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I'm calling that "the many faces of Evedork, and all the rest...."

I heard there is a free alternative to Microsoft Office or Word, which I believe is called Open Office.

While the rest of the world would google it and find out for themselves, we all know how that works for me, so I came here instead. I'm thinking informed risk is better than walking off a cliff with just two words that might be the name of something.

Anybody know this animal? Is it truly compatible with MSW, and most importantly, does a dork have at least a SBCiH of being able to use it?

I use word to proof for Rick, using only a fraction of the functions I know are available; since the ability to BE funtional is a prerequisite to using functions, they represent future possibilities for me. There is always hope.

Remember to speak slowly, and assume I know nothing.

Haha, who let me in here, anyway? Democracy may be asleep in the world, but it serves me well in here.



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Yeah, it exists, and it's not that bad:


I had it crash on me a few times, the last time I used it a year ago, but that was on a minimally-equipped netbook. No doubt on a real computer with a couple of gigs' of RAM, it'll be fine.

And you can't beat the price.

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I've used Open Office, or actually Neo Office (the iMac version of Open Office), but mostly to avoid using MS Excel, the spreadsheet program. The Open Office spreadsheet is way better for my purposes, and has many more obvious controls for the individual cells. I've also use the word processor but I didn't notice as many difference (improvements?) so never made a point of picking one program over the other. Open Office allows you to save in a variety of different formats, including MS Word and MS Excel formats.

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Hi Tracy,

I've been using OpenOffice in preference to MS Office for years and it's great. It is very very similar to the MS product which makes it easy to switch from one to the other. There are a few differences, some make Openoffice better than MS Office, some make MS Office better. It takes a long time to load the first time you use it in any session. Conspiracy theorists claim that's because MS Office is tightly integrated with Windows and part of it loads with Windows, so it starts quicker.

The one thing you need to be aware of is that OpenOffice has its own file formats (known as the Open Document format, and a recognized global standard) so if you just start the word processor and write something and save it, the file that is saved will have a .odt suffix ( mydoc.odt). If you give this document to someone else, they will need Openoffice to read it because MS Office doesn't understand .odt files (new versions of MS Office may be able to read them but the version that most people are using can't). So if you are writing a document you will want others to be able to read, when you save it you choose File/Save As rather than File/Save, and in the dialog box that appears you can choose from a long list of file formats. Choose MS Word 2000 (for instance) and the file will be saved with a .doc suffix (mydoc.doc) and anyone with either MS Office or OpenOffice will be able to read it fine.

The compatibility between OpenOffice and MS Office is amazingly good. OpenOffice seems to be able to read and write MS documents faultlessly. The similarities between the programs is astounding - even most of the functions work the same. The spreadsheet program is particularly impressive.

If the file format thing is an issue, it is possible to 'throw a switch' in OpenOffice to tell it to use the MS file formats by default. And then it will always save in .doc, or in the case of spreadsheets .xls format and you don't have to worry about it.

OpenOffice is highly recommended. It's not quite as good as MS Office, but then it's cheaper (read: free!).

Hope this helps

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Hello Trab, Pec, Richard, Bruin, thanks for showing up. And darn quick, I might add.

The information about file saving Bruin, and specifically about setting the default is exactly

the kind of thing that I mean when I say "assume I know nothing"; sometimes it would be

more accurate to say "assume I knew, but won't think of it", or "assume I forgot", and I do

find that hearing those things beforehand and knowing that I would not have thought of them

somehow plants them more solidly in my mind than even experiencing the consequences of

not having thought of them and figuring out what I didn't do and fixing it. I tend to be in a

panic then, and don't remember the road I took to get out of a mess. The feeling is similar

to having my car break down--it could be the littlest thing, but if you can't fix it yourself there

are no little things. And outside of recognizing when a fuel pump fails and knowing enough to get

out of the fast lane while I still could, if I could accurately describe the problem it would get me

back on the road a little faster, but I was still going need a tow-truck and a mechanic.

For a girl who defends her right to wait because she has more time than money and dial-up

is CHEAP, hearing you say it takes longer to load every time has me converting what is "longer"

to you into it is to me, and for the first time entertaining the possibility of highspeed in my future. :lol:

(my daughter says "Hallelujah", there's hope for her yet...)

Anyway, I think if I start downloading it now, it will be here before my trial of MSO runs out...in a month. :icon1:

I appreciate the help, immensely, due in no small part to to the absolute surity that I will be here again.

There are not many places in the world where one can be as confident that help will be available, and I

appreciate that even more.


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