[Solved] Overwhelmed New User

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[Solved] Overwhelmed New User

Postby Sue1 » Fri May 29, 2020 3:51 pm

Hello. I just downloaded OpenOffice and I am very confused and don't know how to begin. Previously I had MS Word 2010. I want to set up OpenOffice the same way. I've been trying to read stuff but I don't understand what I'm reading and I have difficulty asking questions when I don't know the proper computer terminology. Is there some guide to making Open Office do all the stuff that MS Word 2010 did?

Right now I'm just trying to make it look similar, so for example there's a distracting little green and blue picture on the right side where my dictionary was in Word. When I hover the mouse on it, it says "Properties." I can't even figure out how to delete a distracting little picture and that's literally the first thing I tried to do. I'm sure I have a hundred changes to make before I can get back to doing my job. (BTW I didn't get rid of my Word 2010. My computer died and I had to buy a new one fast to do my job from home. Now I still can't do my job until I make Open Office usable to me, so I really need to learn everything this weekend. My job depends on it.)

My level of computer knowledge is beginner. I have used a computer for many years, but only with stuff I understand. Now I'm dealing with stuff I do not understand at all. So if anyone knows of a step-by-step guide written in plain (non-technical) language I would appreciate it. I desperately need to get back to work.

Thank you.
Last edited by Sue1 on Fri May 29, 2020 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Overwhelmed New User

Postby FJCC » Fri May 29, 2020 4:06 pm

OpenOffice will never look like Word. It is a different tool for the same kind of tasks but it has its own way of working. If you need something just like Word, you have to buy Word. If you want to learn how to do your work with Writer, you can start with this tutorial (it is in several languages). Learning a new software tool takes a little time. You may want to ease into learning Writer while you continue to use Word for a while.
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Re: Overwhelmed New User

Postby RoryOF » Fri May 29, 2020 4:15 pm

I agree with FJCC. Do not attempt to turn OO Writer into MS Word: if you must use MS Word, get it. The document to which he points is a useful introduction to Writer, which in many ways is more powerful than Word. My advice is to start using Writer and forget about Word.
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Re: Overwhelmed New User

Postby Hagar Delest » Fri May 29, 2020 4:35 pm

Additional small contribution: if you need to exchange documents with other users also using MS Office (in .docx, .xlsx, .pptx), then definitively forget about OpenOffice and buy MS Office. The troubles you'll face due to the file format incompatibility will quickly overweight the cost saving of not buying MS Office.
If you do not such file format compatibility, that is if you only produce PDF for example, then OpenOffice may work quite well after the initial learning curve.

Please add [Solved] at the beginning of the title in your first post (top of the topic) with the *EDIT button if your issue has been fixed.
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Re: Overwhelmed New User

Postby JeJe » Fri May 29, 2020 4:41 pm

Is the distracting picture the sidebar? Untick View menu - sidebar.

There are a couple of search results

https://helpdeskgeek.com/office-tips/ma ... soft-word/
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Re: Overwhelmed New User

Postby John_Ha » Fri May 29, 2020 4:41 pm

Sue1 wrote:BTW I didn't get rid of my Word 2010. My computer died and I had to buy a new one fast to do my job from home.

If you still have the installation CD then just re-install Word 2010 on the new PC. It will run. You will need to insert your registration number.

If you don't have the CD itself you can download Word 2010 from many sites - Google it. Register it with your number.

If you have lost your registration code you can buy valid but very cheap copies of Word 2010 on eBay for a few tens of pounds as it is ten years old and obsolete.

You don't say what went wrong with your old PC but any reasonably skilled person can probably get the registration code from it for you.

Hagar Delest wrote:if you need to exchange documents with other users also using MS Office (in .docx, .xlsx, .pptx), then definitively forget about OpenOffice and buy MS Office. The troubles you'll face due to the file format incompatibility will quickly overweight the cost saving of not buying MS Office.

LibreOffice has better compatibility than Apache OpenOffice and, if you don't do extremely exotic things, should be fine for you.
Last edited by John_Ha on Fri May 29, 2020 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Overwhelmed New User

Postby JeJe » Fri May 29, 2020 4:46 pm

There's a free version of Word for use online

https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/microso ... or-the-web

Apparently Freeoffice is a lot like Word, if OO is too steep a learning curve

https://www.freeoffice.com/en/download

AbiWord is another simpler free Word processing alternative

https://www.abisource.com/
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Re: Overwhelmed New User

Postby Sue1 » Fri May 29, 2020 4:47 pm

Thanks for your replies. I would LOVE to continue using Word, but my old computer died and I had to buy a new one. Microsoft tells me that I cannot get Word 2010 anymore. I looked at the new Word 365 and it was incomprehensible. I have to learn either that or this in one weekend because I cannot lose another week of work.

I am reading the guide slowly as it is very difficult. So far, I don't see an explanation for what all the little pictures (icons?) mean.
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Re: Overwhelmed New User

Postby JeJe » Fri May 29, 2020 4:57 pm

If its the sidebar

https://wiki.openoffice.org/wiki/Docume ... ro/Sidebar

I'd just ignore what you don't need though - and learn what you do need by experimentation, rather than read the guide.

You can still buy Word 2010 on places like Ebay - just because Microsoft don't sell it anymore doesn't mean it isn't available.
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Re: Overwhelmed New User

Postby John_Ha » Fri May 29, 2020 8:17 pm

Sue1 wrote:I would LOVE to continue using Word, but my old computer died and I had to buy a new one. Microsoft tells me that I cannot get Word 2010 any more.

That is the sort of complete rubbish one expects from Microsoft. See my post above or click on this link Word 2010 on eBay
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Re: Overwhelmed New User

Postby Villeroy » Fri May 29, 2020 9:30 pm

Sue1 wrote:I am reading the guide slowly as it is very difficult. So far, I don't see an explanation for what all the little pictures (icons?) mean.

Rest the mouse pointer on an icon in order to get a short description.
When you hit Shift+F1 the mouse pointer becomes a question mark and you get longer description.
Please, edit this topic's initial post and add "[Solved]" to the subject line if your problem has been solved.
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Re: Overwhelmed New User

Postby Sue1 » Fri May 29, 2020 10:33 pm

I actually managed to declutter the page a little. This helps. I don't know how I did any of it, but I hope it sticks.

I still have my MS Word disc and the product key on the box, so I could insert it into the computer, but MS warned me that it was out-of-date. I'm glad to learn that I can use it if I need to. MS made me nervous to use it. (Or maybe they didn't realize I was old school and still had a disc.)

I appreciate everyone's help. I'm starting to feel like maybe I can learn this.
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Re: [Solved] Overwhelmed New User

Postby JeJe » Fri May 29, 2020 11:33 pm

Office 2010 security updates end in October... so they're still available till then.

https://support.office.com/en-gb/articl ... e415432789

There is at least one famous writer still using a DOS word processor from last century... it does what they want. If you don't connect to the internet/load suspect documents it still does all it ever did. As well as those who use an actual typewriter or even longhand... I'd never go back there, but...
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