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msoffice and openoffice

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Deadly Ernest

faster and is managed by the majority of the people who originally wrote Open Office. They split from the OO project after Oracle announced intentions to take OO down a path they didn't like.

I write many stories, got a few dozen available through electronic publishers now, and have a highly formatted document layout I use so I can see how the story looks in the final printed book format. I use Libre Office and work on my Zorin OS Linux system at home, while I use a Win 7 system at another location where I do volunteer work twice a week - when there's no one to help I open up a story and start working on it. There is total compatibility between the two versions of LO and the documents look exactly the same. being very familiar with the older versions of MSO I found it very simple to switch over when I did. I also like the one button saving as a print ready PDF file.

Both OO and LO are very much like MS Office 97 and 2003, but not like MSO 2007 as both OO and LO use menus and not ribbons. People familiar with the older version of MSO will switch over and feel right at home in seconds. Those who know only the ribbon style MSO 2007 and 2010 will need a little time to learn the differences. Also OO and LO will work on any version of Windows and not have to be upgraded with the next major change of Windows, they also work on any variant of Unix and Linux, with full compatibility between the Windows and Unix / Linux versions - I swap between a Win 7 and Linux system all the time.

The default document types in both OO and LO are the open document standards with .odt for documents. Both are capable of opening and reading all the MSO formats and in saving to them as well. There is no need to update documents at all, in fact this is less of an issue with OO and LO than with MSO as any documents created in a version of MSO older than a couple of versions HAVE to be updated into the latest version of MSO for them to be able to be used properly by MSO - it's this failing that caused me to drop MSO back in 2003.

In all three packages you need to set up you page size, style and format to suit what you want. However, MSO uses a non standard proprietary format set and will often display formatting from other products differently to what you expect, this also applies to documents saved in older versions of MSO as well. So if you're exchanging documents between OO / LO and MSO with people making many changes on them under both packages, you may see some differences in the format and spread on the page. This is especially so if one has proprietary fonts it uses that the other doesn't have. These issues also affect differences in MSO packages if they're too far apart in version number.

MSO uses VBA to create Macros, while OO / LO do not, so any Macros would have to be recreated in the OO / LO package.

OO and LO can have a version created on one system and then just copied or distributed to other systems.

If you see the MSO Outlook as an issue, you may wish to look at getting Outlook by itself, which can be done, or drop it totally for something like Thunderbird which works on both Windows and Linux.

OO / LO represent significant savings in license fees as they're free.

The only place where MSO is better than the OO / LO package is in the database as the Access database is better than the one in OO / LO, but I think if you really need a database then you should get a proper database anyway, instead of Access.

Summary
OO / LO are much cheaper and much more versatile than MSO in that they will work on different versions of Windows and Linux while still providing full document compatibility.

OO / LO are menu driven and more like MSO 97 / 2003 than the ribbon driven MSO 2007 /2010.