Alternative to Microsoft Office - Open Office vs. Google Docs

v9991

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#1
which one(open office vs google docs) you find to be more user friendly


(and i can't end the question with ... "which one is equivalent or better than microsoft office!!!"


(more i realize that above question is inevitable, more i feel that, microsoft office is being over-priced!!!...exploited... etc :-( ))

thank you for your thoughts.
 
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Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#2
If it's cloud based, I'll stay away. I do have Office 2007/8 for Mac on my "main" computer, but I bought a MiniMac last fall and I just got the Apple Numbers, Keynote and Pages programs for it and my iPhone and iPad. They have opened everything I've tried so far. But then I really don't do much where I have to share documents these days.

I have Open Office on my "main" Mac (2008 iMac) but I rarely use it. I haven't installed it on my miniMac yet. I may, but like I say - So far no real need to.

Between the two you mention I'd go with Open Office.
 

Michael_M

Trusted Information Resource
#3
I use all three where I work. I personally use Excel, others use Open office (no need to spend the money on excel for what they do), and we have Google docs for cloud 'share' type files.

Google docs seems to be the 'weakest' of the 3. This may be my lack of knowledge, but I don't seem to be able to do as much. For example, I have a lot of templates that I open, add what I want, and save as an excel file. In Google Docs, I have not figured out a way to get templates to work (it looks like the template gets saved for everyone in the universe to be able to use).

Open Office is a very good product, it takes a bit to learn the differences between Excel and Open Office but both work about the same.

If you are planning on using the spreadsheet and sharing the information on the spreadsheet with others (who may or may not edit it), Google docs is the way to go. You give everyone you want to 'view' the file or anyone you want to be able to 'edit' the file a link (although I believe they have to have a gmail account--not positive of this, but here the links don't seem to work without the a proper mail account). Depending on permissions, they can view the spread sheet or edit. Any edits are tracked by who and what so you can undo if you don't like.

Google docs also does not require anyone else to have the software installed on their computer to view and/or use. It is all 'cloud' based software. Excel and Open Office have minor trouble when opening each others files (mostly formatting issues).

One big draw back on Google Docs (to some people I know). The files are not stored on your computer. The file(s) are stored on a server (presumably at Google HQ) so you will not have direct control over the file on a hard-drive (you can delete and all that).
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#4
I use Excel mainly. Sometimes I have a use for Powerpoint. It's very rare that I use Word for anything other than opening some documents. I never did use Word extensively.

I'm definitely not going to go for an Office "upgrade". Retirement really reduced my need to have "the latest and greatest".
 

TPMB4

Quite Involved in Discussions
#5
Anyone heard of ability office suite. IIRC it was an early, free office suite (wordprocessor, spreadsheet and database applications/programmes). Is it still around or what has it become??

Another thing, when did programmes become apps or applications? is there any difference in those terms?? just curious but off topic.

Reminds me, I have a selection of android hardware so perhaps i should start playing around with google docs and see what this cloud computing is all about. So far never gotten into it. Got evernote, pocket and many other cloud based apps but never used them. Didn't see the point as easier to do other things. Wordprocessing and spreadsheets could be interesting if they are good enough.
 

Michael_M

Trusted Information Resource
#6
Anyone heard of ability office suite. IIRC it was an early, free office suite (wordprocessor, spreadsheet and database applications/programmes). Is it still around or what has it become??

Another thing, when did programmes become apps or applications? is there any difference in those terms?? just curious but off topic.

Reminds me, I have a selection of android hardware so perhaps i should start playing around with google docs and see what this cloud computing is all about. So far never gotten into it. Got evernote, pocket and many other cloud based apps but never used them. Didn't see the point as easier to do other things. Wordprocessing and spreadsheets could be interesting if they are good enough.
A word of 'warning' about cloud computing. A friend of mine is an IT security specialist. One of his biggest 'fears' of cloud computing is the lack of control of the data or more specifically, the file itself. Data is stored and accessed via the internet. From our conversations, any sensitive information is easier to get through 'cloud' than if located locally.

This is a contention, Google servers are probably a lot less hack-able than your business server, but your information is only held behind a user name/password protection. Also (and this is probably a bit far fetched) but if a local or federal agency wants to see your data on your computer, you will know it (if done legally in the US), would you know if Google has gotten a court order to turn over information?

All this is speculation, and mostly based on our conversation. I think he is to close to the problem to see the bigger picture, ie, he reads security reports once a week of ALL the IT security issues even if they don't apply.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#7
Like I say - No way would I trust my data to "the cloud". I have plenty of drive space. Back when I was traveling I did use a program that allowed me to connect to my computer here at home in a "shared screen" mode so I could work my computer here. I could also transfer files either way if I wanted. Biggest problem was latency. My experiences with most hotel wifi wasn't that good to begin with.
 

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#8
FWIW:
I have a number of PCs - some XP, some Win 7, plus I work with a Win 8 machine at the offices of an association where I am an officer.

I use an old edition of MS Office on the XP machines and updated Open Office on the others, although I have OO installed on every machine.

I am a "power" word processor and I find some features in Open Office just don't meet my needs like Word, but I feel that 90% of my needs are met by OO. When I have need to use the Word bells and whistles, I just move to an XP machine. (Interestingly, many people I know are using the free Microsoft Works that comes with most PCs and quite happy with its various modules.)

I don't do a lot of fancy multimedia stuff in PowerPoint, so the OO Presentation is fine for my use.

I find I'm getting very rusty on creating my own spreadsheets and databases, choosing instead to just follow a Wizard for quick and dirty stuff, hiring somebody to do fancy stuff I'm too lazy to work out myself. So, both OO and Office are able to open and operate what someone else has created.

I see a value to cloud computing/storage when collaborating with distant colleagues, but I, too, am leery of storing ANY sensitive data in the cloud except under strict encryption and lock and key (and encryption things are what attract the interest of foreign and domestic NSA equivalents, triggering thoughts of criminals and spies.)
 

Kales Veggie

People: The Vital Few
#9
which one(open office vs google docs) you find to be more user friendly


(and i can't end the question with ... "which one is equivalent or better than microsoft office!!!"


(more i realize that above question is inevitable, more i feel that, microsoft office is being over-priced!!!...exploited... etc :-( ))

thank you for your thoughts.
I am staying with the real Office. Have run into major incompatability issues between Docs / openoffice and the like. Works great for simple spreadsheet and documents. Macro? complex calculation and references? not so good.

Cleaning up messes is not worth my time.
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#10
In 2010, as a reaction to Oracle's purchase of Sun Microsystems, a group Sun employees who worked on the OO project founded The Document Foundation and along with it a suite based on OO called Libre Office. The thought was that Oracle wouldn't continue to support the free development of OO as Sun had. In time, Oracle released the development of OO to the Apache Software Foundation.

While OO continues in development with Apache, it's generally considered that Libre Office is the real continuation of the OO tradition and is probably already the superior package.
 
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