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neuropsych76

Open Office vs Microsoft Office

  

37 members have voted

  1. 1. Which Office software do you use?

    • Microsoft Office
      24
    • Open Office
      10
    • Mac
      2
    • Something else!
      1


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I used Open Office during my undergrad years largely because it was free and I could just use my school's computer labs for Microsoft Office if I needed it.

I was wondering what other grad students are using or plan on using? Open Office has the big advantage of being free but Microsoft is more mainstream so I wouldn't have to worry about files being altered when they were converted. Also, I worry (perhaps irrationally) that my files would not be completely private if I used Open Office since it's online freeware. I believe when I downloaded Open Office last year it asked me something about how my files could be made public for research purposes (i don't think having my dissertation made public before it's published is a good idea).

I added a poll mostly for novelty but I'm curious to see what people use in grad school :)

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LaTeX.

We get Microsoft Office for free through our department, to answer the OpenOffice vs. Microsoft Office question. I've found that my Windows 2007 version is happily compatible with the Mac 2008 and 2011 versions (same document edited by a number of authors on different versions of Word). Maybe that's a plus, but I've never really tried OpenOffice so maybe it's just as good.

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I switched to Open Office several months ago, and for most purposes it works really well. I like that it is similar in its design and functionality to MS Office, so there was basically zero learning curve after the switch. I have used the word processor (OO Writer) the most and as long as I am careful to save the files as the correct type, I haven't had problems with formatting when going back and forth with MS. My PI has a Mac and the formatting is preserved when she opens files I made in OO Writer. One complaint about the word processor is the automatic numbering/bullets behaves weird at times. I have played with the spreadsheet application a little and it seems fine, but I have not put it through paces yet. I have opened ppt files in OO Impress and everything looks as it should. I am still wary to create a poster in anything except MS Powerpoint. Old habits die hard!

Long story short, I'm cheap, and Open Office works. If I get MS Office for free, I will likely switch back :)

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For presentations, I still use PowerPoint + Excel (even though I have to remake all the graphs). OpenOffice has gotten a lot better in recent years, but the .pptx files are still not formatted correctly when I use animations of any kind in PowerPoint. OOCalc lacks some features that excel has when plotting data. There are other quirks that escape me at the moment. I guess my only comment is subjective: to me, the presentations and graphs look nicer when done in Office and I don't want to deal with any of the OpenOffice quirks.

PowerPoint is the only thing in the Office suite that I use and getting it with the student discount was somewhere around $50. Since it's not something I have to update frequently, it's $10/year for 5 years -- doesn't seem too bad.

P.S. To be more precise, OpenOffice is Free Open Source Software :)

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I wanted to select both Open Office and MS Office in the poll, but alas, radio buttons suck. I use OOo (now LibreOffice?) for more sophisticated looking spreadsheets (compared to MS Office 2002/XP), and for its drawing functions. I've been using MS Word fairly infrequently (every other week or so), as I transitioned to LaTeX, which is much more handy for longer documents (>5 pgs) but is a little complicated to configure if you've got restrictions slapped onto your document formatting.

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The latest version of Office for Mac is just spot-on. Open Office for me was just always a horrible experience. I'm a fierce open-source advocate, but Office is just a no-brainer for me (at least in my situation and needs!).

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Nothing I need is exclusively offered by MS, so I used Open Office primarily (with a whole bunch of GoogleDoc intermediary actions) during undergrad. I mainly exported all my documents to PDF anyway, so compatibility wasn't an issue. For the most part, I never exported to .pptx and just kept it nice and simple with .ppt and never had a problem. I believe I get MS Office (Professional?) free during grad school, so we'll see.

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When I had to decide between buying Microsoft Office or using Open Office, I used Open Office. When my lab offered to pay for a Microsoft Office license, I went with that.

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Microsoft Office for Mac (2011). Only $10 from my campus bookstore, so I went with it.

I like the new publisher layout features.

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I haven't much need for MS Office or iWork since OpenOffice came along, though the one application that I really like is Keynote in iWork. I haven't tried Impress in OpenOffice, yet, but it says it can save PowerPoint files.

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I find it much harder to make pretty presentations in Impress (OpenOffice) compared to PowerPoint, especially the newer versions (2007 and 2010). I have one computer that runs Office XP and one that has OpenOffice. I'm getting a new laptop in a few weeks, so I'll probably spring for a MS Office 2010 license and install it on all of them.

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I use LaTex but when any office type things come up (powerpoint, a letter) I always prefer MS Office. Open Office is just not the same.

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I used OO during my entire Master's. Since then my job issued me a full-size laptop with MS Office installed, so I've been using that since my netbook got wiped out; now that my netbook is back, once it's running I'll be using OO again.

I actually like how OO works better. Files seem to open faster with OO, and I like how Writer and Calc work better than Word and Excel. I just find OO easier to manage and Office to be too bloated. And of course the fact that OO is free adds to its appeal.

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I voted for OpenOffice, although I actually use LibreOffice (which is a fork of OO).

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I use OO, because my new computer cost enough without buying MS Office and because I don't like the changes they made to the organization of the menus. However, I am hoping (I'm sure I will, actually) that I have access to computers with MS Office on campus, because my roommate (who is currently in graduate school) wasted about 5 hair-pulling hours on some formatting. She had OO and the formatting wouldn't display correctly when the file was opened with Excel.

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I wanted to choose two options as well; I use MS Office '08 for Mac (Word & Excel) but for presentations I use Keynote '09 (Mac's version of Powerpoint) because it's just sooooo much better for my needs. I'll be buying a new MBP in a month or so, and I'm excited to get a free or very cheap version of the new MS Office for Mac because I hear Powerpoint has gotten scores better.

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I love the functionality of Microsoft Word 2007. After you get used to the menu changes it is so much easier to format documents and do everything you need to do. That being said, I have a feeling I'll be using LaTeX for my thesis, but we'll see.

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I wanted to choose two options as well; I use MS Office '08 for Mac (Word & Excel) but for presentations I use Keynote '09 (Mac's version of Powerpoint) because it's just sooooo much better for my needs. I'll be buying a new MBP in a month or so, and I'm excited to get a free or very cheap version of the new MS Office for Mac because I hear Powerpoint has gotten scores better.

That's good to hear about Powerpoint. Keynote was the only Mac-only application I used, and I gave my Macbook to my sister (I'm not nearly as huge a fan of Apple as most people.) Keynote was the only thing I was worried about giving up.

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I use OO, because my new computer cost enough without buying MS Office and because I don't like the changes they made to the organization of the menus.

The menus, ribbons, etc. really are awful. Microsoft needs to start consulting some writing specialists when they design those!

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I use Open Office because I don't have the money to pay for Microsoft again, but I absolutely prefer Microsoft Office. The Foreign Language tools on Microsoft Office are smoother, in my opinion ( I type a lot in Japanese ), and Microsoft's spellcheck is a lot more accurate than the spellcheck on Open Office - including the ones you can download to 'enhance' your open office. While I am a hater of Power Point presentations (in general), PowerPoint is much better, in my opinion, than OpenOffice's equivelant. The slide functions, resizing ability, and the such are so much smoother. If you plan on using a lot of powerpoints, I think you should get Microsoft over Open Office because of file conversion as well.

My school only has PowerPoint, so when I do presentations I have to convert my OpenOffice - and something always goes wrong. The color changes a bit, text is raised or lowered, animations don't work, etc.

But when all is said and done, if you're a good speller/proof reader and dont make more than a few PP a year, go with Open Office because of the price. ^^;;

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What's the difference between the two?

Wiki to the rescue: "The Document Foundation created LibreOffice from their former project, over concerns that Oracle Corporation would either discontinue OpenOffice.org, or place restrictions on it as an open-source project, as it had on OpenSolaris. [...] As a result of the fork of OpenOffice.org into LibreOffice, and the resulting loss of developers, Oracle announced in April 2011 that it was terminating the commercial development of OpenOffice.org"

Basically, most likely, there won't be OpenOffice in the future and the development effort will be focused on LibreOffice.

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Oh man, for the love of everything, do not turn in anything written in OpenOffice writer or impress (whatever the powerpoint clone is) as an assignment. I got a C on an assignment last semester because all of my bullets left aligned (ie: weren't nested) when they opened it in Office on their computer and they thought I was dumb enough to actually not nest them and put them all at the same level of importance, despite my pleading in the email to let me know if there were any formatting issues as I'd used OO. Impress always screws up PPT files and vice versa, so unless you're showing something ON your computer MADE on your computer, get ready for wasted "looking dumb" time at the beginning of presentations.

I use OO on my netbook and Office on my main laptop, and I refuse to use OO anymore, despite having found it convenient on cluster machines as an undergrad. It's just been way too much trouble. ):

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"Cluster machines" with Open Office? Now I'm wondering whether you and I have the same alma mater, or whether the use of "cluster" to mean a computer lab is more common than I realized.

Anyway, yes, if you're going to create a PowerPoint presentation on Impress, I suggest either 1) using your own computer to give the presentation, or 2) turing your ppt into a set of pdf slides and presenting those (I have done both at various times). And if you're writing something in Writer and don't want the formatting to get screwed up on another computer, pdf it and send in the pdf.

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I just always turn everything into a PDF document unless otherwise specified. It makes formatting issues a non-issue. Sometimes I submit both PDF and the Word or OO document, that way if there is formatting problems the person can see I'm not an idiot and that it's a software issue.

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