View Full Version : StarOffice & OpenOffice
Any users of StarOffice and OpenOffice out there? I'm interested to hear your experiences using these programs instead of MS Office. Aside from the price (Staroffice Retail MSRP $75.95, free for educational intitutions, OpenOffice free), what made you choose them over MS Office? Would you recommend them? Any inputs would be highly appreciated. Tnx.
2003-07-27, 10:20 AM
I distributed StarOffice 5.0 to secondary & tertiary schools back home. They were remotely distributed from Linux servers but run locally from standard PCs.
SO 5 will run on at least C500; 128MB RAM (better if 256MB); 10GB hard disk & CD ROM so specs are relatively simple. It is a it of a resource hog, but memory management and resource use are better in OpenOffice version.
I found compatibility very good, esp. wrt file formats. Very complex formatting will differ(esp. wrt to fonts and some layouts) but otherwise read & write of same file between both programs is very good.
If u are used to MS Office, there are niggling idiosyncraries (ex. in copy cell, after a CTRL-C, the copy step ends, you have to manually do a CTRL-P to paste to target cell- in MS, after CTRL-C u are automatically in paste mode, all u have to do is go to target cell and press ENTER). Also, StarOffice uses its own desktop metaphor on launch, so this may be a bit disconcerting. Use afterward is the same. But you will only notice if u are more familiar with Office. Otherwise, they are comparable.
For a free distribution, SO 5 or OO is spot on. Even if you pay for it, it is actually very good. And if you have spare time, you can join the OO org and change what you don't like (under GPL even) so what could be better? Is it better tah MS Office? If you are coming from an MS background, u will not find it better. If you are looking for an OA app, then it is a remarkably good product and offers the best bang-for-the-buck. And u won't be forced to upgrade in 2004!
My two yens worth,
Tnx again Woody. Have you tried StarOffice 6.0? Sun no longer offers their product for free. StarOffice 5.2 is also no longer available for download. :( I have OpenOffice 1.1 now in my machine and giving it a spin. Not too bad. Still I would want to hear people's experiences using OO and SO for a longer period of time.
2003-08-16, 06:26 PM
I once spoke to a Sun Microsystems guy at a trade stand who gave me a free copy of SO. I asked him why they charge for it and he took me aside and said that actually if they didn't charge something for it, clients would think it wasn't worth anything.
I've done some development for OpenOffice.org, as a volunteer (hey did you know it takes 28 hours to compile OO?) and they are a pretty switched on team.
Here's a quick experiment. change the extension of a .swx (OpenOffice default document exension) to .zip and unzip it using Winzip or whatever. Have a look in Notepad at the resulting file.
It's pure XML. No proprietary binary format.
Have you noticed the "Export to PDF" option too? That took some tweaking. But you won't have to pay $300 for some stupid Adobe PDFWriter any more.
If you use MySQL, you can use it to store OO data too (it's a little complex to setup tho). There is a HTML WYSIWYG editor too. Performance wise, it needs work still (although that's moved along) but there is a very rosy future for OO.
2003-08-17, 11:45 PM
I use Open Office. Except for some quirks and a lack of templates, it is fantastic software IMO. It can save to and open MS Word/Excel/etc. documents. And it's free. Japanese input no hassle.
My only complaints are crashes every once in a while (but doc's are backed up on-the-fly and restored automatically if it happens), and the lack of easily-accessed info at the OO web site. I agree with Bongo, tho: Open Office has a great future ahead, things are developed fast, and MS is already a bit worried about it from articles I've read...
Oh yeah, I chose to use OO because I didn't want to dish out the money for MS Office (self-built computer). I would recommend it to anyone who doesn't have MS Office pre-installed on their system. Haven't tried StarOffice, but from what I gather it's exactly the same thing, maybe with more templates and the like.
2003-08-18, 07:22 AM
If you're running it on Linux, fubar, check the permissions of the executable programs - that's usually the reason it crashes.
If you're running it on Windows, check you didn't download a dev version (usually has CVS or something like that in the name). Latest stable is 1.0.1 I think.
Meanwhile, Microsoft promises XML integration in the next version of Office11.