Best Free Office Suite

 
Introduction

An office suite is a collection of programs, mainly consisting of a word processor, spreadsheet & presentation application bundled together.

With the pricey tag put onto the all popular Microsoft Office, it leaves no surprise that the average home user or small business would be looking for an alternative. Below we have reviewed and rated all the popular freeware office suites and split them into three sections making it easier to find the best solution:

  1. Proprietary, privately owned software being offered up for free.
  2. Open Office, an open source suite and various mods based on the same programming code making them similar to use.
  3. Cloud / Online, web based suites than can be used on the move, some even contain a smartphone app for easy updating.
 
In a Hurry?

  Go straight to the Quick Selection Guide:
- Proprietary Office Suites
- Open Office & Variants
- Cloud Office Suites

 
Discussion
Proprietary Office Suites

Kingsoft Office Suite FreeKingsoft Office Suite Free is ideal for those familiar with Microsoft Office 2003 prior to the creation of the 'ribbon' feature in 2007. It will let you feel perfectly at home. To say that it is similar to Microsoft Office would be the understatement; they are practically identical. There are three main packages:

  1. Kingsoft Writer, a word processor that can import from Microsoft Word (.doc & .docx) with the ability to have separate documents in a tabbed interface.
  2. Kingsoft Spreadsheet, a spreadsheet application that can import from Microsoft Excel and having the same cells range (65,536 rows * 256 columns) as the Microsoft Office 2003 equivalent.
  3. Kingsoft Presentation, a presentation suite that can import all Microsoft Powerpoint documents.

For a freeware equivalent to Microsoft Office and for those who liked the simpler old style 2003 interface then Kingsoft Office Suite Free is the application. There isn't a single feature I found that isn't IDENTICAL to the Microsoft Office 2003 equivalent. The similarities even go far into the styles of WordArt.

Kingsoft did offer a unique tabbed experience allowing multiple documents or spreadsheets within the same window making switching between them quick and simple. There are however two annoying selections upon installation: the startup of a browser linking to Kingsoft's website, and the other is a popup asking to switch to another UI (basically the new ribbon effect which isn't free).

A quirky feature is the quick UI color feature allowing the UI to be alternated to an additional eight different skins helping color code your office suite with your OS skin.

 

SSuiteSSuite Office - Excalibur Release is a huge collection of products designed to make any office task easier. Initially the selection of tools are overwhelming and include everything from word processors, spreadsheets, email clients, IM clients, even a CD ripper. The installer doesn't allow for installation choice and bundles everything in.

Each application can be a pick n' mix of different options and an attempt seems to be made to give the end user the ability to do everything within the suite itself. Anything not directly accessible within the application links to an alternative website (for example Google Translate). The GUI 's (graphical user interfaces) are really hard to follow and require quite a large learning curve to get used to.

There are too many different applications to list individually but the main ones are:

  1. WordGraph, a word processor which can import doc, rtf, htm, xml but no support for docx. With the exception of the GUI, WordGraph has a lot of nice features that could in certain circumstances become very handy.
  2. Accel, a spreadsheet application which can import xls, csv, txt but no support for xlsx. We had extreme difficulty importing even xls files from other programs but has no problem importing the xls files previously exported from Accel.
  3. General Utilities, a selection of helpful programs including an Address Book, Envelope Printer, Calendar, Notebook, System Overview with links integrated into other programs.

Overall, the selection is great. The tools are great but the interface has a really strong learning curve to get used to. This is a good selection for anyone looking for everything in one place. There has definitely been a lot of effort put into developing applications that are useful but has been tackled it an obscure way.

Due to the small file sizes, each application opens, runs and saves super fast even for older slow end systems.

 

Softmaker FreeOfficeSoftmaker FreeOffice is a free version made available from June 2012. It is a lite version of the commercial application Softmaker Office 2012. Softmaker is a German software developer who also specializes in office suites for both Linux and Android OS. BasicMaker the macro language isn't included in the freeware version. Bundled within the free version is:

  1. TextMaker, a fully functional word processor compatible with MS Word & OO Writer.
  2. PlanMaker, a complete spreadsheet solution with MS Excel & OO Calc compatibility.
  3. Presentation, a software presentation program with MS Powerpoint & OO Impress compatibility.

The advantages of the small installation file size mean low memory consumption and faster loading times. It comes complete with all the usual formulas & formatting features and won’t win any awards for originality. PlanMaker lacks any scripting or macro support making it unsuitable for the more advanced user.

There are a couple of annoying features your hit upon opening an application. The first is the tips window which pops up automatically on the right but can be disabled by selecting View>Sidebar>Hide. Within PlanMaker, the spell checker (and background checking feature) isn’t activated by default and is buried deep in the options to get it started. When loaded into the system, the SMASH quick launch starts at start up and floods your taskbar with four shortcut buttons which could have been better as a stacking window rather than individuals.

For free, Softmaker FreeOffice offers a simple, easy to use, basic featured solution that will run comfortably on slower computers and won’t use a great deal of space and resources. It can import all the latest file formats and supports direct PDF exporting.

 

Open Office & Variants

Apache Open OfficeApache Open Office is considered the father of open source freeware office products. Open Office has gone through a number of owners starting with StarDivision to Sun Microsystems, from Sun to Oracle, then finally from Oracle to Apache. Due to some elements of Open Office having Java dependency, a JRE (Java Runtime Environment) download is required directly from Oracle.

We found it difficult to get Base & Calc to fully work using the latest version (v7) of Java JRE and had to resort to a previous (v6 32bit only) in order to get it loaded without errors.

From all the office products available, Open Office (and it's variants) are the only ones offering a free database management application.

There are four main applications included with Open Office:

  1. Writer, a word processor that can import nearly all text file formats available, plus the ability for a direct PDF export. The interface is similar to Microsoft Office 2003 and with no 'ribbon' available.
  2. Calc, a spreadsheet that can import nearly all forms of spreadsheet formats. Within Calc there is support for scripting & macro's in the form of Basic, Javascript, Beanshell & even Python.
  3. Impress, a presentation application that can import ppt, pps, pptm, pptx presentation files. The layout is simple and stable enough.
  4. Base, a database management application that can create tables, forms, queries, reports, etc. It comes complete with Wizards to help transfer tables for forms etc.

All in Open Office is well rounded with a great support group and lots of help files and documentation. There is so much add-ons and file import & export formats that Open Office would be useful for both the novice users looking for a quick Wordpad alternative to Advanced users who can customize the source code for their own requirements.

 

LibreOfficeLibreOffice began life in January 2011. During the acquisition of OpenOffice by Oracle from Sun Microsystems, some members of the project were concerned that Oracle would cease or restrict development of OpenOffice.org and started 'The Document Foundation'. Oracle eventually ceased commercial development of OpenOffice.org paving the way for LibreOffice to gain a major fan base, the child of this collaboration based on the OpenOffice.org source code.

As with Apache OpenOffice, LibreOffice still requires 32-bit Java (JRE) for full operation but is currently working out the Java dependency. Decisively heavier 205MB compared with 123MB from Apache, the GUI is fresher and modern and the support base is constantly growing. LibreOffice releases more updates and has better compatibility for importing from other office suites. Although we don't see where the additional 80MB's are used there must be some background stability issues addressed for that hefty increase.

The main differences from Apache OpenOffice include:

Universal
- Find / Find & Replace are separate options
- Clear direct formatting instead of default formatting
- No media player
- No record macro option
- Undo instead of Can't Undo
- Redo instead of Can't Restore

Calc
- Delete Page Break instead of Delete Manual Break
- Page Break instead of Manual Break
- Insert > Names has additional 'Manage'

Writer
- Additional 'Title Page' option

Impress
- No Wizard upon opening (by default)
- Snap Lines instead of Guides

 

Discontinued: IBM Lotus SymphonyIBM Lotus Symphony has a unique interface that runs all the applications within a master window. Each application has its own tab and the universal menu system updates according to which application you are working in. The layout is a little awkward with the old style (pre ribbon) menu bar at the top for the popularly used items  (new, print, copy, paste, bold, justify etc) followed by a hidable side bar with a movable 'ribbon ' like interface which is where font, size, styles, clipart are located.

Unlike other suites based on OpenOffice, ILS only has three main applications included (with the exception of an integrated web browser based on Firefox):

  1. Lotus Symphony Document, a word processor which can open all Open Document Formats & Microsoft Office along with the variants and corresponding templates (odf, doc, docx, rtf, txt).
  2. Lotus Symphony Spreadsheet, a spreadsheet application which can import all the standard document formats (sxc, xls, xlsx) with a handy disclaimer that general compatible Microsoft Office documents main not display some formatting correctly (with an option to discard in future).
  3. Lotus Symphony Presentation, a presentation application which can import from MS Powerpoint (odp, ppt, pptx).

Generally speaking IBM Lotus Symphony is a nice clean office suite; the master window housing the individual applications does actually work well especially having a thumbnail (and search) facility for all open documents making it really easy to work with multiple files without taskbar clutter. The only issue is the annoying (portrait) side panel which is really cumbersome to use especially if working with smaller screen resolutions.

Effective from 2012, IBM have supplied the original source code to Apache for integration into the next OpenOffice 4 instalment which should be released as an IBM Edition.

 

Cloud / Online Office Suites

With recent development of smart phones, tablets & netbooks the need for online file sharing has never been greater. The 'cloud' is an online storage and sharing medium designed to share out an array of files over multiple devices. The selection of freeware cloud applications reviewed below allow a web-based interface to create, upload, save & share all variants of word processors, spreadsheets & presentation documents. As the files are online, a document can be created at home on a pc, updated on the train on a smart phone and finished at work just in time for that all important presentation.

 

Google DriveGoogle Drive was formed earlier in 2012, Google integrated their Docs suite into their online cloud storage called Google Drive. A generous 5GB of storage space is available (although shared throughout Google services - except Gmail) for saving the three main applications.

  1. Document, a straightforward word processor with all the most commonly used features crammed into one single menu-bar. The interface is similar to the older pre-ribbon style menu making it familiar for nearly everyone who uses it.
  2. Spreadsheets, a spreadsheet application that can import all major formats including xls, xlsx, ods, csv, txt, tsv & tab. It does an excellent job of maintaining the original file formatting & cell formulas.
  3. Presentation, a presentation creation application which allows uploading of popular file formats and allows importing of specific slides to help with organizing & creating.

The great feature with Google Drive is the ability to upload multiple files and multiple types quickly which automatically gets added it their native formats allowing sharing or importation to Google directly.

Additionally, Google Drive has the function to translate the whole document to over 50 other languages allowing a copy to be saving and maintaining the integrity of the original document.

 

ThinkFreeThinkFree Online is another cloud suite. The first thing I found when trying to register for ThinkFree was the difficulty of finding the login & registration screens. Upon registration, the initial interface is quite warm and inviting, creating a document was harmless but due to the interface being Java based, there are 8px;a few security prompts.

When getting into the nuts & bolts, the interface was fantastic, to the untrained eye could easily be mistaken for an actual desktop application than a cloud but unfortunately due to it's Java dependency seemed to run slow and continually load each .jar part when hovering over or clicking anything. This eventually sub-sites on previously accessed options but happens every login, it can sometimes take a few seconds from click to load.

The three main applications found are:

  1. Write, a word processing application similar to the MO 2003 interface. As with all the others, can natively import all the doc, docx, txt, dot, htm & xml formats expected with an online office application.
  2. Calc, a spreadsheet application again similar to the MO 2003 interface. Calc can import xls, xlsx, xlt, csv, xml, txt & htm. Import formatting and formulas are retained nicely upon import.
  3. Show, a presentation application with the ability to import ppt, pptx, pps & ppsx.

Everything considered, ThinkFree Online is an excellent representation of what is possible with a cloud suite. If it weren't for the constant loading and stability issues this would win the best award in it's class.

 

ZohoZoho registration is simple and easy, all that's required is a username, email address and a password. After registration has been completed you have the option of choosing your custom portal name when has an associated URL which can be shared giving direct access to your files for the people who you want.

For free you have 1GB of storage available across 50 workspaces. Within this included space you can host files which are don't have native import from Zoho (example wps) for others to download in collaboration.

There are three main packages that Zoho offer for free include:

  1. Writer, a word processor that can import from doc, docx, odt, rtf, html, htm & txt. The interface is simple and follows a thinner 'ribbon' style interface traditionally found in later versions of MS. Quick loading times and a rich source of features make Zoho an excellent choice for online work sharing.
  2. Sheet, a spreadsheet application that can import from xls, xlsx, sxc, ods, csv & tsv. Following the same thin 'ribbon' bar you have access to lots of features including the macro recording ability and VBA editor.
  3. Show, a presentation application that can import ppt, pps, odp, sxi, pptx & ppsx. This application has lots of drawing tools included to make presentation creation easy to complete.

Some neat features included are the pop-up shortcut format bar which lets you do quick adjustments without fumbling through menu's. The PDF export function is excellent allowing for a direct PDF download and lastly within Sheet when an auto formula updates the cells effected highlight allowing the knock on effect to be seen.

 
Related Products and Links

You might want to check out these articles too:

 
Quick Selection Guide - Proprietary Office Suites

Kingsoft Office Suite
4
 
Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Familiar office interface, easy to pick up, tabbing within each application, direct PDF output
Opens a browser link when application starts, switch UI popup annoying
http://www.kingsoftstore.com/
9.1.0.4550
45.4 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Free for private use only
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows 2000 / XP / Vista / 7 / 8
SSuite Office - Excalibur Release
3
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Very fast start-up speeds, Simple and not distracting, nice spreadsheet editor.
Word processor is lacking in many areas, many programs are loaded that you may never use, some may find the "old fashioned" look not to their liking.
http://www.ssuitesoft.com/
4.12
41.6 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Unrestricted freeware
Windows 2000 / XP / Vista / 7 / 8
Softmaker FreeOffice
3
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Small, fast & simple. Easy to pick up and use.
No macro/scripting, intrusive tips bar, very limited features
http://freeoffice.com/
Rev 675
58.7MB
32 bit only
Unrestricted freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
Windows 2000 / XP / Vista / 7 / 8

Required for portable version to work http://freeoffice.com/en/support/tips/installation
rev 675 released 24 December, 2012
Get FreeOffice from Softpedia.

 
Quick Selection Guide - Open Office & Variants

Apache Open Office
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Long standing support, includes Database application
Java dependency requiring Java installation
http://www.openoffice.org/
4.0
136.78 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Open source freeware
A portable version of this product is available but not from the developer.
Windows 2000 / XP / Vista / 7 / 8, Linux (Most Distros), Mac

Required JRE (Java Runtime Environment) v6 32bit Only
Get Open Office from Filehippo.

LibreOffice
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Very easy to use and learn, very extensive file support.
Java dependency requiring Java installation
http://www.libreoffice.org/
4.2.3
211 MB
32 and 64 bit versions available
Open source freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
All Windows 98 / 2000 / XP / Vista / 7 / 8, Linux (rpm, deb), Solaris (x86,SPARC), Mac
IBM Lotus Symphony
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Very nice layout, tabbed interface, based on OpenOffice source code.
Many formatting tools are very complicated to use.
http://symphony.lotus.com
3.0.1
555 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Unrestricted freeware
Windows 2000 / XP / Vista / 7, Linux (Most Distros), Mac.

NB Fix pack 3 should also be downloaded to correct critical security issues.

 
Quick Selection Guide - Cloud Office Suites

Google Drive
3.5
 
Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Is a web service or web application
Pages load faster then other office suites, very easy to use. Gmail integration.
Must convert all file types to google doc file type in order to edit them online.
http://docs.google.com/
Unrestricted freeware
Web based

Internet connection required.

ThinkFree Online
3.5
 
Is a web service or web application
Excellent interface, easy to find & use features
Very slow, tends to lag when clicking any options
http://online.thinkfree.com/
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Web based
Zoho
3.5
 
Is a web service or web application
Very easy to use, tabbed document editing allows for multiple documents at once, compatible with all file types, and many collaboration features.
Can be intimidating for people who first see it, kinda cluttered.
http://www.zoho.com/
Unrestricted freeware
Web based

Internet connection required.

 
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Comments

by Lambas on 20. April 2009 - 15:38  (20183)

Hi nes!!!
I have no words to thank you!!! thanks x1000!!!
the word and excel documents open in half a second now (with Softmaker )! my mother is so excited haha!!!

Except that it is very simple too and has a beautiful gui like you said!
She wanted also to be able to view power point files (to view only) and i install the free microsoft viewer so now she is complete!!!

thanks once again my friend!!!

by christoph on 24. April 2009 - 21:44  (20466)

Atlantis Nova has been a fine piece of freeware in 2001. It has not been updated since. The alternative as a word processor would now be AbiWord or JARTE.

kostenlose programme

by christoph on 24. April 2009 - 21:55  (20469)

Yes, that's my experience too. I never ever had any problem with O3 (OpenOffice.org) but never succeeded in installing the IBM version. That is the reason, it is not reviewed here - I simply don't get it installed :o

kostenlose programme

by Anonymous on 25. April 2009 - 9:45  (20496)

Open Office is badly let down by calc's charting facility. It is nowhere near as good as Excel (even in it's Office 97 version) and only barely compatible in that area.
The Open Office suite is bloated and you have to change most of the keystrokes which are non-standard.

by nes on 25. April 2009 - 18:46  (20520)

You are very welcome, Lambas. :) Glad to know you and your mum are so thrilled with it. We are all out to help each other, so pitch in too if you have any freeware suggestions. Cheers and take care.

by Anonymous on 1. May 2009 - 1:23  (20868)

I was initially very please with Softmaker's Textmaker wp program. Loads of features and the promise of full compatibility. But I have had it now for a little over a week and am finding it almost unusable. It crashes. I lose work. and it is not opening all my Word documents or jarte ones.
I cannot give it a recommendation at this point.

by Scoffer on 18. May 2009 - 21:24  (21806)

Dear Christoph,

Can you please add a bit more "absolutely crucial" information to your reviews on behalf of the UK speaking world.

Is there an English/English version for OpenOffice.org.3 and for other programs you also reviewed? There appears to be no English/UK add-in on the OpenOffice site.

If there is none, or no add-ins, the rating for OpenOffice.org.3 MUST be lowered to no more than 3.5 stars. OK, so it is 5/5 for US speaking world, and 2/5 for UK speaking world as the program is useless for creating UK resume's, English tutoring or legal documents.

Could you please update your review.

Thank you

by Anonymous on 29. May 2009 - 4:07  (22548)

My two pieces of freeware will quickly open Word and 2007 format files. They're here: http://www.godskingsandheroes.info/software. They are supposed to be used for salvaging data, but can also work as somewhat light no install unformatted data viewers of docx and xlsx files.

by Anonymous on 30. May 2009 - 3:21  (22616)

First up I'm very pro Open Office and all the amazing work done by Sun for putting out a great piece of code, and for nix at that.
I have to agree with Scoffer that all the suites based on OpenOffice code need a serious lowering of their rating, but not for the reason Scoffer gives.
The main reasons for choosing an Open Office based product is primarily you're a "Anything but Microsft" supporter, or are loathed to shell out several hundreds of dollars (and to keep the Europeans contingent happy Pounds/Euros) for a product suite of which you will never use 95% of its features.
Unfortunately the world is Microsoft centric, so Office compatibility in alternative suites is an absolute must. With this regard Open Office fairs very poorly as I've found out to my great cost.
To explain. About three months ago I was unfortunately retrenched at very short notice from my employment, and had to put together my resume. Due to having lost access to the use of Microsoft Word as I had to give back my company laptop, I downloaded Open Office 3.x and went to work, coming up with what I thought was a pretty good resume.
As those who have trawled the job sites, when you submit your resume ".DOC" format is the one and only format acceoted accross the board, with very few exceptions. So I started submitting my resume for available positions.
For thr first two months I didn't receive a single bite from any of my applications. It wasn't until I forwarded my resume to a potential employer via a friend that I found out why. The feed back was that my resume was a jumbled up mess.
On further investigation, Open Office's export to ".DOC" feature had realigned everything and my 5 page resume ended up as a 23 page document for use in the smallest room in the house. What a waste of two months jobsearching and all the related stress.
Within 2-3 days of correcting this issue, the e-mails and phone calls started flowing in.
Now if this isn't a serious failing which requires a radical drop in rating for the Open Office based suites I don't know what is. At best because of such issues a 3 or 3.5 would be a fair representation of where Open Office is at this time.
If you insist on using Open Office based suites, and you have the necessity to submit important documents in ".DOC" format as I did, check the final document before submitting it with one of the free viewers for Microsoft's products which are freely available.
And for all those who align themselves with Scoffer, I'm there with you. COLOUR has a "U" in it, and what's so hard to understand with metric?

by Anonymous on 6. June 2009 - 15:21  (23187)

You should try the latest version 2.1 of "SSuite Office - The Fifth Element" that has recently been released.

It does not need to run on Java or .NET. It also has over 30 very useful applications included, and runs on any Windows system.

Page Link:

http://ssuite5element.webs.com/thefifthelement.htm or
http://www.ssuitesoft.com

BeBob Esq.

by Anonymous on 1. July 2009 - 9:33  (24537)

Under "Gnumeric" christoph wrote "higher lurning curve for specific functions".
Could somebody correct this?

by MidnightCowboy on 1. July 2009 - 10:52  (24540)

Fixed - thanks for pointing it out. He's reviewing spell checkers next time!

by Anonymous on 7. August 2009 - 10:55  (26577)

I thought the previous version was quite good but the spreadsheet and sometimes the wordprocessor crashed, usually at the worst possible moment. I don't know how it figured that out.

I've downloaded the new version but haven't been game to use it for any serious work as it crashed once. Maybe someone can post positive experience with it soon because it should be good.

by Anonymous on 7. August 2009 - 11:12  (26579)

If a recommendation says something is "stable" but there is no indication of the period of stability, I assume it's about 30 seconds (being a cynical bastard). I only had one crash, after a short period, and stopped using it as the previous version crashed too often, but one crash is not conclusive.

So, please tell me how long was it stable.

Redrik

by Anonymous on 12. August 2009 - 4:16  (26922)

Hello
Why not OpenOffice Portable?
I like it because it is so fast and free of excess clunk.

by Anonymous on 21. August 2009 - 13:37  (31276)

In my opinion "GO" open office is an improvement on the official open office build.

It loads faster and is closer to ms office in its gui.

http://www.go-oo.org/

-J

by Anonymous on 22. August 2009 - 21:01  (31346)

the faster part is true, but go-oo crashes. last night i tried to copy some graphics into a go office document and go-oo went down. I restartet go-oo and it ask me to recover the .doc, i said yes, but the .doc was empty. i tried a couple of times, but allways with the same result.
Now im back to the original open office, it's slow but works. btw. Also the free version of softmaker office do a bad job, when copying webpages with graphics into a document.

Peter

by Anonymous on 9. September 2009 - 12:55  (32385)

I have been using Lotus Symphony 1.3 for a number of months now and am quite happy with it. It provides all the utilities I need; word processor, spreadsheet and presentation. It really is a "suite" in that you can open documents and spreadsheets in different tabs. It also comes with its own browser which in itself can not compete with the big boys but does make life easier when surfing the net doing research and then cutting & pasting informantion into a document. It is also compatible with Windows document password protection. Online support is very good too. I had a nuber of questions about the program and these were answered by IBM personel within a few hours. Very professional!

by Anonymous on 17. September 2009 - 12:22  (32796)

Password prompt appears at this url... : (

by Anonymous on 17. September 2009 - 12:25  (32797)

That's precisely the point Gizmo is making right in the intro of this review. No use comparing multi-billion dollar mogul products, nor advertising them on a freeware site...

by Anonymous on 17. September 2009 - 12:36  (32799)

Just downloaded the app & tried installing it. It just quit somewhere in the middle of the process for no reason. Not a good sign, if you ask me, since I never had any problems installing anything before...

Ready for the bin...

by Anonymous on 17. September 2009 - 12:55  (32801)

Doesn't seem to offer columns in the format menu...

by Anonymous on 17. September 2009 - 12:58  (32803)

Prompts the user to register each time the app opens... a bit annoying, but at least it has the columns feature that many other apps don't

by Anonymous on 17. September 2009 - 13:00  (32804)

sux

by Anonymous on 19. September 2009 - 12:57  (32957)

Thank, thank you!!! Its been long overdue since the big M sorry Frank had some heat under them. I can still remember those days before they they were merged, purged, or plain bought out when the big M had some competition. I have been looking since 2007 since purchasing my two Notebooks for a suitable replacement. Office 2007 has never run properly on my systems which came loaded with Vista which I also hate. Emails and letters to the big M finally resonated within the hallowed chambers they agreed to send me two brand new pristine copies of XP Pro. This was the OS I had ordered when the machines were purchased tried as I did to return them the very day they arrived I told the manufacturer I would even settle for a lessor model you keep the difference. The exchange never happened the excuse was the cartons had been opened therefore the machines would be considered as used not new. Sorry to deviate but I was of the opinion that the problems with 2007 related directly to Vista and although I should have dug deeper for a replacement program I found it inconceivable that such upstarts would be permitted to remain alive. Super terrific article I'm going to download OpenOffice.org3 right now.

by MidnightCowboy on 19. September 2009 - 15:58  (32965)

You won't be sorry, it's an outstanding piece of software. It's a little bloated according to some but we are talking suites here. Users needing something with less features can opt for Abiword and Gnumeric instead. There are one or two automatic Java/update features you can maybe live without but these can be configured out either during the install process or later on if you so choose.

by Anonymous on 20. September 2009 - 22:14  (33024)

Office 2007? You have to be kidding. Microsoft replaced an interface that lets me do complex things with a single click, with an interface that often takes two, three, or even four clicks.

In Office 2003, everything I needed was right there in one toolbar. Now its behind a tab, and frankly, I don't have the time to go learning where they've hidden the buttons I need to get the job done.

For example... Print Preview... used to be a single button on the toolbar. Now I have to click the main menu, then select Print, then select Print Preview. Or Set Print Area, which used to be a single click. Now it takes two. More productive? I don't think so, and frankly, I could fill this web page with "features" of 2007 that are like that.

by Anonymous on 20. September 2009 - 23:30  (33028)

Office 2007 increase productivity? Do you work for microsoft or what?

by Anonymous on 21. September 2009 - 3:05  (33033)

NeoOffice is also a nice alternative (i.e. derivative of OpenOffice) geared towards MAC users.

by Anonymous on 21. September 2009 - 9:34  (33039)

(layman): when i send a open office doc. as an attachment, the receiver cannot open it...any remedies...

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