Office Replacement?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by zhensley, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. zhensley macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2007
    What is the best free productivity software out there? I'm not opposed to buying iWork, but for now I'd like to stick with something free.

    So, what is it?

    Other Alternatives?
  2. JLatte macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2005
    San Diego
    I know a lot of people use OpenOffice, they've made significant improvements over the years from what it used to be.
  3. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
    I use OpenOffice at home with no problems. It's now native with OS X as well.
  4. Keleko macrumors 68000

    Mar 26, 2008
    I like Open Office, but my needs are very limited. Now that it has a Mac native version, it is much easier to use it. I was using NeoOffice before OO 3.0.
  5. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Do you need everything? Word processing, spreadsheet... what?
    Do you need compatibility with Office for Windows?

    Open Office and Neo Office are the most used

    There is Bean or AbiWord for word processing
    Is Mariner still available as a standalone spreadsheet?

    Woof, Woof – Dawg [​IMG]
  6. macrem macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2008
  7. jwang392 macrumors newbie


    Nov 20, 2008
  8. kellyl macrumors newbie

    May 28, 2008
    Burned by OpenOffice is a mediocre alternative to Microsoft Office for some tasks.

    • No OS level file locking support
    • Poor tab support in Word documents
    • Poor cell formatting behavior in Excel spreadsheets

    I got burned by OpenOffice. I stuck my neck out as an IT administrator in my company and made a suggestion to use OpenOffice as an alternative to Microsoft Office in order to save money. Management at my company liked the idea and went along with it; half of the company opted to use OpenOffice instead of Microsoft Office... we made it a voluntary thing. Anyway, a year later, with the release of 3.0, we start running into many problems that have been identified, and there doesn't seem to be any initiative to resolve these issues by the developers.

    Effective last week, we are back to Microsoft Office only as our corporate standard; and, we have purchased several new licenses of Microsoft Office for everyone.

    If you're thinking about bringing it into your company to save a little money; my advice: don't waste your time.... buy Microsoft Office.
  9. millerj123 macrumors 65816

    Mar 6, 2008
    I'm currently using NeoOffice. I haven't run into any issues yet, although I don't do anything really fancy, either.
  10. jlamb0 macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2008
    I have to say that OpenOffice 3.0 is a vast improvement over 2.4. All the features that kept me locked into MS Excel (trendlines and some particular statistical functions), finally appeared in OO 3.0. It takes some getting used to when you first switch, but the overall compatibility with MS Office formats is pretty good.
  11. Rasczak macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2009
    For note taking, brainstorming, etc - anything I never plan to print - I use Google Docs.

    For anything else, OpenOffice works well for me. The only thing I don't like about it is the launcher - I don't know how to split it up into separate apps as I can on Linux and Windows.

    If you have to worry about the minor differences between OO and MS Office, you are probably already using MS Office anyway.

    That said, I am interested in people's thoughts on Bean, Abiword, etc as I've not tried those yet.
  12. petermcphee macrumors 6502a


    Aug 20, 2008
    Open Office is a great productivity suite. It's free and it's worth it. It's a heckova deal!
  13. macrem macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2008
    I'd even say that switching from MS Office 2003 to 2007/8 is a larger change than MS Office 2003 to OO3.
  14. macrem macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2008
    I currently use OO3 in a mostly MS Office environment at work and no one else is the wiser except IT, because I wrote a ticket asking them to take me off the list for MS Office & Windows licensed users.

    I've also worked at companies where generally techies prefer & use OO while non-techies use MS Office, and the two co-exist harmoniously. However, I know that being in the position of getting others to adopt a different tool can be difficult. In my experience, though, OO3 can work & save money.
  15. jlamb0 macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2008
    I hadn't thought of it that way, but you're absolutely right!

    And as far as my experience with file compatibility goes, if everyone you know is still using .doc instead of .docx, you'll have fewer headaches going with OO3 rather than upgrading to MS Office 07/08.
  16. kellyl macrumors newbie

    May 28, 2008
    No file locking... that is a problem in mixed environment

    We had the harmonious coexistence between users of OOo 2.4 and MS Office; problems didn't start to surface until OOo users upgraded to version 3. The latest version of OOo 3 does *not* support file locking; this causes problems with shared spreadsheets. As an example, I could open up a shared .xls file in OOo 3.0, wouldn't receive any warning that the file was already open by a MS Office user, make edits and save.... only to see later on that my changes and save didn't take effect.

    If you have a mixed environment, you need to know that there have been some changes introduced that are causing problems.

    I was the bit proponent of OOo in my company, and received praise for the money saving alternative thinking when I brought it into the company; then, later on, it just became a big headache and we ended up dumping OOo and getting everyone MS Office.
  17. kellyl macrumors newbie

    May 28, 2008
    Bean is a nice, clean interface.... a very straight-forward text editor; it's pretty nice. I don't really think it has any advantages over the TextEdit app that comes with OS X.

    Abiword is pretty cool; but it is better on Linux and Windows; it is no longer being maintained/updated on the Mac platform.

    To use OOo-based program with better launcher, you may want to look at IBM's Lotus Symphony. It seems a lot like OOo with a better designed interface.

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