Harold is full of good suggestions of late and this Open Office one has made me think.
It sounds exciting but scary… am not sure if I could really, in a Uni (& educational culture!) which is enturely MS based, take the plunge.
Does anybody else use Open Office and has made the switch from MS… would I be letting myself in for a world of pain?
OpenOffice works OK for probaby 90 – 95% of most MS Office documents. Perhaps higher, depending on your environment (I mean, if all you ever get is .docs with basic formatting applied, or Excel files used as lists).
It’s free, so there’s no harm in trying, right?
We use Open Office and a number of other Open Source products at our school. We give all of our students a copy of the ‘open CD’ so that they can install this software at home. We know that the product that people learn first is often the product that they prefer. We think that teaching students how to use the free, Open Source product is the most responsible thing to do. Open Office works really well. Students should not feel the need to pirate propriety software to undertake their studies.
Perhaps consider operating using both for a while – ie parallel implementation.
I find that converting from Word to OOo is fine, except for tables, which can be a pain. Powerpoint files get a bit messed up, and OOo does not have as much clip art and other add-ons. Converting spreadsheets is really easy, but I have’t done it with macros. For an institution, it can save you a LOT of money.
The nice thing is that you can try it out and run it concurrently with MS Office. The next version should be out this winter, so that might be a good time to try it out.
Try it out. Somethings are better, some are worse. There are some features one like to see in MS Office. Try it and see for your self. Only way to make up your mind.
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