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Thread: Open Office

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    Open Office

    Anybody using Open Office instead of MS Office? It is free.

    So far it does everything that MS would do for me. Macros using their Basic seems a little quirky. Not all the spread sheet math functions work in a macro without a little coaxing. Good enough for plotting equations.

    It comes with Python.

    The data base has a simple wizard that creates the table and a query-entry form.

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    Deus Meumque Jus
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    I used it for a while but eventually my wife and I subscribed to the Microsoft version. We use it enough that we can justify the cost, and it's a little more ubiquitous with file types and the like.

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    Open Office is good, but it isn't a 1 to 1 with MS Office, ie it isn't safe to go back and forth.

    If you use it exclusively, it might work out. If memory serves, it feels more like Quatro Pro, which I liked more than Excel (more customizable), but have been using Excel for 20+ years now and am too savvy with it now to change. Also where I work allows a copy to be installable on my home computer (3 copies max).

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    I use LibreOffice. But then, I only need a few very basic functions, so I can't tell how good it is for more complex tasks.

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    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    I used it for a while but eventually my wife and I subscribed to the Microsoft version. We use it enough that we can justify the cost, and it's a little more ubiquitous with file types and the like.
    How much does it cost for MS Office. Is it a one time cost or a monthly or yearly fee? Or maybe both? I'd only be using Word and Excel.

    Also, it looks like there's a product called Microsoft Office Online that's free and is web based. And according to that link there's also Google Docs word processor and Google Links spreadsheet. Although with these it looks like you can only save your files to the cloud. Libre looks interesting at this point since it's completely free and it runs entirely on your pc.

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    the baby-eater
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    I use LibreOffice fairly often (like, several hours a day, several days a week). LibreOffice is a fork of OpenOffice, and is pretty much the new OpenOffice.

    I primarily use it for working on flat files. I dump a CSV file out of some ERP software, do some work on it, and then import the data back into the system. I make a lot of use of the sort and filter functions, and have only used macros for writing some convenience formulas. Usually these files have a few tens of thousands of lines, since they are basically just SQL query results dumped into spreadsheets. LibreOffice handles them fine.

    I also use it for my bookkeeping.

    LibreOffice, like OpenOffice, allows you to manipulate documents using a Python-UNO bridge, but I've found it far easier to just use Python libraries like csv, openpyxl and xml to parse my files, do some work on the data, and then output a new file. And once you've imported your data into a Python data structure or database, you might as well do all of your sciency stuff in Python and just spit out the results in whatever format you need.

    For instance, my accountant gave me a spreadsheet decked out with formulas and fancy logic for calculating my GST subtotals. I broke it almost immediately and just decided to remove the logic entirely and do it in Python instead. So I have an XLSX spreadsheet and a "totals.py" script that parses the tables, calculates my totals, and saves a new file with the summary table populated.

    In another case, I actually import my data into an SQLite database, manipulate it in Python with the help of SQLAlchemy, and then dump completely different output files in various formats, including nicely formatted reports.

    Some people are absolute wizards when it comes to writing VBA scripts in Excel, but that's something I never really got into. I've always preferred Python, and writing Basic scripts in OpenOffice/LibreOffice is a pain in the neck.

    Ultimately, though, these FOSS programs are Excel clones. They are better than Excel only because they are free; I'm not sure that anyone who uses Excel would actually prefer these programs.

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    Elder Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treedbear View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    I used it for a while but eventually my wife and I subscribed to the Microsoft version. We use it enough that we can justify the cost, and it's a little more ubiquitous with file types and the like.
    How much does it cost for MS Office. Is it a one time cost or a monthly or yearly fee? Or maybe both? I'd only be using Word and Excel.
    Looks like the answer is *depends*.

    For 1 yr, for one person, $70, which really isn't too bad. You can buy the "classic" version for about 3.5x, but it is unclear about updates. Granted, there isn't much updating that is good with MS Office.

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    Veteran Member funinspace's Avatar
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    I've used OpenOffice for many years. I don't do much fancy stuff with it. I'd say Excel is better and more obvious to use than the OpenOffice version. I also move back and forth between the 2 w/o issues for working with clients, but then again it isn't sophisticated spreadsheets by any definition.

    I do have one older legal copy of MS Office that came with a desktop.

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    Loony Running The Asylum ZiprHead's Avatar
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    We've been using office 2007 here at home for many many years. Just upgraded to 2013 that I bought on eBay for 22 bucks.
    When conservatives realize they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will abandon democracy.

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    Installed because I've gotten a few documents that only open in it.

    I've also gotten documents that needed it but had image placement problems like I used to encounter frequently with Word.

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