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OpenOffice

While suffering from this stupid new version of Firefox, I thought I'd give the new version of OpenOffice a try.

This is a great idea: a free product that does much of the work of MS Word. I should add that I don't actually pay for my copy of MS Word - it belongs to the company. The question is: is it worthwhile switching to OpenOffice Writer?

Naturally, I try to make it do a few tough things. Possibly it is a mistake to try and make a product of this nature so feature-rich. In any case:

(1) The User dictionary feature does not work. Oh, you can create one and add words to it. But it will not use it for spellchecking purposes. (defect reports 52103, 57894)
(2) Start typing after a footnote and the writing becames footnote text. (defect reports 58933)
(3) Margins are not the sizes that you specify.

Also, I hate morons who want to send you huge URLs in emails. What on Earth makes them think that I would read email on the same machine that the browser runs on.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
partly_bouncy
6th Dec, 2005 12:39 (UTC)
I use OpenOffice for one reason and one reason only... and that is for the conversion to PDF format. It does an okay job at it since I can't get my version of Adobe Acrobat to work. :/ The interface can be a bit clunky at times.
hawkeye7
6th Dec, 2005 19:50 (UTC)
This is a fine reason to use OpenOffice - it does handle PDF documents well.

The biggest problem that most people have with Adobe Acrobat is that they don't have it, which in turn is usually because they can't afford it. I got work to shout for a copy of Acrobat 6, which seems to work okay with Word 2003, although it is slow. When I installed Acrobat, I didn't realise that I would lose the reader.

Apparently, PDF format will be standard (and presumably better integrated) with the next version of Word.

All of which illustrates Holloway's law: If you add enough features, your product becomes indistinguishable from that of your competitors.
mistraltoes
6th Dec, 2005 17:32 (UTC)
I'm using OpenOffice and I hate it (though it's probably an older version than the one you have). I can't make the formulae work in the spreadsheet, and it won't do a wordcount on part of a document (which is one of the features I need most). I want my Word back.
hawkeye7
6th Dec, 2005 19:31 (UTC)
The word count on a selection is available with OpenOffice 2.0. Word count is now on the Tools menu so you don't have to drill down into the Statistics.
mistraltoes
7th Dec, 2005 02:55 (UTC)
Excellent! Thank you for that information. Now if I can just find the time and energy to download and install the new version...
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )