The Sock Diary

Musings of a part-time Sweaty Sock.

Friday, March 04, 2005

A Bit About OpenOffice

The new OpenOffice has just gone into beta. Runs on nearly every operating system you're likely to meet, and is free (unless you buy StarOffice, as it's professionally supported). I've been using 1.1 for about year now, at work and at home, to create, edit and view word, excel and powerpoint documents. I've needed Word once when I got a password protected .doc file; I've needed Excel twice: once when I got a password protected .xls file, the other when I got given a spreadsheet with 40,000 lines of data (don't ask); I've never needed Powerpoint. In fact the OpenOffice Powerpoint equivalent (Impress) opens Powerpoint view only files and lets you edit them, rip bits out of them, etc. Useful on occasion.

Among other things, OpenOffice 2.0 now handles spreadsheets up to 64,000 lines long, and has improved support for reading Word and Excel files, although I've never had any difficulty, apparently really complex layouts can cause some problems in 1.1. There's a review on Newsforge


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