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MS Office -> OOo -> MS Office -> OOo -> MS Office -> OOo...

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 6:19 pm
by rustyw

I've searched and I've read but, forgive me, I have to be as sure as I can.

We're working with MS Office on 3 other PCs -- mainly Word and EXCEL -- so documents will be going back and forth continually. Is this going to work out? Will there be any 'got yous'?


Re: MS Office -> OO -> MS Office -> OO -> MS Office -> OO...

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:12 pm
by Villeroy
You can install a plug-in for MSOffice/Word/Excel/Powerpoint to support standard documents:

Re: MS Office -> OO -> MS Office -> OO -> MS Office -> OO...

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:50 pm
by acknak
It depends entirely on the documents: simple ones are probably fine--or can be made so, if you invest some work to find formulas and settings that are perfectly compatible between Excel and OOo Calc.

For anything that was critically important, I wouldn't do it, or recommend it to someone else. Of course, even if you use only one office software there's no guarantee of perfect dependability, but the chance of failure is far less with everyone using the same software and avoiding the translations. I would try very hard to get everybody on the same software, if the task is at all critical.

Re: MS Office -> OO -> MS Office -> OO -> MS Office -> OO...

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:44 am
by foxcole
Have you seen the Migration Guide? (See the link to PDF guides in my sig line.) I recommend it. That document compares OpenOffice and MS Office, spelling out some of the things that just can't be compatible because of the different technologies Word and Writer use (for example), showing what works in both, and comparing methods for accomplishing specific tasks. That's the document I started with when evaluating OOo for use, and it convinced me to give OOo a try.

I don't have problems swapping documents between Word 2003 and OOo 2.3.1, though admit I work almost exclusively in OOo these days and I have the advantage now of understanding what to expect in the exchange. It works best if the work concentrates on content development and leaves out as much as possible the polishing work of formatting, and avoids complex arrangements of images and objects. Such heavily formatted or complex files don't work as well, but still can be possible as long as you understand that some things are just done differently between the two, or that Word's way of doing things hasn't been guessed exactly yet, so some adjustments and cleanup will be necessary. (Compatibility is the result of guesswork about how MS Office operates.) The best compatibility, as I believe may have already been mentioned, is through saving the file as Word97/2000/XP, since that format is the most compatible from Word to other Word versions as well.

One of the things that doesn't work currently is Excel pivot sheets (called data pilot in OOo), in the dynamic sort functions. The data pilot isn't as well developed yet. Some significant enhancements are in the works for data pilot, which may improve the cross-functionality... I hope.

I think the best thing you can do, as I did, is read the Migration Guide, download and install the current stable OOo build from, and test it to see if you run into any specific issues to address/