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StarOffice or OpenOffice vs MS Office XP

M.K.A. Monster
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Joined: May 02, 2002
Posts: 130
Hi everyone,
I'm going to use linux for a desktop system when I can work with a nice officesuite.
The problem is, that I'm currently working with MS Office XP. Actually, only Word and Outlook. Which both work very intuitive for me. I've found a alternative for Outlook, XIMIAN Evolution.
I've installed StarOffice 5.x once. I thought it was too heavy for my desktop system. I found out they loaded an entirely complete environment. After working with StarOffice Write I found that it didn't intuitive for me. But that can be because of my experience with Word 2002.
My question is: Is StarOffice 6 and/or OpenOffice more intuitive than StarOffice 5.x was, and is it less heavy for my system?
Als I'd like to know if there are any books written for people who want to change to StarOffice or OpenOffice from MS Office. Just to help them out with (the less intuitive) new office suite.
Regards,
Mark Monster
Matthew Phillips
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 09, 2001
Posts: 2676
IMO, it is much easier to move from MS Office to Open Office than it was to move to Star Office 5.x. The features are in the places where you expect them and it doesn't have the desktop system that Star Office had. I haven't used Star Office 6 yet, but my understanding is that it is almost the same as Open Office.


Matthew Phillips
Simon Brown
sharp shooter, and author
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 10, 2000
Posts: 1913
    
    6
Perhaps this weeks giveaway author will be able to shed some light on this for us.
Simon
Ray Little
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 21, 2002
Posts: 22
I've been using OpenOffice.org for some time now and it works great. However, even though most things are in the same place as MS Office there is a small learning curve. If I were in a demanding environment I would identify the more involved MS Office features I use and focus on finding how to access them in OpenOffice.org.
A minor thing but the biggest annoyance I found was having to modify a file to increase the size of the MRU (most recently used files) list.
Ray
Ray Little
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 21, 2002
Posts: 22
I've never used Ximian Evolution but I hear it's a good replacement for MS Outlook. Unfurnately, the biggest thing that keeps me from using Linux more regularly is that I'm a heavy ACT! user and I don't believe there's a replacement yet for it on Linux.
If someone else doesn't address this issue soon I may try my hand at it.
Ray
Ashik Uzzaman
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Joined: Jul 05, 2001
Posts: 2370

I used Ximian with Red Hat 8.1 and its as good as Outlook but less vulnerable to attacks.


Ashik Uzzaman
Senior Member of Technical Staff, Salesforce.com, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Robert White
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 03, 2003
Posts: 8
Does Open Office contain an spreadsheet that reads files in Excel format? Is Open Office open source?
I ask because I'm using two different Java libraries to read Excel files sent to me by customers:
JExcelAPI
http://www.andykhan.com/jexcelapi/index.html
Apache POI
http://jakarta.apache.org/poi/index.html
But neither of these libraries can handle some of the Excel files I receive. I have no idea why.
OpenOffice has complete documentation of the Excel file format, but what I need are Java libraries, so that my program can convert any Excel spreadsheet to CSV.
http://sc.openoffice.org/excelfileformat.pdf
Ideas?
Rex Ashworth
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 04, 2002
Posts: 20
What are the differences between Star 5 and 6. For that matter OpenOffice. I use Open and besides formatting issues it crosses very well with Word 2002.
jo tay
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 28, 2002
Posts: 9
When I tried OpenOffice I wasted too much time making my documents look decent in word format.
Erik Thauvin
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 03, 2003
Posts: 1
What are the differences between StarOffice and OpenOffice, if any?
Thanks,
E.
Ashik Uzzaman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 05, 2001
Posts: 2370

AFAIK, StarOffice (probably from 6.0 version) has now been renamed as OpenOffice. But I am
Ashik Uzzaman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 05, 2001
Posts: 2370

AFAIK, StarOffice (probably from 6.0 version :confused has now been renamed as OpenOffice.
Marcus Green
arch rival
Rancher

Joined: Sep 14, 1999
Posts: 2813
I have found Star/Open Office to be incredibly good at reading and writing all the MS Office formats. On occasions it has done a better job than moving from Office 97 to Office 2K. I have come accross truly complex tables that it did not render correctly, but I guess that was one document in 1,000.
Star/Open office 6 is very different to StarOffice 5.2. Its native files are much smaller than the MS Office files. If you are creating long documents (like My 270 page CertKey tutorial) it is no contest, StarOffice is just much better.
Marcus


SCWCD: Online Course, 50,000+ words and 200+ questions
http://www.examulator.com/moodle/course/view.php?id=5&topic=all
M.K.A. Monster
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 02, 2002
Posts: 130
Wow, what a discussion I created.
For the people thinking that StarOffice is changed to OpenOffice. I'm sure that's not true. The thing is as I thought: StarOffice 5.x has released it source. OpenOffice has changed it, to create an own version and that will be OpenOffice. SUN has resently changed the idea of a free Office Suite (5.x was free I thought), StarOffice now is a commercial Office Suite. That will be from version 6.
I still have an important question open:
I'd like to know if there are any books written for people who want to change to StarOffice or OpenOffice from MS Office. Just to help them out with (the less intuitive) new office suite.
After just walking through my most used word-files. I found out I was nesting tables, which isn't supported by Office 97 (maybe 2000 also). I'd like to know if nesting tables is supported by OpenOffice or StarOffice 6.
Has there been any official test where MS Office XP and OpenOffice or StarOffice 6 are compared? I'd like to see the main differences.
Regards,
Mark Monster
Matthew Phillips
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 09, 2001
Posts: 2676
The OpenOffice Rosetta Stone should answer some of your questions on compatability. According to it, graphic and tables created within tables in OpenOffice did not appear in Word. I didn't read the whole article, but I didn't see any mention of what happens the other way around.
Solveig Laura Haugland
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 377
Hi Mark,
First, forget everything about StarOffice 5.2. SO 6 and OpenOffice.org (download free from www.openoffice.org) are slicker and faster and the file sizes are so small you can barely tell there's anything there.
Secondly, no two applications are alike, so you can't expect to just switch over to OOo without a few Challenges. ;> However, I honest to god swear that you can use my OpenOffice.org Resource Kit (for OOo and includes the CD!) or my StarOffice 6.0 Companion and it will tell you exactly how to do a whole lot of things. And you can look everything up in the index too, we tried to make that a good starting point.
I wrote the 5.2 book, updated it for 6.0, and updated it for OOo, and by now I've put a lot of tips and tricks in it. Also I was out training in Illinois last week using it and, because I didn't write some of the original chapters, my coauthor did them, I had to look up stuff to fgure out how to do it. And it was there.
OOo is kind of like living in a house where the furnace is in the bathroom and the stove is in the third bedroom down the hall. It's confusin at first, but once you know where everything is, it's pretty dandy.
Also conversion to OOo is pretty decent though bullets will be a little wonky.
Solveig


OpenOffice.org Users' Guides, Training, and More www.getopenoffice.org
J2EE: The Big Picture - Dating Design Patterns: What the Gang of Four Didn't Tell You - Dating Power Tools: Simple Stuff That Works - She'll Love It: The Guys' Guide to Giving Great Gifts
Solveig Laura Haugland
Author
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Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 377
Hi, yes OOo and SO read Excel spreadsheets. OOo is totally open source.
You could open Excel spreadsheets in OOo and save them as CSV, if that gets you where you want.
You might also take a look at unzipping the resulting OOo spreadsheets and see if that helps you do anything.
Formatting, aka borders and column width, can wonk out a bit when you bring spreadsheets in, but considering it's a very very closed proprietary format you're opening, it's not bad.

Solveig

Originally posted by Robert White:
Does Open Office contain an spreadsheet that reads files in Excel format? Is Open Office open source?
I ask because I'm using two different Java libraries to read Excel files sent to me by customers:
JExcelAPI
http://www.andykhan.com/jexcelapi/index.html
Apache POI
http://jakarta.apache.org/poi/index.html
But neither of these libraries can handle some of the Excel files I receive. I have no idea why.
OpenOffice has complete documentation of the Excel file format, but what I need are Java libraries, so that my program can convert any Excel spreadsheet to CSV.
http://sc.openoffice.org/excelfileformat.pdf
Ideas?
Solveig Laura Haugland
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 377
Between 5 and 6 the key differences are:
- 6, and OOo 1.O are faster
- 6 = OpenOffice.org 1.0, and OOo is absolutely free, thus there is no reason for any individual to buy SO 6.0
- Tiny tiny file sizes in 6 and OOo 1. XML format. They're great for zipping open and doing unnatural things to.
- Schedule and Mail are gone, but they sucked anyway
- Easier connection to data sources, including standards like Oracle and mySQL
That's pretty much it. Not really a bunch of new features.
Oh, and you can open WordPerfect in Ooo but you need an external filter.
http://libwpd.sf.net
Solveig

Originally posted by Rex Ash:
What are the differences between Star 5 and 6. For that matter OpenOffice. I use Open and besides formatting issues it crosses very well with Word 2002.
Solveig Laura Haugland
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 377
Originally posted by jo tay:
When I tried OpenOffice I wasted too much time making my documents look decent in word format.


This will vary a lot from one document to another. Bullets are the problem child most often.
You'll have more problems if on either end you're just hitting the object bar or formatting windows, i.e. just taking normal text and applying italics or red or whatever. You're better off if your W or OOo/SO documents have predefined styles applied to create the formatting, like Header1 or signature or textbody or bulleted.
Solveig
Solveig Laura Haugland
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 377
Originally posted by Erik Thauvin:
What are the differences between StarOffice and OpenOffice, if any?
Thanks,
E.

$75, an unpopular database, templates, a little clip art, and a bunch of filters for Wordstar, WordPerfect, tc.
StarOffice is what enterprises buy because they don't believe anything free is good.
OpenOffice.org is the "farm team" for StarOffice, incorporating changes reasonably quickly, and every so often SO will take a particular build of OOo and release it as an SO release. That's the plan, anyway, last time I heard.
Short answer: Nobody on this list needs StarOffice.
Solveig
Solveig Laura Haugland
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 377
SO 6 and OOo don't support nested tables, so there's that. You can create them by inserting a frame in one of the cells and putting a table inside that. But yeah, back and forth nested tables will eventually probably freak out.
.....
I just created a Word XP document with a regular table, opened it in OOo 1.0.1, and everything looks great. Exactly the same, in fact.
Solveig

Originally posted by Marcus Green:
I have found Star/Open Office to be incredibly good at reading and writing all the MS Office formats. On occasions it has done a better job than moving from Office 97 to Office 2K. I have come accross truly complex tables that it did not render correctly, but I guess that was one document in 1,000.
Solveig Laura Haugland
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 377
Hi,
More on the experiment. I just created a table in Word, saved, opened in Writer, looked great.
Then created a table in Writer, saved *as a Word document,* opened in Word and it looked great.
Nesting tables isn't supported literally but you can achieve the effect by inserting a frame in a cell, then putting a table in the frame.
I don't know of any comparison tests. There's a lot of things where the features aren't the same but you can achieve similar goals in OOo and SO if you abstract out far enough.
Solveig
Originally posted by M.K.A. Monster:
Wow, what a discussion I created.
For the people thinking that StarOffice is changed to OpenOffice. I'm sure that's not true. The thing is as I thought: StarOffice 5.x has released it source. OpenOffice has changed it, to create an own version and that will be OpenOffice. SUN has resently changed the idea of a free Office Suite (5.x was free I thought), StarOffice now is a commercial Office Suite. That will be from version 6.
I still have an important question open:
I'd like to know if there are any books written for people who want to change to StarOffice or OpenOffice from MS Office. Just to help them out with (the less intuitive) new office suite.
After just walking through my most used word-files. I found out I was nesting tables, which isn't supported by Office 97 (maybe 2000 also). I'd like to know if nesting tables is supported by OpenOffice or StarOffice 6.
Has there been any official test where MS Office XP and OpenOffice or StarOffice 6 are compared? I'd like to see the main differences.
Regards,
Mark Monster
Solveig Laura Haugland
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 377
Hmm. That Rosetta Stone must have been hacked by Microsoft because I just created a document with another table, then used the drawing tools, the bitmap background, and the insert graphics (embed, not link) and saved that document in OOo. Then saved as Word, and it opened in Word beautifully. Even kept the size of the inserted graphic, though I just shrank it after inserting.
The conversion keeps lookin' pretty good.
Solveig

Originally posted by Matthew Phillips:
The OpenOffice Rosetta Stone should answer some of your questions on compatability. According to it, graphic and tables created within tables in OpenOffice did not appear in Word. I didn't read the whole article, but I didn't see any mention of what happens the other way around.
M.K.A. Monster
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 02, 2002
Posts: 130
I think that saving and reading the new MS Office format will be done better, because MS Office will be using an open-format (for the change) XML. I hope that (not long after the new MS Office Release) a kind of plugin will be downloadable so that we can read and write for the new format.
Solveig Laura Haugland
Author
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Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 377
Yeah, well, Java was an open format too. ;> I think I've seen articles around about MS's version of Linux, and MS's version of XML, both of which I'm sure will only run on Windows (the latter at least) or some such nonsense.
Originally posted by M.K.A. Monster:
I think that saving and reading the new MS Office format will be done better, because MS Office will be using an open-format (for the change) XML. I hope that (not long after the new MS Office Release) a kind of plugin will be downloadable so that we can read and write for the new format.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: StarOffice or OpenOffice vs MS Office XP