word 2007 as possible.

I would (and did) use OO.o as a (mostly) viable replacement to MSO all the way up 'til 2003. 2007 is the first version that's pulling me back to M$. I really find it to be a superior offering to OO.o in near every way but price (and still, $250 or so for 3 licenses is cheap, compared to previous versions)

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About MS Word headers & footers

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 64.195.0.168] on September 11, 2007 09:17 PM
The article says "has only limited formats" - what is meant by this? I've been able to put entire (small) tables into Word headers & footers since Word 2000, and I suspect that would work in Word 97, too. I'm not saying that Word handles this better than OOo, just wondering what limitations the author encountered.

- T

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Office software shootout: Word's Grammar checker still fails the grade

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 209.217.118.25] on September 11, 2007 09:57 PM
What MS provides is a grammar checker that assumes you have no more than a grade 8 education in the U.S. This might be appropriate to Americans, but it is not acceptable to those of us living in other English speaking countries in the world. As an example, the daughter of one of my friends used Word's grammar checker to check her assignments, only to lose grades from her high school teacher over the use of poor grammar. By not having a grammar checker, Writer actually forces the user to know their own language. When forced to not use the grammar checker, my friend's daughter did much better. Sometimes no tool is better than a defective tool. My apologies for being an idiot.
[Modified by: Anonymous on September 11, 2007 11:13 PM]

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Re: Office software shootout: Word's Grammar checker still fails the grade

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.165.99.130] on September 11, 2007 11:39 PM
There's an "Ignore" button for a reason. Computers are not people.

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Re: Office software shootout: Word's Grammar checker still fails the grade

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 117.102.132.20] on November 15, 2007 01:12 AM
What a hilarious comment - let's have no spell checker to make us better spellers and no styles to make us think about changing text formats manually etc etc?
This whole essay is one of the most biased articles I have ever read.
I use MS because Open Office sucks in many ways - pretty good for free software but that is it.
I even use MS word through WINE under linux because that is the only wayto guarantee your formatting won't be lost between saves or distribution.
Simple things like losing the tab space between numbered heading levels and all your embedded pictures dissappearing to name a few!

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Excel integration

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 129.210.210.141] on September 11, 2007 10:23 PM
Something that I used to love about word (but don't use any more as I am an OOo user) was the integration with Excel. Tables are terrible in word, but as of 2003 (i believe) you can embed an excel spreadsheet in a word document and actually have a useful table. I haven't seen that OOo writer has the same functionality with Calc. My hope is that someone will correct me and then I will be very happy, but otherwise I'd say Word wins on tables.

Also, I'm waiting for the day when KOffice overtakes all offerings from Microsoft and Adobe (KOffice word, spreadsheet, krita, karbon14 over MS Word, excel, adobe photoshop, and illustrator). But that day is far away : (

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Re: Excel integration

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.53.206.180] on September 12, 2007 02:34 AM
Calc integrates perfectly in Writer, Presentation or Draw. Select your Calc table and simply paste it in any Writer document. You may also do a paste special as a GDI component, this way you loose the calc fonctionnalities but the objet you are pasting is vectorial so that you may resize it the way you want.

Finaly, for a great surprise, do this test: open a blank draw page, in the menu choose Insert -> Speadsheet (I guess it must be the right word as I use a french version of OOo) and voilà, you ended with a spreadsheet you can move freely in your sheet. You may then add any text, vector drawing, bitmap picture, mathematical formula, move them, rotate them, use multiple layers, etc. Don't forget that every part of OpenOffice.org shares 90% of the code, that's integration!

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Re: Excel integration

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.53.81.102] on September 12, 2007 03:02 AM
A couple of years ago I was doing some estimates for my boss and used just this trick. I created the calc spreadsheet, and embedded it into a writer document. Then when I started typing in the spreadsheet cells the tool bars at the top changed to the calc tool bars. The only problem with this combination was that my boss believed in MS Office and considered Open Office to be a cheap toy. So, I exported the document in Word .doc format and checked it on his machine and discovered that the text document was indeed in word format (exactly matching the original document). However, the embedded spreadsheet was another matter completely. The original embedded spreadsheet was evidently there -- in the original calc format, and a graphic image of the spreadsheet which could be easily read and printed, but which could not be edited.

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"In those two comparisons, OpenOffice.org emerged as superior"???

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 62.169.78.153] on September 11, 2007 10:45 PM
How is that possible that OpenOffice.org emerged as superior in 2002?

I'm afraid your comparison is biased in favor of OpenOffice.

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Re: "In those two comparisons, OpenOffice.org emerged as superior"???

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 213.173.236.120] on September 12, 2007 10:21 AM
Exactly! Open Office in 2002 was complete and utter crap in every single way!
It's a lot better today, but not even close... But then again - The Linux "side" has always been just as good with HEAVILY biased articles as they claim others to be - Although this is one of the worst I've ever seen!

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Re(1): "In those two comparisons, OpenOffice.org emerged as superior"???

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 141.89.176.41] on September 14, 2007 09:30 AM
I remember well that already around 2000, StarOffice (which was not OpenOffice.org yet) was in some ways superior to Word.
Like handling large documents. The placing of figures went a lot better.
I was able to compare that during the time I had to use Word 97 (or 2000, not so sure anymore) at work.
What MS word did better (for me) was handling of serial letters with stuff pulled from a database.

Note that I am no particular OpenOffice fan; actually I don't like the concept of blown-up "Office software" at all.
I had to work with MS Word for some time, I did private/school documents with StarOffice / OpenOffice.org ... but I'm glad that I found better tools for my needs.
When you do math stuff and lots of figures in documents ranging to 100 or more pages, you are better off with something that takes care of page layout and typesetting properly, with the possibility but not the requirement for you to step in and do grunt work.

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"grammar checker -- a mixed blessing"???

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 62.169.78.153] on September 11, 2007 10:49 PM
You're so biased against Microsoft Office that your comparison loses credibility.

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Re: "grammar checker -- a mixed blessing"???

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 213.173.236.120] on September 12, 2007 10:22 AM
Exactly! Open Office in 2002 was complete and utter crap in every single way!
It's a lot better today, but not even close... But then again - The Linux "side" has always been just as good with HEAVILY biased articles as they claim others to be - Although this is one of the worst I've ever seen!

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Re: "grammar checker -- a mixed blessing"???

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 131.216.164.112] on September 26, 2007 11:49 PM
The article may be biased, but not when it comes to the grammar checker, which is just crap.

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 76.237.33.190] on September 11, 2007 10:52 PM
I just last week started using MS Office 2007 for some work. Personally, I'm extremely happy with the ribbons. I found it generally much easier to find commands I wanted than with menus in either MS or Open Office (I confess I'm not a heavy user of either, so I don't have lots of existing work habits disrupted by this change). Since I like these things, I naturally tend to think this is a great strategic move by Microsoft, since I suspect it will serve them well in the long run. Kudos to the managers and engineers who had the guts and vision to make such a big change. And my sympathies with the scads of users who must go through the transition to learning these.

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EndNote and ReferenceManager

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 84.57.122.55] on September 11, 2007 10:59 PM
The major advantage of Microsoft Office is availability of different plug-ins, like EndNote and ReferenceManager, which are 'must' for scientific writing.

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Re: EndNote and ReferenceManager

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 88.162.36.171] on September 12, 2007 12:05 AM
Zotero is better, better than EndNote anyway, and it has plugins for both MS Word AND OOo Writer. Also, Zotero works with Linux as well as Windows and OS X.
http://www.zotero.org/
http://www.zotero.org/videos/tour/zotero_tour.htm

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Re(1): EndNote and ReferenceManager

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 88.162.36.171] on September 12, 2007 12:35 AM
Even better, some links:

<a href=http://www.zotero.org/>Zotero</a>

<a href=http://www.zotero.org/videos/tour/zotero_tour.htm>Zotero tour</a>

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Re: EndNote and ReferenceManager

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 75.93.152.63] on September 12, 2007 12:11 AM
I would argue that latex and bibtex are a must for "scientific" writing. Word & Writer are excellent for making fliers...

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Re: EndNote and ReferenceManager

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 129.105.37.63] on September 12, 2007 12:21 AM
Bullshit. See comment above about how much these programs suck. Use Zotero or bibus.

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 76.214.204.154] on September 11, 2007 11:27 PM
I also must differ with the author on the subject of the interfaces, specifically the menus/ribbons. While complaining that the placement of items on the ribbons is "random", the author calls the OOo Writer interface "chaotic" and "familiar chaos". Apparently he didn't use Word long enough for the items on the ribbons to become "familiarly random". And while mentioning the floating toolbars in Writer, he fails to mention the presence of similar floating toolbars in Word, which in the 2007 version have a much more streamlined implementation than previous versions. This portion of the review is obviously skewed towards OOo because of the author's familiarity with the product and for no other reason.

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Re: Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 75.92.93.125] on September 12, 2007 12:02 AM
The ribbons are crap. As always, it is Microsoft's attempts to pretty up their software without adding functionality. Look at Vista. It's really XP SP3 with a new interface and more harrowing attempts at security controls, at 50-100% more the cost of XP.

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Notes, notes, notes

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 128.200.138.188] on September 11, 2007 11:31 PM
This is one area where OOo has still not caught up. MS Word handles notes very well, allowing them to appear in the margins (both on the screen and printed out). OOo notes feature is TERRIBLE. The notes dialog doesn't word wrap, you cannot print notes or view them on the screen without opening each individual dialog, and the note icon is hard to see. OOo says their working on it...

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Re: Notes, notes, notes

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 65.24.125.200] on September 12, 2007 12:14 AM
Except for word wrap, the notes seems to work well, and yes you can print them. Please update your OOo version from 1....

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Re(1): Notes, notes, notes

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 89.142.55.152] on September 12, 2007 09:40 AM
Where can you enable displaying of notes?

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Displaying Notes (Comments) in Writer

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.131.17.177] on September 15, 2007 03:38 PM
Show non-printed characters. Also use Writer's Navigator feature to track down Notes.

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Leandro Guimares Faria Corcete DUTRA on September 11, 2007 11:37 PM
The article misses the important point that OOo updates much oftener. It is not that OOo updates slower, it is that its changes are more incremental. All in all OOo has been evolving much faster, and this kind of feature criticism can only help, specially if enough people care enough to echo it.

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Worst... Article... Ever

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 62.169.78.153] on September 11, 2007 11:46 PM
If Microsoft published an article like that, people would be calling it FUD.

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Re: Worst... Article... Ever

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 63.80.71.240] on September 12, 2007 01:16 AM
Wow....what a helpful comment !

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Re(1): Worst... Article... Ever

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 217.154.153.2] on September 12, 2007 01:09 PM
I think it's pretty helpful.

The article reads to me as follows:

"I use OO all the time, and Word 2007, which I've haven't spent anything like the same time on, doesn't work the same way as OO, and is therefore bad. Except in the places where even *I* can't find fault"

Most of the "Word 2007 is no good and can't do this or that" - e.g. all the stuff about not being able to format bullets - is just plain wrong and makes this comparison very one sided.

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Use LaTeX

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 62.31.157.131] on September 11, 2007 11:56 PM
The only thing that I use Openoffice is to read something that some cretin has sent me in .doc format. If you want to make nice documents then use LaTeX. It's as simple as that. Things like cross-referencing, headers & footers, bibliographies, indices and page styles are all BULLET-PROOF in LaTeX. OK, so you can't easily draw diagrams and stuff in LaTeX (although it's possible), but then you shouldn't be doing that in a word processor either. If you want to do something like drawing diagrams or editing/resizing pictures and the like then you should use a program that is designed to do that, not a work processor that has some basic drawing functionality that is going to screw up on you at the first opportunity. If you want to do a professional job of page layout for publications, with a lot of text wrapping around pictures and at funny angles and funky styles etc, then you probably should use a professional layout package for that, not a word processor. I recommend Scribus, it's good, free and open source. Basically, I don't think that there is any place for WYSIWYG word processors. OK, so they do an OK job of a whole bunch of things, but there is always a proper way of doing the thing that you're trying to do and the program for doing that will do it a heck of a lot better. Don't get me wrong, I'm not rubbishing Writer (or Word, for that matter), they're both very good programs, I just think that they're pointless. I'd just like to be clear that this view is not extended to the whole of Office/Openoffice I think that the other bits definitely have some worthwhile functionality.

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Re: Use LaTeX

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 60.241.225.254] on September 12, 2007 12:33 AM
Amen to that. Your experience is identical to mine. To me the relevance of Word is nil because it doesn't work on Linux and it doesn't open ODF documents. For all original documents I use LaTeX. For fancy page layouts I use Scribus. Whenever some moron sends me a Word document I immediately convert it to ODF if I need to edit it, or PDF otherwise. That way I can still read these documents years later.

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Re(1): Use LaTeX

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 60.48.155.18] on September 12, 2007 09:03 AM
I have similar experience too. LaTeX is extremely superb for doing cross-referencing, table of contents, indexing, etc... I use LyX sometimes for a GUI for latex. I'm ok with open office and use it occasionally. Word is N.A. to a linux user like me. I've not touched it for many years.

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Re(2): Use LaTeX

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 217.15.107.200] on September 12, 2007 10:47 AM
Don't get me wrong, LaTex is perfect and I often recommend to colleagues and students to try related tools such as linuxdoc/sgml tools to help them in their documentations and technical papers. The issue here really is that a word processor brings allows a non computer tech savvy person to create documents with ease in a WYSIWG environment. So I don't see why you should bring up LaTeX into the mix here. It is irrelevant in the context of this issue.

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Re(3): Use LaTeX

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 75.34.17.86] on September 12, 2007 02:43 PM
First: there are "non computer tech savvy persons" who still use stand-alone word processors & typewriters. And some of these people learned on WordPerfect 4.2. Don't underestimate their abilities to work with ugly interfaces!

Second:There are WYSIWYM GUI processors for LaTeX.

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Re(3): Use LaTeX

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 137.222.42.193] on September 12, 2007 04:49 PM
I think that you underestimate how long it takes to learn how to use a WYSIWYG word processor PROPERLY. I think that it is probably about the same amount of time that it takes to learn LaTeX properly. What I would say is that WYSIWYG word processors do allow one to fudge together some kind of document with a shorter learning time. However, this is not necessarily a good thing. I think that many of the complaints about opening word documents in Writer and things losing format in strange ways etc are due to the fact that anyone can just start typing away in a word processor without much clue of what they're doing and end up with something that looks sort of what they want (on THEIR screen, at least). What they might not appreciate is that lining things up with tabs, spaces and carriage returns is not how things should be done as it conveys NOTHING about the desired structure of the document to the computer. Thus, when I open this thing up on OOo Writer it's all over the shop because the program has very little idea of what its supposed to be doing. This is not something that can be sorted out with any document format since (as the old programming saying goes) put rubbish in, get rubbish out. What word processors have been (and always will be) guilty of is encouraging some very bad habits in both document structure and typesetting. LaTeX, intimidating as it might be to new users, has none of these faults and produces far better results as a consequence.

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Re(4): Use LaTeX

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.210.249.184] on September 14, 2007 12:47 PM
It's so tedious to see the "why not use LaTeX?" thread every time anybody brings up word processors. Sure, it's appropriate for some things (and yes, I use TeX sometimes), but it's hardly without its own problems. It's certainly not appropriate for an enterprise run on editable office documents, nor for people who have to submit Word-compatible manuscripts to publishers, nor for grandma who just wants to write a letter.

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Show me a comparison that isn't biased

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 75.92.93.125] on September 11, 2007 11:59 PM
I have yet to see a comparison between the two packages that isn't biased. Likewise I haven't seen a comparison between operating systems that isn't biased. Same goes for cars, phones, computer manufacturers, etc.

The key is to use the tool that works for the situation you're in. In 75% of most cases where I work, OOo fits the bill quite nicely. However, occasionally, I have to use Word.

Shoot, Office has been going downhill since '97 - the main problem with '97 was how quickly documents corrupted. Thank goodness for OOo which could open them all. Once Microsoft started throwing in that context-sensitive menu bar crap where 90% of the options are hidden unless you hit the bottom of the menu I've gotten more and more sick of Microsoft's attempts to control how you use their programs.

Microsoft anything isn't bad. It just isn't worth the price they charge for it. Word isn't worth more than $50. The entire Office suite (including Publisher and Access) isn't worth more than $125.

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Re: Show me a comparison that isn't biased

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 195.23.92.2] on September 12, 2007 12:09 PM
Show me a comparison that is not so *strongly* biased. This article is crap.

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Re: Show me a comparison that isn't biased

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 81.56.120.37] on September 12, 2007 07:06 PM
Well you're point of view is biased too: I also hate the 'hidden menus' but it's easy to disable, so this isn't an interesting point to criticize Office.
That said, I consider that given the money that Microsoft makes on Office, the quality of the version I used is awful (not tried much OfficeXP and not at all 2007).

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 202.154.250.240] on September 11, 2007 11:59 PM
I wonder how this article considers OOo Writer to be more stable? In my experience, it always has been buggy, crashing too often, has half-assed support for MS's document formats (if you can't do it properly and completely, drop the support and stick to ODF etc.); actually takes LONGER TO LOAD than MS Word 2007 (at least on my P4 3.2GHz system with XP and Slackware 11); and of course there's the missing features.
And I personally prefer the 'ribbons' though there should be an option to revert to the 'classic' look.

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Re: Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.248.106.179] on September 12, 2007 02:31 AM
Having used both quite extensively, and supporting quite a few people who use one or the other, I believe your stability experience has been atypical. Word is both more prone to crashing (although not as bad as '97) and to instability (peculiar behavior requiring a reboot to correct), and to "de-formatting" documents (e.g., moving a picture to the top of the page despite anchor settings). It is certainly usable, but I've learned to reflexively hit Control-S every few minutes to minimize my risk in Word. Writer is much more stable and predictable, so much so that if you don't need Word-specific features, I'd recommend using Writer even if you already own Word.

Now if only Impress could raise itself to the same *league* as PowerPoint... *sigh*

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Re(1): Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 213.173.236.120] on September 12, 2007 09:38 AM
Word more prone to crash? What have you been smoking.
I'm all for alternative solutions, and i actually don't use much Microsoft software any longer - But one thing that remains when everything else has changed is Microsoft Office - I've used Office since the very first version and i have almost never experienced a single crash from neither Word, Excel nor Access - The most crash prone program from the Office suite is Outlook which is still rather rare.
I haven't had a single crash while using Office 2007 since it was released - Not one!

On the other hand I have tried Open Office as well as other alternative office solutions and all of them where poorly designed, slow, crashed often etc.

And how can anybody claim that the ribbon is only done to hide som feature that most people don't even know about!! Thats just plain stupid!
The ribbon is a great idea and for the most cases it works rather well - But it still has room for improvement - But it is a HUGE improvement over the old system with long menues, and even longer submenues where you spend half an hour just finding a feature.

Saying that Open Office wins becuase it uses yesterdays technology is just proof that every point is twisted to make Open Office look like the winner - Once Open Office follows suit and make their own Ribbon, then eveyrbody will be claiming that it's the only way to do it and Open Office wins again - OMFG!!

I think Microsoft is jealous of the amount of FUD in this article. This has to be the most unbiased article I've read in years!

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Re(2): Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: unknown] on September 12, 2007 03:52 PM
Man... what are you doing to keep office running so smooth? It crashes on brand new systems right out of the box before and after updating.

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 60.241.225.254] on September 12, 2007 12:26 AM
Microsoft Word is unusable in my case for a couple of major reasons:
1) It is unable to to open ODF format documents which is a huge minus because ODF is an international standard.
2) It doesn't run on Linux.
In conclusion, Microsoft Word supports few formats and few operating environments so it is not really usable.

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Re: No ODF or Linux support

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 60.241.225.254] on September 12, 2007 08:24 PM
I couldn't agree more. Why do people defend Word when it has such limitations? The world desperately needs a standard document format on a commodity operating system. The Linux/ODF environment is infinitely cheaper also.

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Re(1): No ODF or Linux support

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 60.241.225.254] on September 12, 2007 08:28 PM
Looser ! Widnow s rulez here in America and microsoft works grate .

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LOL

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 75.34.17.86] on September 15, 2007 05:53 AM
I guess that IE still isn't shipping with a spell checker?

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What about data connectivity?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 121.44.235.207] on September 12, 2007 01:05 AM
A lot of office documents now manipulate data from external data sources (spreadsheets, proper DBs, XML etc). Seems like a major item not to include in a comparison.

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Re: What about data connectivity?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 150.203.163.28] on September 24, 2007 11:13 AM
Because it was written by a biased person who knows nothing except crying that Linux/Open source is better. Duh! sometimes people really start to suck.
Why people purchase MS OFFICE?? IS THE WORLD STUPID? NOOOOOOOOO... its about the better product.
Data connectivity is another great feature in whole office suite...

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Stylesheets - and the winner is... AMI Pro

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 121.44.235.207] on September 12, 2007 01:08 AM
Yes folks, despite being killed many years ago, AMI Pro is still the undisputed king of style sheets. The thing pretty much forced you to use style sheets for formatting, and then rewarded you with an ever-present style sheet box and assigned shortcut keys. You want that bulleted? Ctrl-8 *boom* - done! Numbered list? Ctrl-9 *boom* - done. Want the same style across all your hundreds of docs? *Boom* - done! Loved it.... Ah the good old days...

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Re: Stylesheets - and the winner is... AMI Pro

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.167.109.66] on September 13, 2007 05:44 PM
So funny, I just write a blurb on this critique ("Crazy" below) above and made a small comment on Ami Pro. I havent used it for years, but I still feel it is the king. At least before Lotus bought it..

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 64.251.253.216] on September 12, 2007 01:30 AM
Every user has their own "deal breaker" when it comes to word processors. For some folks, it's a grammar checker, and they can only use Word for that reason. For me, it's Styles. Microsoft Word is the worst possible choice for creating large structured documents that require every paragraph, heading, list, etc. to have uniform layout properties. People usually learn to use Word to create short memos and reports. It's easy, Want more space between those two paragraphs? Just hit the "Enter" key again. Want a more artsy font for the second word in that heading? Just click on one. But this ad hoc approach does not scale to large, structured documents that require a uniform look and feel throughout. Sure, Word has Styles, but the interface soon become cluttered with every little variation that the user introduces. Italicize a single word, and a new paragraph format appears in the Styles side bar. It is absolutely awful and unmanageable.

For large, structured documents Open Office Writer is far, far superior to Word. Sure, there are better approaches. Lyx is great, but not for the average Joe who doesn't want to deal with writing his own Latex code into a document preface. Interface was great, but they are out of business. If you really need to create a large document with various page styles, tables of contents in each chapter, and uniform paragraph styles throughout, choose Writer!!

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Tables (Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three)

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.36.26.70] on September 12, 2007 01:55 AM
It's been well over a decade since WP 6.1 for Windows got tables right. I'm amazed OOo hasn't plagiarized this yet (and, for that matter, Reveal Codes, and...)

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.77.60.105] on September 12, 2007 02:01 AM
Word rules for documents which involve equations. Writer's equation editor is weak.

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MS Word's math support sucks compared to OO.o Math

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 75.31.233.1] on September 12, 2007 03:18 AM
Word's new Eq editor is so bad that the Nature Publishing Group is not accepting documents made with it. There old version was a nagware limited version of MathType.

OO.o Math is a great editor that supports LaTeX like syntax. The rendering seems better too.

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Re: Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 87.171.37.216] on September 12, 2007 01:20 PM
Did you try Dmaths or OOoLatex extension?
http://www.dmaths.org/
http://ooolatex.sourceforge.net/

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What OOo Writer needs more than anything else: Typography

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 65.41.113.244] on September 12, 2007 04:28 AM

I come from a publishing background. I grew up in a print shop. I work in a commercial print shop today. And I have to tell you, what Open Source has to offer as an alternative to the commercial page layout packages is dismal. Abysmal almost.

Here's my beef with the OOo line, that no one has seen fit to address, and no one seems likely ever to do so: It has almost no real typography support. It almost never does the right thing. No real OpenType support. Yeah, on Windows you can use them, but only as dumbed down TT fonts. It is still stuck in the Regular, Bold, Italic, BoldItalic paradigm. It should support an unlimited number of variants (semibold, extend, narrow, whatever). It has crappy justification code which leaves rivers of white space (MS Word is better only IF you turn on the "compatibility feature" called "Do full justification like Word Perfect). No ligature support (not just fi, fl, ffi, ffl. There are many others in good OT fonts that are not supported at all). Superscript and Subscript variants are not used (again, an OT support thing). Same goes for Small Caps (like Word, it only fakes small caps, even when the OT font has them). I could go on.

Yeah, there's Latex. IF you want to spend hours tweaking layouts to get it to do something simple. IF you don't care that it is ridiculously complicated to add custom fonts. Latex is fabulous for some things, like its justification code, but it really really sucks for making quick and basic layout changes that just work. Yeah, I know, "But you only need this macro!". Please. I don't need to spend hours for searching for macros that should be included in the package in the first place. Macros that kinda-sorta work. Oh, and all you others getting ready to say "but but but", save it, please. I'm not a n00b. I just want robust, effective, and correct page layout using a coherent, internally consistent, and feature complete markup language. I'd even settle for XFO if there were good engines out there that supported it.

If Latex and other TeX variants were a reasonable solution for general publishing, these things should be easy and already supported out of the box. Sorry, but text processed page layout is a long way from being mature enough for general commercial use. I have yet to see LaTeX match InDesign even in terms of it's basic layout and font capabilities. Scribus has improved on LaTeX, so maybe there's some promise there. Still way too buggy, though.

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Re: What OOo Writer needs more than anything else: Typography

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 134.76.162.165] on September 12, 2007 04:56 PM
Sorry, but writing "I'm not a noob" below a comparison of apples and oranges does not make your post automatically contain valid points.

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Re(1): What OOo Writer needs more than anything else: Typography

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 75.72.41.56] on September 15, 2007 07:40 PM
How dismissive of you. I have been in the publishing industry for 20 years, and have used just about every commercial and open source package that has been in vogue in that time. Sorry, but when I say "I am not an noob", I mean it.

This is not an apples to oranges comparison. If it were, then OOo, would not support page layout features such as frames. However it does, and that makes it a contender in the page layout market. I WANT it to succeed in this. I want a good alternative to the commercial packages. Scribus isn't there yet (but it's getting close). OOo is the only presently viable alternative to Scribus.

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Re(2): What OOo Writer needs more than anything else: Typography

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 83.245.166.156] on November 20, 2007 06:34 PM
Yes, you're right! (The "I am not a noob" guy.) I've just been delving into this open source / OpenOffice world and I have to say that indeed from a typography / graphic design point of view there are some huge shortcomings, lack of support for vital OpenType features and so on. Open source as a concept is great, but _so far_ I've gotten this impression that people in these circles are mostly programming oriented and don't have a clue even about basic features of solid typography like old style figures etc. Of course you can't (and don't have to) know everything about everything, but I hope that more and more people from diverse professions will come to help - I will, at least as a user/tester/commentator. There's lots of possibilities for this software.

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Office software shootout: Bogus Review

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 72.14.11.147] on September 12, 2007 05:51 AM
This has got to be the lamest software "shootout" I've ever read. Dude, just admit you are an open license fanatic and couldn't do an unbiased comparison if your life depended on it.

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Re: Office software shootout: Bogus Review

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 195.23.92.2] on September 12, 2007 12:12 PM
LOL

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.168.0.17] on September 12, 2007 06:08 AM
The new look of office are confuising for the older version users but when the users are new at computers i see that the new look of office make the diference they learn fastest that the new users with the older version

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Typography: Use Scribus

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 10.148.15.221] on September 12, 2007 07:43 AM
There is an opensource desktoppublishing programm called "Scribus". Accordung to several reviews, it is quite good.

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Hide the header and white space between pages help

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 209.173.126.154] on September 12, 2007 07:45 AM
Trying to convert spouse who is an author generating manuscripts on Word. On Word, she can quickly hide the "white space" which not only hides the header without deleting it, but also the rest of the white space between the bottom of one page to the beginning of the next, leaving but a very small gap denoting the page break. I couldn't easily do this with OO, and finding help online gets me nowhere.

I realize this isn't a help page for OO, but thought that if the software was free to use, I'd also find copious online help. All my online searches find are references to pay-for safari.adobepress.com links.

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Re: Hide the header and white space between pages help

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 88.162.36.171] on September 12, 2007 09:25 AM
Ask at the <a href=http://www.oooforum.org/forum/viewforum.phtml?f=2>OpenOffice.org user forums</a>.

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 131.170.90.3] on September 12, 2007 07:46 AM
OpenOffice does have a grammar checker, but it depends on how your distro ships OOo.

Additionally, OpenOffice Writer does a wonderful job of embedding spreadsheets from it's spreadsheet application, and these tend to handle any more complicated tabling requirements.

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Drawing Tools

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.47.198.247] on September 12, 2007 08:09 AM
I generally agree with all points on here. I am forced to use Word professionally, but shun it for OOo for my personal writing. The only point I might add is that OOo should get the point for drawing tools. This might be a bit dubious, but the fact is that OOo Draw comes in the same package as OOo Writer, and makes Word's drawing features look like MS Paint compared to Photoshop, means that you can get much better diagramming and charting in Writer.

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 213.173.236.120] on September 12, 2007 09:39 AM
Word more prone to crash? What have you been smoking.
I'm all for alternative solutions, and i actually don't use much Microsoft software any longer - But one thing that remains when everything else has changed is Microsoft Office - I've used Office since the very first version and i have almost never experienced a single crash from neither Word, Excel nor Access - The most crash prone program from the Office suite is Outlook which is still rather rare.
I haven't had a single crash while using Office 2007 since it was released - Not one!

On the other hand I have tried Open Office as well as other alternative office solutions and all of them where poorly designed, slow, crashed often etc.

And how can anybody claim that the ribbon is only done to hide som feature that most people don't even know about!! Thats just plain stupid!
The ribbon is a great idea and for the most cases it works rather well - But it still has room for improvement - But it is a HUGE improvement over the old system with long menues, and even longer submenues where you spend half an hour just finding a feature.

Saying that Open Office wins becuase it uses yesterdays technology is just proof that every point is twisted to make Open Office look like the winner - Once Open Office follows suit and make their own Ribbon, then eveyrbody will be claiming that it's the only way to do it and Open Office wins again - OMFG!!

I think Microsoft is jealous of the amount of FUD in this article. This has to be the most unbiased article I've read in years!

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OpenOffice Writer...

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 212.87.21.35] on September 12, 2007 10:35 AM
OpenOffice would lose badly, if you ever considered collaborative features.
I'm sorry to say, but accept/reject changes barely works there.
The feature is extremely important for any serious team.

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 72.53.33.13] on September 12, 2007 11:44 AM
The only thing I miss from Word is Optimize Images: when you've been inserting a much smaller version of some picture without resizing it first in an external program, Word doesn't save the whole more-than-you-need resolution image, but on OO.o there is no way to do that, either for 1 or all pictures. Still hoping they add that...

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What about the "plug-ins"

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.70.10.188] on September 12, 2007 02:18 PM
Another element which should be looked at is the galaxy of little softwares existing around the two tools ... A whoke ecosystem has beeen built around Word to correct issues or unusability and to develop specialized function ...
And I fear that on this side, MS Word would emerge as the winner ... I know that it's not built-in functions, but I think that these little tools are one of the reasons a lot of people won't use OpenOffice.

Thanks for the article Bruce, it's always a pleasure to read you

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Re: What about the "plug-ins"

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 88.162.36.171] on September 13, 2007 12:20 PM
OpenOffice.org has a framework for extensions. For examples of extensions currently available, see:

<a>http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Extensions_repository</a>

There are other extensions not listed there, also, some of which are proprietary but with Linux versions. I'm sure that in time, more such extensions will be created, but there are a lot of useful options already.

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 165.236.236.196] on September 12, 2007 04:36 PM
It is refreshing to see a completely unbiased review of a Microsoft product on linux.com. “It's not denial. I'm just selective about the reality I accept.”


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“It's not denial. I'm just selective about the reality I accept.”

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 165.236.236.196] on September 12, 2007 04:38 PM
It is refreshing to see a completely unbiased review of a Microsoft product on linux.com. - ROFLMAOAY

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 212.57.247.42] on September 12, 2007 04:43 PM
What about Chnage Tracking?

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Re: Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 75.34.17.86] on September 15, 2007 05:55 AM
They both have it....

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What about Change Tracking?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 212.57.247.42] on September 12, 2007 04:45 PM
As far as I am aware this is a feature only available in word and it is very useful.

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Re: What about Change Tracking? - It's in there.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 64.243.225.222] on September 14, 2007 10:07 PM
It's in Writer. Go to the Edit menu and choose the Changes submenu. The terminology used is "record" instead of "track," but it seems to work the same.

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Re(1): What about Change Tracking? - It's in there.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 192.168.3.34] on October 01, 2007 06:07 PM
Yeah, there it is, but I think it's almost useless. I hate that little window that let you "navigate through the changes", I would prefer there were the possibility to make appear a bar (like in Word), where you can easily reject or accept some change in particular.

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Re(1): What about Change Tracking? - It's in there.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 172.214.189.249] on October 15, 2007 08:42 PM
It is and it isn't. You can't view comments made in Microsoft Word, and the tracking feature is much less intuitive and user friendly. This is one area where OOo needs to improve.

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Re(2): What about Change Tracking? - It's in there.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 72.208.185.223] on October 27, 2007 11:48 PM
My word comments show up as 'Notes' in OO.

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Why?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 131.107.0.106] on September 12, 2007 04:59 PM
Totally lame and biased. Why even write this drivel? Seriously. For realz.

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 131.107.0.106] on September 12, 2007 05:07 PM
What a total load of rubbish ... i mean what sort of non-bias, balanced view is this "Verdict: OpenOffice.org, not because it is well-designed, but because Microsoft Word's changes seem pointless and upset users for no good reason" ... there were plenty of good reasons to do this ... and response has been great!

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What about macros?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 204.15.88.254] on September 12, 2007 07:07 PM
From what I can tell, MS Word has a huge advantage in it's support of macros. I don't think OO can touch it there. But to be fair, I haven't done that much with OO macros. Is my impression correct? Can OO do marcros as well as MS Office?

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Re: What about macros?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 150.203.163.28] on September 24, 2007 11:14 AM
heheheh.... we dont know about macros... we just want to make MS look bad... :)
we know deep within our heart MS does it better... thats why its a near monopoly.

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.Doc Format::OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 4.255.167.138] on September 12, 2007 07:25 PM
At least, when some moron sends you a .doc file made with word,
you can read it by:
'strings foo.doc | less'

.Doc files made with OOo are not human-readable. . .
Also an inconvenience when searching your own OOo .doc files,
to locate a forgotten document.
Terminal and command line is just so EFFICIENT !!!

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Re: .Doc Format::OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 64.222.230.220] on September 13, 2007 07:30 PM
unzip -c blah.odt content.xml | less

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Cliparts and templates are available

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 83.216.43.219] on September 12, 2007 10:03 PM
... in OxygenOffice.org. The other things are more or less same. Also they are available as extension so you can add it easily to OpenOffice.org.

Downloads:
ooop.sf.net

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Eh...

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.197.66.72] on September 12, 2007 10:05 PM
The interface is basically the same. The only difference is really the ribbon, which IMHO really ticked off the "average joe". Most people don't like change or having to learn new things.

As for page layout, I wouldn't use a word processor for that. The reason it's not built into Word is because of Publisher. Simple as that. IMHO, OO.o should add Scribus. It's so much better than either Word or Writer.

Drawing tools. ???

Also, the fact that OO.o has won in more classes doesn't mean much. Most of those classes are pretty useless to normal users.

However, I still like OO.o better. Several reasons. PDF support. Free (MS Office is cheaper for students, but still expensive). And of course, Linux compatibility.

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 75.135.147.251] on September 13, 2007 07:29 AM
Notice the source. (linux.com) enough said.

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Crazy

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.167.109.66] on September 13, 2007 05:37 PM
I appreciate the article but at the same time we are comparing Writer and Word to Word. Im am definately a Writer user but I don't think this article (like Many) judge MS's product fairly. As an example "not because it is well-designed, but because Microsoft Word's changes seem pointless and upset users for no good reason." Apparently MS has done diligence to its interface design. Although I dont care for it, but how can the author say "Microsoft Word's changes seem pointless and upset users for no good reason."? Pointless to whom? And how does he know? I love Linux and its products, but lets me fair and talk about what we know and not make our single personal preferences - fact.

Funny, I still think AMI Pro (before Lotus bought it) was better than them all.
[Modified by: Anonymous on September 13, 2007 05:41 PM]

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Open Office Unique Features and Outlining.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 221.133.24.32] on September 15, 2007 07:50 AM
While far from perfect the Insert Frame feature is a significant and powerful tool which almost takes Writer to a document layout tool.

Also another unique tool, that can also be referred to for document Outlining is the Section feature. Sections allow you take whole groups of chapters and make them into logical sections for easier Outlining and they are completely customisable and list below the automatic outline information in the window. But Sections is more than this. With Sections you can now link different documents together and create 3D documentation with an over-arching document that shows actual current content from any number of sub-documents. Wow!

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 201.141.52.55] on September 16, 2007 07:14 AM
I love OpenSource. But you have to be kidding. OpenOffice isn't better than Microsoft Office 2007.

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MS Office vs. Open Office -- Speed

Posted by: ichien on September 17, 2007 03:53 PM

There is one thing over the years that I have found where MS Office has been consistently better than Open Office and that is in speed, particularly in startup time and file saves.

Open Office is noticeably slow and it seems that version 2 is even worse than version 1 (at least worse than the later versions of 1).

AbiWord and Gnumeric are significantly faster than their MS / OO equivalents (although this may be due to having much more limited functionality).

I had always assumed Open Office's slowness was a result of the JRE dependency, but from what I have read most of the major functionality does not rely directly on Java -- so maybe it is simply an issue of bloat.

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Re: MS Office vs. Open Office -- Speed

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 83.216.43.219] on September 18, 2007 05:24 AM
This property of OpenOffice.org gets better release by release.

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Re: MS Office vs. Open Office -- Speed

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 72.14.228.89] on September 20, 2007 12:41 AM
That's because .doc format is essentially a core dump of Word's internal data structures. OO.o has to decipher this (undocumented) format and decode it into its own very different structures. On the other hand, every time Word changes formats, you're screwed (admittedly this hasn't happened since Word 97).

#

Re(1): MS Office vs. Open Office -- Speed

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 142.3.123.73] on November 29, 2007 12:04 AM
Yeah... except that OO is slow not only opening .doc files but any file, including .sxw and .odf. This is not an issue of format deciphering but of design. I like OO, and any place I've worked in, if they are not willing to pay BIG BUCKS, I suggest to migrate to OO; it's a great product AND its free/gratis and free/libre. It does have some advantages and some disadvantages. Some advantages were already pointed by the (biased) review. However, it has some disadvantages as well. Speed, lack of a decent equation editor (I find Office2k7 equation editor superior, though for that particular application I'd stick to latex), among others.

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ODF and Cross-platform support

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.215.145.91] on September 17, 2007 04:28 PM
Byfield didn't even mention two of Writer's most important features: its availability on all three major platforms (Linux, Mac, Windows), and its use of the global open standard file format ODF. Due to Microsoft politics, it is unlikely that Word will even attempt to compete in these categories. Thus, for me and a growing number of users, Writer is a significantly better choice, to the point that Word is almost irrelevant anymore.

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 86.34.202.172] on September 19, 2007 12:01 PM
I would like to read a side-by-side comparation, between the two suites, in what concerns the "security record" (the number of vulnerabilites exploited by
hackers and the creators of malware). Is it true that there are "security problems", related to "Office", which have not been solved, yet? (although they are
known for many years...) Does anyone know the etymology of the word "MacroVirus"?...

In my humble opinion, the above posted review should have been done between "Star Office 8" and "Office 2007". "Open Office" is the "mutilated" version
of the much better/powerful suite developed by Sun Corp.

Instead of paying a few hundred dollars for "Office", I would pay a few tenths of dollars for "Star Office"--which, by the way, can be used for free by students
and by the universities' stuff.


One question remains unanswered: it worths to upgrade from OO 2.2 to OO 2.3? Or should we wait until a "2.3.4" release?
Anyway, I liked the comparison. Thank you, Mr. Bruce Byfield.

#

Come to real environment and then you will say OO sucks.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 150.203.163.28] on September 24, 2007 11:09 AM
Didnt read many comments... but I think writer has never tried to write any real thing like a research paper on OO. Its PiA. Word (although i prefer to use latex) is much better. Besides, try keeping a heavy oo writer document open on your PC for 5-6 days (and do use it for CUT/PASTE/COPY) you will see the OO becomes so slow that you need to restart it. I have found MS Word much stable (and believe me it is)
Type setting though latex is winner, OO is just too lame.. Word rocks, almost becomes equal to latex except handling of the equations part.
To my mind, OO sucks.. slow, pathetic and lame. Thats why my organization pays TAX to MS because they have done it better. BTW we use MS Office because of unbeatable MS-Excel. No spreadsheet is as good as that (but we are only talking about writer so let me come back to the point).
Some of you may argue about the document format... most of the big organizations with some money dont really care. 200-300 dollars is nothing when it comes to getting your work done in proper and justifiable way... That is why MS Office still sells.
I do admit, ribbon is not popular, but believe me once it gets going (and it will) then OO guys will be looking to copy it and wont be able to do it. Any I am not much against the fact that you cannot copy ribbon if you are competitor. Same was done by Abobe with Office 2007 once they asked MS to remove direct PDF and yet allowed OO to do it...
I am not agaist Open Source or neither am I a MS fanboy.. I am just a realistic person who believes that I want me and my office to be productive. So i will use whatever is more cost beneficial. OO is not in that domain yet.

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hyperlinking in Word ruined after 97. is it in Writer?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.137.136.14] on September 27, 2007 10:27 PM
Word in Office 97 had a very useful hyperlinking feature that enables you to link across your whole set of documents. I did project and topic home pages using it. Then MS broke the feature, opening a new window every time you link and not closing it when you move back or forward.
I stuck with Word 97.
Does Writer have this hyperlink function and does it work?

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OO Writer is useless for scientific writing as it lacks important plug-ins!

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 132.187.161.101] on October 13, 2007 02:47 PM
Absulute majority of scientific writing in biomedical, chemical and social sciences (which together constitute for absolute majority of all scientific papers published today) is done using your hated M$ Word. Why? Because managing of citation databases required for any scientific paper depends on EndNote or ReferenceManager - these are plugins for MS Word, both Windows and Mac versions. No any such plugin for OO. Untill that OO Writer, AbiWord etc are USELESS for scientific writing! Yes, I know that LatEX has something for managing references... which will take me a LOT of time to learn (I have my scientific objectives to concentrate on....), and the data (working citation databases) will be not shearable within scientific community. Yes, I know that LaTEX is used widely within engineering community, but that's completely different story.

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 83.8.202.228] on October 14, 2007 06:37 PM
Thanks for another very interesting article. Keep up the good work. Regards
<a href="http://www.profesjonalna-reklama.pl" target="_blank">Pozycjonowanie</a> <a href="http://www.topblogposts.info" target="_blank">Tom</a>

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All these complaints...

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 72.1.70.126] on October 18, 2007 07:35 PM
You can't complain about an open source project, because if you were really bothered by something you can change it yourself. That's the beauty of open source. That's the benefit that I see for using OOo, freedom.

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 149.254.192.192] on October 21, 2007 01:21 AM
I think the problem with implementing the OpenOffice applications in the company is lack of proper training. Our company is based in London and when we wanted to train our staff. We could hardly get a company which would be interested in Calc and Writer advanced training. For example, the only one company was able to provide training related to programming in Basic <a href="http://www.nobleprog.co.uk/openoffice">OpenOffice Training</a>). If you compare it to hundreds of thousands companies offering Excel advanced and VBA training, it explains why it is a long way for Calc or Writer to be a standard in many companies.

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 91.185.101.106] on December 04, 2007 09:29 PM
Unfortunately, "track changes" ("Change" in Writer) feature is MUCH better and cleaner in Word. That feature is frequently used by writers and editors. I don't know why OO team just don't copy/paste the way MS did it.

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 195.95.223.6] on January 21, 2008 07:42 PM
Please see this: http://www.oooforum.org/forum/viewtopic.phtml?t=31551 about OpenOffice Writer... But it all true about the OpenOffice.Org writer...

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Office software shootout: OpenOffice.org Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 200.101.48.50] on February 03, 2008 04:47 AM
"As free software, Writer has advantages that Word is unlikely to match -- its philosophy, its price, its easy availability, and its frequent updates." That will never change and requiring that a commercial company software does what an OO group does and vice versa, is to try to compare water and oil in vapor state.

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