More good reasons to leave Office on the shelf

Dennis o'reilly By Dennis O’Reilly

In his June 18 Top Story, WS contributing editor Scott Spanbauer presented several free and low-cost alternatives to Microsoft’s ubiquitous productivity suite.

If you need more reasons to shutter your Office apps, take a look at some of the suggestions thatpoured in from readers in response to the story.

The opportunity to save a few hundred dollars sounds appealing any time, but it’s especially attractive in an era of double-digit unemployment figures. That’s why the tremendous response of readers to Scott’s story in last week’s newsletter on Office alternatives wasn’t a big surprise.

Among the people offering yet another reason to give the free application suite a try is J.D. White:

  • “Re: Scott Spanbauer’s excellent summary of MS Office alternatives: I ordered this Vista Home Premium computer with MS Office 2007 Premium installed. I found that Word did not open usable versions of some previous Word documents (2000 and 2003), especially a six-panel mailable brochure (it scrambled and moved both graphics and text).

    “OpenOffice 2.4, however, opened it flawlessly and allowed accurate display, updating, and printing. Moral: OO handled older Word documents better than Office 2007 opened older .doc files. Also, OO opens the widely used .odt file, and version 3.1 even opens the obnoxious Office 2007 .docx while Office 2007 is just now discovering .odt. Also, OpenOffice has long given the option of saving as a PDF.

A reader named David is another convert:
  • “I switched to OpenOffice a few years back when Office 2K started fighting with other apps like Google Desktop. Even without any apps open, the computer would freeze for a couple of minutes on cut and paste activities. I asked MS about the issue and they told me to buy an upgrade.

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All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2009-06-25: