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MS Office Substitute?
Old 08-07-2008, 04:55 PM   #1
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MS Office Substitute?

My new laptop only has a trial version of MS Office, & I'm not about to pay for the real thing. Really all I need is a simple but decent freeware spreadsheet & wordprocessor; don't need or want all the bells & whistles.
I considered OpenOffice, which looks ok, but it's still more than I want.
Any ideas?
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Old 08-07-2008, 05:04 PM   #2
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Google documents seems to do what you want, and you can access it from anywhere.
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Old 08-07-2008, 05:10 PM   #3
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I haven't tried Google Documents, but I tried MS Works over at Frank's house, before he got Office.

It seemed reasonable to me. Sometimes it is provided free, in the software bundle provided with a new computer (which is why Frank had it). If you can get it for free, it is worth trying. I wouldn't pay for it.
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Old 08-07-2008, 05:27 PM   #4
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openoffice.org is supposed to be an MS Office replacement. Have not used it but like you got a new computer with Vista and do not want to pay for MSoffice as I use it very little.
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Old 08-07-2008, 05:31 PM   #5
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Openoffice. Free, full featured, opens and writes MS office files or pretty much any other format.

Its honkin big just like Office is, but its got all the same pieces and you can install just what you want.

Did I mention its free?

Runs on most operating systems and platforms.

www: OpenOffice.org - The Free and Open Productivity Suite

This is based on the Star Office product owned by Sun Microsystems. Sun funds the project and uses the openoffice code base in its current commercial staroffice product that is sold to enterprises.

If the cut-down installation of openoffice is still too much, I'll second Rich's suggestion for google documents.
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Old 08-07-2008, 05:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
openoffice.org is supposed to be an MS Office replacement. Have not used it but like you got a new computer with Vista and do not want to pay for MSoffice as I use it very little.
Lyle
I can second open office. It's all I use at home. It's very similar to microsoft office and you can even use MSoffice format so you aren't locked into using open office if you cange your mind and don't want to lose your work. I actually prefer their spreadsheet format as when you are adding cells to an equation and moving around with the arrow keys, after you add a cell the selection box stays in the same place instead of jumping to the equation's cell.
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Old 08-07-2008, 07:12 PM   #7
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Did you know that Office is only $130 these days for word and excel? I bought it just because it is easier than dealing with the strange file format conversion issues that occasionally arise with other programs. I've tried openoffice a few times and although it will save in microsoft formats it tends to require vigilance and overriding defaults to make that happen; openoffice wants to save in it's own proprietary formats. Same issue with google documents... it works well if you just want to edit the file online, but if you want to save it to your hard disk there are compatibility and workflow difficulties with saving in microsoft formats.
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Old 08-07-2008, 08:35 PM   #8
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Take a college course and buy a student version.
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Old 08-07-2008, 08:38 PM   #9
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I got the whole MS office suite for ~$10 when I was a fed.
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Old 08-07-2008, 09:07 PM   #10
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I got the whole MS office suite for ~$10 when I was a fed.
Yes, mine cost something like that. I was thinking $6, but maybe it was $10. It is a much later version than we use at work, and the idea is to make the transition easier when Office at work is eventually upgraded.

What I hate is the way Microsoft only lets you put it on two or three computers. I am old enough that I feel like when I buy software, I ought to be able to install it any time I want, on any machine I want. I know, that's REALLY old.
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Old 08-07-2008, 10:37 PM   #11
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I also use Open Office. It works just like MS Office. The only thing is to remember to save your work in .doc or .rtf before you email it to others, otherwise they won't be able to open it unless they have Open Office. I really like it.
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Old 08-07-2008, 10:50 PM   #12
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I'll second...er, third.....whatever, Open Office! I use it exclusively! It'll do whatever M$ Office will do....and it'll do for cheap FREE! I run it on my WindowsXP machines as well as my ASUS Eee with Linux.
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Old 08-07-2008, 11:25 PM   #13
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I don't mean to hijack this thread, but does anyone know if I could download OpenOffice and still keep my old Ms Office 97 at the same time? I want to do this because DH has written a bunch of macros/Visual Basic routines/reports in Access and Excel that we use every day, and I want to find out if OpenOffice can run them. Or maybe someone here knows if it even tries for that kind of compatibility.
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Old 08-08-2008, 12:03 AM   #14
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I don't mean to hijack this thread, but does anyone know if I could download OpenOffice and still keep my old Ms Office 97 at the same time?
Yep! You sure can! I had both on my 'puter at my former work place....neither interfered with the other. Although one or the other (by your choice) will have to be the default program for opening files.
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Old 08-08-2008, 08:14 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Want2retire View Post
Yes, mine cost something like that. I was thinking $6, but maybe it was $10. It is a much later version than we use at work, and the idea is to make the transition easier when Office at work is eventually upgraded.

What I hate is the way Microsoft only lets you put it on two or three computers. I am old enough that I feel like when I buy software, I ought to be able to install it any time I want, on any machine I want. I know, that's REALLY old.
I can put Excel on more than one computer?
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Old 08-08-2008, 08:35 AM   #16
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Anyone used Open Office on Mac OS X? Only version I saw was a direct unix package and it was too tedious to install for me.
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Old 08-08-2008, 09:10 AM   #17
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I can put Excel on more than one computer?
Maybe my recollection is hazy, and maybe I am wrong about that!!! But it seems to me that when you install it, it goes online and makes a record of what computer it is installed on. To tell the truth I haven't installed my federally obtained version of Excel on more than one computer, but I did install the "students and teachers" version that I had previously on two computers since the first one fried.

If the federal version is limited to one computer, that would be pretty ridiculous - - if your computer failed, and you had to buy a new one, then you couldn't re-install it. But then, it wouldn't be the only aspect of federal work that was hard to explain.

I'd give it a try, and see what happens. The worst it could do is to say "no". It might be a little more difficult for you, since I think you have to verify that you are a federal employee and have a working federal e-mail address. I am not entirely sure about that, either. This morning I have a bad case of CRS - - "Can't Remember Stuff".
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Old 08-08-2008, 09:53 AM   #18
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There are some windows licenses that allow multiple machine installs, and I think the limit was 3. The assumption was one person might have up to three computers they'd be using one at a time: home, mobile and work. Older copies of Office allow unlimited installs. The newer ones are pretty much single copy, single machine, single install with activation unless you pay for a >1 user license.

Rich - try this...porting: OpenOffice.org for Mac OS X : Download

You'll just need to install the x11 package (and they tell you how to do that) or theres a prerelease native Aqua version that probably wont throw up on you too badly.

If you're a college student and actively registered for at least one class, you can often get deals on MS office for ~$60. Theres also a deal for students right now that allows install on up to 3 computers but it costs $60/year. Not too horrifying if you plan to upgrade to the new version every couple of years as you can stop paying the 'lease' on the old version and start paying it on the new version.

Its also possible to find and buy older versions of Office for a lot less money. The old Office97/XP versions (depending on your OS) really did 98% of what anyone might actually need. Excepting a few features, UI changes and some macro/vb stuff.

I found both used and new copies of Office XP and Office XP/2002 for around $70 at several places including amazon sellers.
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Old 08-08-2008, 10:28 AM   #19
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Anyone used Open Office on Mac OS X? Only version I saw was a direct unix package and it was too tedious to install for me.
There's a version of Open Office for the Mac called NeoOffice. The latter is basically Open Office modified so that that it feels more or less like a native Mac app. It's easy to install but is a TITANIC download. It's free.

I use it mainly for dealing with MS Word files. Otherwise, Open Office / MS Office feels like using a cannon to kill a fly. There are much simpler Mac solutions that do what I need to do.
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Old 08-08-2008, 10:37 AM   #20
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I can put Excel on more than one computer?
I just bought a Student and Home version of Office for my son to use and I was wondering the same thing. This is from Microsoft's webpage for this version of Office:

Quote:
Can I install Office Home and Student 2007 on more than one device?

Yes, if you have purchased a retail license of Office Home and Student 2007. The retail license terms permit installation and use of Office Home and Student 2007 on three devices. For more information about determining what type of license you have purchased and to obtain an overview of your licensing agreement, visit the Microsoft Software License Terms (MSLT) for the 2007 Microsoft Office system.
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/su...655301033.aspx

Edit to ad: Found my reading glasses, confirmed three machine license on the package.
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