Free office suite?
Thread poster: Rob Grayson

Rob Grayson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:47
French to English
Jul 11, 2008

You may have read in my other post that I've just this week switched over to Mac from PC. I'm running Windows in a virtual environment for my CAT tool and one or two other things, including a full version of MS Office, but I'd like to use native Mac apps as far as possible.

Compatibility with MS Office is pretty much a necessity nowadays, and I thought I would achieve this through the well-known and increasingly popular OpenOffice...until discovering to my horror that there isn't a Mac version. (Apart from a legacy one that's still kicking around from a few years back.) So I'm wondering what's my best option. Possible solutions I've identified so far:

- Buy MS Office for Mac. Pros: pretty much full compatibility. Cons: relatively expensive (100 GBP for Home and Student edition).

- Buy iWork for Mac. Pros: Apple rather than MS software, half the price of MS Office. Cons: many users report major compatibility issues.

- Find another Mac alternative, open source or otherwise. Anyone use NeoOffice, and if so, would you care to comment?

- Continue to use Windows for dealing with all Office apps. Pros: compatibility not an issue. Cons: keeps me tied more firmaly to Windows.

- Use a web-based doc suite à la Google docs, Zoho etc. Pros: free, mostly Office-compatible, cross-platform. Cons: nightmare scenario is your internet connection going down and losing access to all documents.

Would very much welcome any advice, wisdom or experience.

Thanks in advance,

Rob


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Jim Tucker  Identity Verified
United States
Hungarian to English
+ ...
Here's how I do it - some ergonomic advantages to using Win in an emulator Jul 11, 2008

Don't have the time to go into detail, but for me the Windows version of Word (from ofc 2007 or 8 or whatever they call it) has a much better user interface for my purposes. (I have used the Mac version too.)

One advantage of using VM Ware or Parallels: You can save your windows desktop in any open configuration when you suspend. Advantage for the translator: You can have 2 open Word windows side by side, one with the original, the other with your translation. No need to arrange the windows (the automatic function puts them one on top of the other anyway - not my pref) - you just suspend, then open it up again, and voilà, you have your usual workspace setup all.... ummm... set up.

Since Apple has not yet worked out all the bugs with its Spaces program within the Mac environment, you can even run a couple of virtualizers (or emulators) simultaneously with paired Word windows open for multiple projects, and use Spaces to jump between them(that task is one it doesn't mess up). (If you don't understand me it's probably my fault; can explain later.)

Good luck,
Jim


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Damian Harrison
Germany
Local time: 06:47
German to English
Try here Jul 11, 2008

Hi Rob,
Take a look here. You might just find what you are looking for:

http://en.softonic.com/mac/office-suites

BTW - student editions are, of course, not for use in professional environments.

You can pick up good offers on Small Business Editions at ebay - new and complete with a full license.

Good luck.


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Bruno Scokaert  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 06:47
English to French
+ ...
NeoOffice Jul 11, 2008

Hi Rob,

I use NeoOffice for a rather long time now, and it works pretty well! Most of my translations are received and sent back in .doc or .xls, and until now it does its job.

By the way, OpenOffice works on Mac too, but you need... X11, if I remember the name correctly (additional component on the Mac OS X disc). But anyway, I've switched to NeoOffice and don't care anymore about the latter...

And the "Open Document" format let me use OmegaT as well, which runs on Mac OS...


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Rob Grayson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:47
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks... Jul 11, 2008

Hi Damian,

Thanks for the link, I'll have a look!

BTW - student editions are, of course, not for use in professional environments.


Quite right, well spotted. That's why it's interesting that this is a "Home and Student" edition. I would arguably using it much more for personal/home stuff than business.

Rob


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Rob Grayson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:47
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jul 11, 2008

I use NeoOffice for a rather long time now, and it works pretty well! Most of my translations are received and sent back in .doc or .xls, and until now it does its job.

By the way, OpenOffice works on Mac too, but you need... X11, if I remember the name correctly (additional component on the Mac OS X disc). But anyway, I've switched to NeoOffice and don't care anymore about the latter...

And the "Open Document" format let me use OmegaT as well, which runs on Mac OS...


Thanks Bruno, I'll probably have a look at NeoOffice and see what I think.

Rob


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Dragomir Kovacevic  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:47
Italian to Serbian
+ ...
many good alternatives, no neeed to grieve Jul 11, 2008

Rob Grayson wrote:

You may have read in my other post that I've just this week switched over to Mac from PC. I'm running Windows in a virtual environment for my CAT tool and one or two other things, including a full version of MS Office, but I'd like to use native Mac apps as far as possible.

Compatibility with MS Office is pretty much a necessity nowadays, and I thought I would achieve this through the well-known and increasingly popular OpenOffice...until discovering to my horror that there isn't a Mac version. (Apart from a legacy one that's still kicking around from a few years back.) So I'm wondering what's my best option.


there is a version for Mac. To use it you should activate X11 environment in Mac, it is present on the cd-s of the operative system.


Possible solutions I've identified so far:

- Buy MS Office for Mac. Pros: pretty much full compatibility. Cons: relatively expensive (100 GBP for Home and Student edition).


first of all: a professionist should buy a full licence.
second: the Ms Mac Office 2004 still uses Visual Basic, i.e. some macros can be added to it, like a Wordfast CAT, and others. Unftnly, the 2004 version, despite very frequent updates, is basically on the level of Ms Office 2000 for Windows.
third: Mac Office 2008 (or 2007?) - no VB any more, like in its version for Windows.


- Buy iWork for Mac. Pros: Apple rather than MS software, half the price of MS Office. Cons: many users report major compatibility issues.


one can always purchase a fine piece of software like iWork.


- Find another Mac alternative, open source or otherwise. Anyone use NeoOffice, and if so, would you care to comment?


NeoOffice is very fluid and operative. Unftnly, for people who use some OOo macros, those do not work in NeoOffice.


- Continue to use Windows for dealing with all Office apps. Pros: compatibility not an issue. Cons: keeps me tied more firmaly to Windows.


you can always install a virtual machine on Mac: a licenced MS Windows in it. another elegant solution is to use "Crossover" (Crossover Office). No need to use a full Windows OS. Each Windows application installs for itself. and it is extremelly fast and fully interchangable with Mac environment.

dragomir

[Edited at 2008-07-11 15:59]


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Claudio Chagas
Brazil
Local time: 03:47
English to Portuguese
+ ...
OpenOffice.org 3.0 Beta version for Mac OS X Jul 12, 2008

Rob Grayson wrote:

... OpenOffice...until discovering to my horror that there isn't a Mac version.

Rob


I use NeoOffice, but you can find an OpenOffice.org 3.0 Beta version here:
ftp://ooopackages.good-day.net/pub/OpenOffice.org/MacOSX/3.0.0beta/


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Rob Grayson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:47
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
How come? Jul 12, 2008

Hi Claudio,

So there's no stable release for the Mac, but there is a Mac beta? What's that about?

Rob


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Claudio Chagas
Brazil
Local time: 03:47
English to Portuguese
+ ...
OpenOffice.org Mac Porting Jul 12, 2008

It appears that the porting of OpenOffice.org for Mac is still on its early stages. I found this webpage which seems to be run by one of the contributers working on the Mac Port project. It would help if the Mac Porting team had more time to turn this into a stable release, but I guess that takes time. The official Mac porting news blog is on http://porting.openoffice.org/mac/news/2008/20080319AquaDevRelease.html but it was last updated on 19 March 2008. Check out the Developer's Blogs on http://porting.openoffice.org/mac/links.html for more up-to-date news.

[Edited at 2008-07-13 00:10]


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Robert Tucker
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:47
German to English
+ ...
OpenOffice for Mac Jul 13, 2008

Significantly for translators, users of OpenOffice on Mac often report problems typing in some languages with it. These languages are, I think, limited to those where special input methods are needed – Chinese, Japanese, Korean and so on. NeoOffice seems to function as required in this respect.

[Edited at 2008-07-13 13:56]


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Antti Nyrhinen  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:47
English to Finnish
+ ...
CAT tool under Parallels, the rest on iWork Jul 14, 2008

Hi Rob,

Congratulations on seeing the light

I use my CAT tool (DVX) under Parallels on my MacBook and whenever I translate anything without DVX, I just use iWork 08. The major compatibility problems between iWork and MS Office seem to be between Powerpoint and Keynote.

I used to review all my Word .doc exports from Pages 08 on my PC but never really saw any problems (if you don't count the fact that the ruler is chock full of tab stops, but that's no big deal) so these days, provided that the formatting of the source text is fairly basic, I sometimes even just send my .doc exports without opening them in Word to check that they are all right. So far no complaints, but like I said, if there is any advanced formatting in the source text, then it's a good idea to check, which I reckon you could easily do on your virtual Windows there.

The same goes for .xls source files - at least the ones I translate are all pretty simple so importing them to Numbers 08, doing the translation and then exporting them as .xls has not resulted in any problems either.

Have mainly heard good things about NeoOffice but haven't felt the need to install it just yet since I have iWork and I'm pretty happy with it.

Hope this helps.

Antti


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Rob Grayson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:47
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Antti Jul 14, 2008

Hey Antti,

Thanks for your comments on iWork. I plan to give NeoOffice a spin later today, and if it's OK then I'll probably stick with it for now.

Of course, I'm acutely aware that one of my challenges is that I've been using Office pretty much since it first came out, so whichever office suite I end up using in OS X is bound to feel somewhat strange at first...

Rob


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