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Would you recommend Open Office?
Thread poster: looby
looby
France
Local time: 07:42
Sep 16, 2008

I have just bought a new pc and am wondering whether to use Open Office instead of buying MS Office. What are your experiences of it? Is it fully compatible with Word, PowerPoint and Excel and does it work with Trados?
Many thanks.


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xxxsavaria
Hungary
Local time: 07:42
English to Hungarian
+ ...
About Open Office Sep 16, 2008

I used Open Office at work.(Because it is an open source coded software and my company has not had any money for buying such a software,when they can get the very same stuff for free,and they have spent a sack of money on other softwares Flexys and Microraab. used by them)
Now I use Word 2002.
Open Office has both its own extentions(odt,ods,and so on),but is at the same time able to open xls and doc files,as far as I know.
It is easy to handle,so I can recommend it with pleasure!


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Nicolette Scholte  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:42
English to Dutch
+ ...
I would not choose it. Sep 16, 2008

I personally would not choose it, I used it when I started freelancing, but soon figured out that it was hard to convert the extensions of OpenOffice into Word/Excel documents. A lot of clients could not open the files.
I'm sure it is possible to convert the files into .doc files without losing the lay-out of the document, but I couldn't be bothered and just bought Microsoft Office.

I wouldn't know if it works with Trados, when I just started I didn't have Trados yet. Sorry, can't help you with that.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:42
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
If you want to look good to your customers... Sep 16, 2008

Nicolette Scholte wrote:
I personally would not choose it, I used it when I started freelancing, but soon figured out that it was hard to convert the extensions of OpenOffice into Word/Excel documents. A lot of clients could not open the files.
I'm sure it is possible to convert the files into .doc files without losing the lay-out of the document, but I couldn't be bothered and just bought Microsoft Office.


Same opinion. If you are delivering files to your customers and they cannot open them... it looks odd and not very professional. It might be worth to invest in an actual MS Office.

Of course, if it was for personal use, I would entirely recommend Open Office. It looks good!


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Ivana Friis Wilson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:42
Member (2008)
English to Danish
+ ...
Great program Sep 16, 2008

Open Office is an excellent package and I have had no problems creating docs that Microsoft Word users can open. I do find that it is a bit slow starting up, but that is the only problem I have ever had with it. Unlike various versions of WOrd, it NEVER crashes.

It does unfortunately not work with Trados or any other CAT tools that are built like macros for Microsoft Word.

A well-known translator, Corrine Mckay, write excellent articles about how to translate without Trados or Word on her blog: http://thoughtsontranslation.com/
- and lots of other interesting things!

Personally I gave up Open Office when I started using Metatexis. I hope to return to Open office one day but at the moment I am just really happy with Metatexis (also macro-like like Trados).

Why don't you install it and see if you like it? It's free


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:42
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
I definitely recommend OpenOffice.org Sep 16, 2008

It's just fine. It's easy to handle, it's got a slightly better interface as compared to Microsoft, and it's easier to customize IMHO. It also can be powered up with lots of useful extensions. And by the way, sometimes OOo is the only remedy to recover a corrupted MS Word document.

I do most of my work in OOo and normally only verify the final layout with MSO. The latest versions of OOo have very good capabilities of export to MSO formats, and as for MS Word, I have had only once a problem with my client (a year and half ago or so). No problem about MS Excel as well. However, I must point out, that PowerPoint may be problematic.

So, well, download OOo 2.4.1 (3.0 is very promising, but still in beta status, and I, albeit using it for daily work, won't recommend it to unexperienced users) and try it out. I bet, even if it won't become your primary tool, you'll find it more than useful


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:42
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
I'm afraid, you're wrong Sep 16, 2008

It does unfortunately not work with Trados or any other CAT tools that are built like macros for Microsoft Word.


It won't work with Trados Workbench, but Trados TagEditor is stated to support ODF (=OpenDocument Format, same as OOo 2.0 format).

And don't forget that Microsoft is phasing out VBA, which means, that the next MSO version for Windows won't work with Trados Workbench, or Wordfast, or Metatexis either (current MSO for Macintosh does not work with WF anymore).


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:42
Member (2006)
English to Russian
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And… Sep 16, 2008

Unlike various versions of WOrd, it NEVER crashes.


It does crash in fact, but you'll have to do hard to make it Really, compared to MS Word, OOo is rock-solid (even OOo betas are more robust).

Inter alia, OOo can check spelling in more languages than MS Word, and you can use multiple dictionaries for one language


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:42
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Get both Sep 16, 2008

Looby wrote:
I have just bought a new pc and am wondering whether to use Open Office instead of buying MS Office.


Well, if you've had MS Office in the past, you still own the licence for it and you can install it on the new computer. I'd suggest getting both, though.

What are your experiences of it? Is it fully compatible with Word, PowerPoint and Excel and does it work with Trados?


It is not fully compatible, but it is usually "good enough". Just remember to send DOC, PTT and XLS files to clients, not ODT, ODI and ODS files.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 07:42
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Microsoft Viewers, yes Sep 16, 2008

esperantisto wrote:
I do most of my work in OOo and normally only verify the final layout with MSO.


The Viewers can be had for free. Word Viewer, Excel Viewer and PowerPoint Viewer are available from Microsoft's web site. These viewers show you exactly what the file would look like in Word, Excel and PowerPoint, so you can check... even if you don't have Word, Excel or PowerPoint on your computer.

And don't forget that Microsoft is phasing out VBA, which means, that the next MSO version for Windows won't work with Trados Workbench, or Wordfast, or Metatexis either (current MSO for Macintosh does not work with WF anymore).


Not much of an argument, though. Office 2003 still has VB, and it has most functions of later versions, so I imagine someone using WF or Metataxis could continue to use it for another decade or so, if they wish.

Nicolette Scholte wrote:
I used it when I started freelancing, but soon figured out that it was hard to convert the extensions of OpenOffice into Word/Excel documents.


If you try to "convert" an ODT file to DOC by simply changing the file extension, well, then that is obviously not going to work. All you're doing, is changing the file name, not the file structure. You need to select DOC when you save the file from OOo.

This is not funny... we regularly get folk on the OmegaT forum telling us that they've converted their DOCs into ODT by simply changing the file extension.


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looby
France
Local time: 07:42
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Sep 16, 2008

Thanks for your replies. I think I'll give it a try but will probably end up buying MS Office for compatibility reasons.

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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:42
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
No compatibility problem here Sep 16, 2008

I use Open Office all the time, and have no problems with it. I use OmegaT CAT tool (free). So I get a file in Word from a client, open it and save it in OOo, feed it into OmegaT, and the target file comes out in odt. I open that and then save it again in Word, and send it off to the client.

The only problem I've had is some little formatting glitches, like rules that don't line up just right. You can fix them in the final Word version. Perhaps with more complex formatting than I generally use, there might be more difficulties--I don't know.

Susan


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Rick Henry  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:42
Italian to English
+ ...
Writing to MS formats Sep 16, 2008

Samuel Murray wrote:
...
This is not funny... we regularly get folk on the OmegaT forum telling us that they've converted their DOCs into ODT by simply changing the file extension.

You can also set up OO.o to make .doc the default file type to save.

There is also a free add-on available that will allow you to read and write to the new Office formats (.docx, etc.).

R.
==

.


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 01:42
English to French
+ ...
Both Sep 16, 2008

I don't think I could carry out my work in a satisfactory manner without Word. But I do use OO for many things I believe Word is pretty weak at (mostly for formatting and for tracked changes operations). So, my main word processor is still Word, although it does keep playing tricks on me (I don't know how many copies of normal.dot I have and don't care to count them, either), and I use OO to support Word, much like you would use a crutch if you had trouble walking.

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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 06:42
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
It's a utility suite for me Sep 16, 2008

I use OpenOffice to fix frequent problems with MS Word and RTF documents, including corrupt tables. On a number of occasions OO has opened and cleanly saved documents that simply crashed Word 2003. The spreadsheet program is also useful if one tries to paste a column back into an Excel document which has a lot of line breaks in the cells. This used to drive me nuts doing it in Excel. (You might ask why I would be doing this at all - some CAT software won't handle text beyond a certain limit in an Excel cell, so I have to copy to MS Word and paste back after the translation is finished.)

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