Compatibility - OpenOffice & Microsoft Office
Thread poster: nikoniko4649
nikoniko4649  Identity Verified
Japan
Japanese to English
Apr 12, 2012

Hi Prozians!

This is my first post on this forum, and I am not really sure if this has been discussed, as I could not locate similar topics as far as I could see....so please forgive me for my ignorance !

Not until recently was I aware that the Microsoft Office 2010 on my new PC was a trial version !
And, today I got an alert message that I have 4 more days to get it activated! & I don't have the MAK key with me! I thought I had made it clear to the support staff that I needed a fully functional Office package to be installed! Don't know how I overlooked to check on this ! My bad!

And, am in the midst of an assignment, so cannot afford to experiment with my PC this week.
So, in any case, I have installed the OpenOffice.org available on net, as I think it can be a savior to some extent for the time being, if not a total relief !

I was wondering if there are fellow-translators using the OpenOffice (Writer/Calc) for work, and if yes,
I wanted to know about how compatible it would be with Microsoft Office documents?
The current assignment demands that the file format should be a .xls document.
And I tried to check the file formats in OpenOffice. Looks like I can save the document as a 97/2000 or XP version, but I wanted to hear from others, if anyone of you faced any particular difficulties in using OpenOffice.

Please let me know any comments on the compatibility aspect, any pros & cons on OpenOffice as compared to Microsoft Office. Oh & by the way, I have a Windows 7 OS, in case that info needs to be given at this point!


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 02:55
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Excel and Calc are IMO very compatible Apr 12, 2012

But Word and Writer are less compatible. In fact I found it often easier to exchange columns of text between Word and Calc than between Word and Excel!

Complicated Word-files sometimes look very strange when using Writer in between. But I use Writer always for making pdf out of Word-files (invoices etc.).


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:55
Member
French to English
+ ...
Some issues with Word .DOC / OO compatibility Apr 12, 2012

I use OO a lot for my personal stuff, but had to give up using it for customer files, as I encountered a number of unexplained difficulties with it.

The primary one, and the one that caused me the most grief, was one particular short document (2 pp) which had a bit of DTP-type formatting — nothing very complex, just some images and paragraphs fitted round them. But the mere fact of opening the document in OO and then saving it in some way corrupted the file, and I had to spend ages manually recreating it again in Word.

I could not find which particular aspect was at the bottom of this, but in any event, I can't afford to take the risk with customer files; on one occasion, I had saved a .doc file out of OO in Word format, but my customer was unable to open it in his Word. So I had to open it again in Word at my end, and then save it out again, and then it was OK.

In any case, I use Wordfast, and I think I'm right in saying that, as it is VBA-based, it doesn't work with OO.

I should add that my experience relates to a much earlier build of OO, and concerned compatibility issues with Office XP and Windows XP; haven't tried anything unde W7, nor any of the the other apps.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:55
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
On rearming Apr 12, 2012

nikoniko4649 wrote:
I was wondering if there are fellow-translators using the OpenOffice (Writer/Calc) for work, and if yes, I wanted to know about how compatible it would be with Microsoft Office documents?


Yes, but I would not recommend trying it in the middle of an assignment. Ideally you should install the Microsoft Word and Excel Viewers so that you can check your documents before and after editing in OpenOffice.org to see if they look the same.

I've heard that you can rearm MS Office 2010 (i.e. delay the activation a bit), although there are some conflicting reports about how simple it is to do:

http://www.ardamis.com/2011/05/31/office-2010-rearm/ (think it's easy)
http://www.mydigitallife.info/how-to-rearm-office-2010-for-free-6-months-extended-usage/ (think it's easy)

http://www.ghacks.net/2010/05/17/office-2010-activation-rearm/ (uses a small program for it)
http://www.mydigitallife.info/how-to-rearm-and-extend-office-2010-activation-grace-period-for-free-180-days-usage/ (detailled instructions)


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:55
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
I use OpenOffice.org/LibreOffice for my work… Apr 12, 2012

…and am very satisfied with it. As for compatibility with MSO, I would describe it approximately as follows.

No problem for OOo Calc/MSO Excel spreadsheets.

Some problems with Writer/Word (DOC) text files. Actually, no problems when a document is created in Writer and exported to DOC, but when you import a DOC file to Writer and export back to Word, some issues are possible. Notably, problems with embedded objects such as pictures, graphs, captions. However, if your file is just text, problems are quite unlikely. Unfortunately, if you don’t have MSO Word, you can’t be sure that there are no issues and/or they are corrected someway.

As for DOCX and PowerPoint (both PPT and PPTX), I would not recommend OOo/LibO for editing such files.

Note, that the latest LibreOffice 3.5.2 (which is a fork of OOo) offers better compatibility with MSO Word as compared to OOo, but it’s less stable and produces worse code resulting in more tags if you use tag-based CAT programs.

Since you already have OOo, I’d recommend installing also LibO Portable and see, which is better in your particular case.


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nikoniko4649  Identity Verified
Japan
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Looks like some known issues exist ! Apr 12, 2012

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

But Word and Writer are less compatible. In fact I found it often easier to exchange columns of text between Word and Calc than between Word and Excel!

Complicated Word-files sometimes look very strange when using Writer in between.



esperantisto wrote:
No problem for OOo Calc/MSO Excel spreadsheets.

Some problems with Writer/Word (DOC) text files.


Tony M wrote:

Some issues with Word .DOC / OO compatibility



Hi Heinrich, esperantisto, Tony

Thanks for sharing your comments !
Looks like Word/Writer compatibility is a common issue here....
Till the time I can arrange for a fully functional version, I will be sure to keep these points in mind on OOO, before or whenever I accept my next assignment !


Samuel Murray wrote:

Yes, but I would not recommend trying it in the middle of an assignment. Ideally you should install the Microsoft Word and Excel Viewers so that you can check your documents before and after editing in OpenOffice.org to see if they look the same.

I've heard that you can rearm MS Office 2010 (i.e. delay the activation a bit), although there are some conflicting reports about how simple it is to do:


Thanks Samuel, for the hint on using Viewers before & after editing in OOO ! That was definitely one nice suggestion to be used as a workaround.
And, oh yes, even I read about the rearming, and also tried it, but not working as expected. And anyway I will loose a lot of time if I have to look into it right now...as I still have 4 more days to go, am trying my best to complete the current work before I can try the link which you have mentioned - detailed instructions...in case anything goes wrong, atleast I would not have to be answerable for any assignment at that time !

Atleast now that you guys have posted some known issues, I know what I should be on the look out for !

& if any further comments, please keep posting....!

Thanks !


[Edited at 2012-04-12 14:19 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-04-12 14:20 GMT]


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nikoniko4649  Identity Verified
Japan
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Rearming Office 2010 worked! Apr 13, 2012

Samuel Murray wrote:

I've heard that you can rearm MS Office 2010 (i.e. delay the activation a bit), although there are some conflicting reports about how simple it is to do:

http://www.ardamis.com/2011/05/31/office-2010-rearm/ (think it's easy)
http://www.mydigitallife.info/how-to-rearm-office-2010-for-free-6-months-extended-usage/ (think it's easy)

http://www.ghacks.net/2010/05/17/office-2010-activation-rearm/ (uses a small program for it)
http://www.mydigitallife.info/how-to-rearm-and-extend-office-2010-activation-grace-period-for-free-180-days-usage/ (detailled instructions)



Rearming worked!
Last time, I missed to login as administrator...no wonder it failed!
This is all that I had to do :

Open Command Prompt with Administrator Privilege. Right click and “Run as Administrator”
Run the following command including inverted commas:
"C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\OfficeSoftwareProtectionPlatform\OSPPREARM.EXE"


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Compatibility - OpenOffice & Microsoft Office

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