[ILUG] Star Office
ccostelloe at flogas.ie
Wed Jun 1 22:19:50 IST 2005
"CP Hennessy" <cp.hennessy at openapp.biz> wrote:
> I think that [...] Flogas also use StarOffice/OpenOffice.
We have two camps: a few users who have to interoperate with MS Word
users, and the majority who don't.
We (Flogas) ran a word-processor called Samna in the pre-Windows days,
which is now Lotus WordPro, which is still the main word processor we
use, but all the PCs also have OpenOffice installed, which is what gets
launched when users open .doc or .xls files. The first exposure of the
majority of users to OpenOffice is from launching email attachments, and
they use it more regularly from there on, though they generally switch
to WordPro for the more ambitious typing jobs. New staff, however,
usually use OpenOffice by their choice. None of this majority group
care one whit that it is not Microsoft Office (though they were never
told it was free, or given any anti-Microsoft spin about it, it was just
another application on the desktop). This group have no problems with
OpenOffice Writer or Calc, which is all they use from OO.
The second group, who have to interoperate with MS users, all used
OpenOffice at some stage, but because of compatibility issues, they
realised that they had not got the real MS article, and had to be
switched to MS Office - some use Word templates (for gas standards)
which are probably always going to be problematic with OpenOffice, but
OpenOffice cannot deal with even some basic styling issues interoperably,
like automatic numbering of paragraphs. The current builds of
OpenOffice 2 Beta is a lot better than previous versions, however, and
deals adequately with most other issues.
OpenOffice Calc seems generally fine, however, though that it partly
because most people only use very basic features of a spreadsheet (which
is fine - neither they nor me see the point in wasting time on
decorations like fancy lines & colours, though OO seems generally fine
OO's Impress (the PowerPoint alternative) is a major mess with MS files
and at times cannot even render basic text slides usefully (it can use
different line spacings, pushing half the text off the slide) and it
cannot deal with basic PowerPoint slide-show timings. It can also
import some slides as blank slides at times. Given that (at least in
our case) the presentations are often going to be run on someone else's
system, invariably running MS Office, we have to use PowerPoint. I
doubt that OO 2 will resolve this area of incompatibility, there seem to
be too many problems.
I had hoped to try to track down some of the bugs rather than just
whinging, but I could not get OO 2 to compile on Windows, despite a
reasonable amount of effort, not helped by the fact that the build
instructions are clearly wrong and cannot work, though they are still
beta, so I decided to leave that project to one side in the hope that
the build instructions get updated at a later date.
Mixed results, but they are encouraging, since most here are quite happy
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