Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Location: Pilgrim's Rest, South Africa
|Posted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 1:30 pm Post subject: OO ver. MS Word ve.r Lotus Word Pro
|In computing terms, OOo 2.0 is certainly the best thing that crossed my path in recent years. I don't know enough expletives to adequately describe MS Office (particularly MS Word). Ironically, right after friend Bill developed the first so-called WYSYWIG (is there still someone out there who remembers this acronym?) operating system for general use, called Windows 3.0 in the late eighties, it was Lotus who published the first true WYSIWYG word processor, which they called Ami Pro, and it was ver. 2.1. The first version of MS Word only appeared shortly afterwards, and right from the start it was a piece of rubbish which it remained to this day. So I stuck with Ami Pro (later to be improved and renamed "Word Pro" until the day before yesterday when I discovered the Beta version of OOo. Eureka! At last, my problems seem to be over. Although it is with a sense of nostalgia that I will bid farewell to Word Pro, there is no logical reason for me to stick with it anymore. (I think I will frame the CD and hang it on my wall. It did, after all, serve me well over the years, possibly even better than my university degree which gathers dust on top of a cupboard somewhere.)
Some fundemental differences between MS Word and Lotus Word Pro are: (a) The way in which the two programs make use of styles. (Everyone should read the informative article on this subject by Christian Paratschek who also understands how this process is supposed to work. It's posted as a sticky currently, called "Text formatting with Writer"); (b) The fact that Word Pro doesn't mess around my indenting when I backspace delete a bullet or number; (c) The ease with which one can make global changes to a particular style that occurs throughout the length of a long document. This is a process that is virtually impossible in MS Word; (d) The fact that, for all intents and purposes, outline numbering doesn't work at all in MS Word (only one issue here is the fact that it is seemingly impossible to restart numbering and still retain the integrity of other numbering sequences in MS Word); (e) The fact that each and every local formatting change that is made in Word Pro doesn't become part of a mile long string of styles which are displayed in the styles box as is the case in Word; (f) The fact that it is a cumbersome process to do such a mundane task as adjusting the screen view in Word; (g) The fact that tables in Word are basically unusable, etc.
Almost all of these problems have been more than adequately addressed in OOo. OOo now not surpasses MS Office by miles, I find it even better than Word Pro. And being a loyal supporter of Word Pro for many years, it took a lot to get me so far as to admit that.
So why did I even bother with MS Word if I hate hate it so much? The fact that almost all of humanity use the damn program and they couldn't read my Word Pro files. I did convert many to pdf but, in cases where others had to work on my docs. I had no option but to use MS Word. I also receive MS Word docs. daily which I have to work on and return. Having tested OOo now for a couple of days, it would seem that documents created in OOo save seamlessly into MS Word format. Some Word docs. that I have opened in OOo also opened satisfactoriy in, save for a few manageble small issues.
As such, I am very strongly considering advising a total corporate change-over from Micosoft Office to OOo. However, since I've only been using the program for a short period of time now, I would appreciate some input in this respect.
I still do have a few less important questions, which I will address in other threads in due course. Notheless, OOo, especially the word processor, is a fantastic program, and I believe a sincere word of gratitude to all who made this suite possible is in order.