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  1. #1
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    Office too much for me!

    I'm now semi-retired from the computer business (after 30 years). At one time, I spent most of the day in WordPerfect DOS but over the years I used word processing less and spent more and more time programming.

    I never used Office that much but when I did, Word is what I mostly used. Excel some, PowerPoint some, never Outlook, but mostly Word. And as time marched on, it became more and more like taking the anti-grav car to the corner market - 50 switches and dials for a 2 minute ride. I have no idea what 3/4 of the stuff is even for any more - Word is more like PageMaker (which I used a lot at one time as well) than it is a word processor.

    What ever happened to the scaled down version of Office that Microsoft talked about as a replacement to Works? Is there any hope that us mere mortals will ever see a simple word processor and spread sheet that will work with Office documents? Something that isn't so crammed with bells and whistles that it looks like a circus clown car ready to explode?

  2. #2
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    Office Home & Student is about the same price as Works was, so I'm guessing it's intended to replace it. There are alternatives to Office, as I'm sure you know, but I think they'll still have the bells and whistles you speak of.

  3. #3
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    If you need something really pared down there's always Wordpad that comes with Windows.

    For something in between Wordpad and Word, take a look at AbiWord.
    Last edited by strollin; 2015-02-10 at 09:44.

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    I'm currently using Home and Student and other than it not including a couple apps it seems to be the same versions of Word and Excel.

    One thing about Works was that hard drive space and memory were scarce and expensive so it made sense to have a smaller footprint product. But that's not so much an issue now. Although with tablet alternatives becoming so common it seems like a simpler version should find a market.

    I do use WordPad for some things but I've got to have the ability to use DOCX format and it won't work with that.

    I've looked at some office alternative and they seem to be equally determined to give me 25 features I don't need for every 1 I do. AbiWord is new to me so I'll have a look.

    What would be really great is if MS created a version of Office with an interface setting for Simple, Normal, Advanced, and Insanely Complex. Even the Options in Office take 30 min to look over and a 100 pg manual to explain.
    Last edited by gsmith-plm; 2015-02-10 at 09:54.

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    The only decent version of Works was 4.x IMHO. But it did suffer from incompatibility.

  7. #6
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    I upgraded several years ago, from Office 2003 to Office 2007. Then Office 2007 seems to be easily upset, possible by HD cleaning that has removed some little thing that Office wanted to hang on to. So when I'd try to open an office document, I'd get a message that Office needed to reinstall something. Ten minutes later I could finally open the desired document. That happened just once too often and I vowed to get rid of Office for good. My good!

    So I Downloaded and installed "Open Office" and installed it, and I've been happy as a pig in poop ever since.

    I removed MS Office 2007 with Revo Uninstaller FREE, and I was not surprised, but horrified at how many thousands of Registry Entries, for Office 2007, it had to find and remove.

    Office not only causes HD bloat, but Registry Bloat as well. I'm finally glad to be rid of it.

    So, Try 'Open Office'. If you really don't like it, you can always UN-Install it. No harm, No foul. It's FREE anyway!

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  8. #7
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    I went the Open Office route a few years ago and ran into the exact same issue. Some background... I was producing a four page, two column monthly newsletter using WorkPerfect DOS in 1989 and laying out illustrated books in PageMaker in 1991. And those products had fewer features and less complicated menus than modern Word Processors do.

    How many people who use Word routinely use Themes or Styles. Everyone who knows what Citations or a Table or Authorities is, please raise their hand. These aren't word processing features - these are publishing features.

    Why include features that only 10% of the users need in a default install? Because they can and disk space is cheap and people think they are getting a bargain if they get a car with 15 cup holders and a DVD player in the back when they drive alone 95% of the time.

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    I too have Office 2007. It's o-k-a-y....it works fine but like all MS stuff, it is bloatware. I might try Open Office, but that can wait till my next Windows reinstall...

  10. #9
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    Libre Office also is a good choice. I have that and Open Office installed, what one cannot do, the other picks up.
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

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    I looked at Libre as well and, again, it's more than I want. I'm looking for less. I'm looking for simple. I don't have the patience trying to wade through 100 different "features" to find the 5 that are really useful.

    Every new version of Office has brought more features (that most people don't use) and more complexity (that makes it harder for people to use). I'm not a technophobe - far from it having started with computers in 1972. I just detest this constant need to add more and change things. Software engineers LOVE to change things.

  12. #11
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    gsmith, here's a possible answer: Edit Plus Pro. Presently, I use it, from the taskbar, to quick-display my scheduled scans; however, I have used it in the past to edit html files, text files, "flat" DOCs, etc. It will not do spreadsheets. Maybe do "flat" database files.
    It is simple or complex, depends upon what you want it to do for you.

    https://www.editplus.com/download.html -- freebie is trial version, that's why I went Pro.
    Last edited by RolandJS; 2015-02-10 at 15:19.
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
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  13. #12
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    +1 for Libre Office. It will read and write MS Office formats so unless you are writing VBA code you are just fine. HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

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  14. #13
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    RetiredGeek, I believe OP mentioned both Libre and Open office suites being too much to meddle with. That's why I suggested Edit Plus Pro.
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

  15. #14
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Roland,

    You are correct. I just thought that with any program the OP only needs to find the "5" features he finds useful and just ignore the rest, you don't have to know every thing to use one of these programs. Actually, I don't think anyone knows (remembers) all the features in modern office type programs (even the people who programed it as it is usually a team) we all use a subset that fits out needs and then look up things when we need to do something new. The problem with simple programs is that eventually most people will run up against something that the program just can't do then you are stuck with no where to turn but to learn another program. So I prefer to use a program that always has options available if I ever need them and not worry about them if I don't. YMMV
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gsmith-plm View Post
    I looked at Libre as well and, again, it's more than I want. I'm looking for less. I'm looking for simple. I don't have the patience trying to wade through 100 different "features" to find the 5 that are really useful.

    Every new version of Office has brought more features (that most people don't use) and more complexity (that makes it harder for people to use). I'm not a technophobe - far from it having started with computers in 1972. I just detest this constant need to add more and change things. Software engineers LOVE to change things.
    One good thing in Office is that you can customize the interface to show only the features you want. It's a one time effort and after that there is no need to search for anything.
    Rui
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