OpenOffice – NYT

The Office Software That Roared – A nice review of OpenOffice:

The big question is compatibility: If OpenOffice can’t read and save standard Microsoft Office documents, it’s dead in the water. No matter how little you paid, it’s not much use if you can’t exchange files with the other 94 percent.

In general, OpenOffice scores very well here. On simple documents — a book chapter, a home-finance spreadsheet, your basic bullet-points slide show — the translation is flawless. On complex documents, OpenOffice mangles minor formatting: a dashed line between two cells of a table becomes solid light gray, graphic objects on PowerPoint slides aren’t quite the same colors, you lose the font formatting of editorial-comment balloons and so on. OpenOffice can’t run macros written in Microsoft’s programming language, either. (On the bright side, you’re therefore safe from Word and Excel macro viruses.)

I too have been using OpenOffice on the Linux Thin Client for the past week and it has shaped up very well.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.