Using OpenOffice.org 2.02

When the Microsoft Office 2007 public beta was released, I couldn’t wait to install and run it. As I reported in an earlier blog entry, Office 2007 sucked up a lot of my system’s resources and rendered it very near useless. I promptly uninstalled Office 2007. The uninstall created quite a few problems for me, however. For one thing, Office 2007 still shows up in my Add/Remove programs list, but will not uninstall because "no files can be found". Office 2003 will not reinstall in a usable state because 2007 apparently has a lot of uninstalled components that were not in the Office12 folder that I deleted. I spend a couple of hours yesterday deleting office keys from my registry, yet barely made a dent in the total number of keys that Office 12 inserted.

After I originally uninstalled MS Office, I did install OpenOffice.org 2.02. I’ve installed and played with it in the past and found it to have a lot of potential, but I always gave up when hit with a limitation over what MS Office can do. This time, however, I was forced to use OpenOffice for a reason. I’m a student at the University of Phoenix, and I had a learning team project due for the final class session. I just finished up my second class on Java Programming. I had to create the requirements document as well as the class diagrams and incorporate them into our presentation. I used the draw feature in Writer to create the class diagram, then I used Impress for the slideshow. I found a few shortcomings, however.

  • OpenOffice does not yet share very well between programs. I wasn’t able to copy and paste the drawing from Writer into Impress. Only the text copied over. I ended up having to recreate the drawing in Impress.
  • Tables do not copy over either. I had to copy the text into Impress and then tab it so that it looked like a table.
  • Power Point allows for inserting slides from another slideshow, but I could not get Impress to do this.

However, my worries about format were for naught. My files saved into MS compatible format and were easily incorporated into the overall presentation in Power Point. Nobody could tell that I used a non-Microsoft suite to create them.

Seeing how apparently nothing short of a reformat will correct my MS Office problems, and I don’t feel like reformatting my laptop now anyway, I will probably be using OpenOffice.org a lot more. I have also installed it on my work computer and have used it for a few light tasks, however, for official work I still use Microsoft Office.

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