Open Office

All right all you anti-Microsoft people, here’s your chance to shine. Well, not really, but I need your help. I have a group project where we will be doing an usability study on the Writer program in Open Office. We generally have to come up with scenarios that discuss Writer’s ease of use.

Does anyone know of a site where Writer and Word are compared side by side? Personal experiences would be even better. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for any help.

Openoffice Writer’s more less mimics MSWord’s interface, only a few icons a menu options are in different places on default, usually with the PDF funtion and Zoom is an Icon not a dropdown box like Word’s. Spell checker is not as good but does the job most of the time.

Open Office’s Writer is pretty good, but MS Word is still better. The compatibility between them is awesome. I have Linux on my laptop and I’ll work on papers at school in Open Office and then transfer back to my Windows desktop in Word with the greatest ease. For the most part I’ve found Open Office structured a bit easier (such as formatting the page), but some little tools are a little harder, like adding page numbers (it is something that I still haven’t figured out how to do). Also, if I could get my laptop to print (which isn’t a problem with Open Office), I’d like it a bit more for papers since papers are longer in (I have no idea why). The spellchecker is good, but not quite as good as Word’s (since it doesn’t check grammer). I do like how easy it is to make PDFs though, but the problem is that they are a little too big. However, that will probably be fixed soon in another version since originally Open Office *.doc were huge. It is pretty good and easy to use and is a perfect alternative to MS Office.

Why don’t you download it yourself and try it?

I find it incredibly easy to use, coming from using Word. Moreso than, say, WordPerfect – also a quality program, no doubt, but it takes some getting used to.

In some ways I’ve found OO easier to find stuff. This might be confusing for someone who’s used to Word, but once you figure it out you realize that it makes more sense. For example, page formatting in OO is under the Format menu, not under File.

My chief complaint about OO Writer is lack of a built-in spellchecker. I haven’t figured out how to add one, even by adding some Deb packages that assured me would add support. Maybe you Windows folks have better luck in this department.

One issue that I’ve heard about is accessibility. Supposedly MS Office is way ahead of OO in this department. No personal experience here with that, but here’s a neat little article about it:


Oh, I am definitely planning on doing that.

It just seems that it’s pretty common around here to find people who like boycotting Microsoft’s monopolistic ways (I don’t blame them) and I thought they may have some leads as to where and/or how to begin our project.

Thanks for the comments guys! Keep them coming!

This might interest you. My (and most people’s) biggest gripe with OOo is the fact that it isn’t 100% compatible with M$ formats. Well, that was mainly due to the fact that these formats were closed and secret for the longest time, but as of today, they’ll be opened up.