Organize With Office 365

Organize with Office 365 Course

Organize with Office 365 Course is a mix of smartness, organization, and more work accomplishment. It is a creation of Eric Morgan. He makes you understand in detail what the program is all about. Being a tech-savvy, you only expect the best from him. The product is 100% legit and pure bliss. Eric Morgan has one success tip for you. This software guide has the best tips and tricks to improve your productivity conventionally. Office 365 has a lot of attractive features that are often demanded in this digital era. Nevertheless, it can be quite challenging to use these features, especially for the starters. And that is precisely the reason why you need Organize with Office 365. Eric Morgan explains so many things in this guide. Besides, the guide is currently on offer, and this means you can get it a reasonable cost. This guide is worth your small investment. Give it a try and be sure of benefiting immensely. Continue reading...

Organize with Office 365 Course Summary

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My Organize with Office 365 Course Review

Highly Recommended

I've really worked on the chapters in this book and can only say that if you put in the time you will never revert back to your old methods.

Overall my first impression of this book is good. I think it was sincerely written and looks to be very helpful.

Using Microsoft Office Files on the

Microsoft Office programs are often used to create Web documents. All the standard Office programs (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) have a Save As HTML option. This is convenient for quickly creating HTML documents, but Office tends to put non-standard characters in the HTML. These documents then look bad when viewed with a nonMicrosoft browser.

Running Microsoft Office in Linux with Cross Over Office

You probably have Windows and Microsoft Office installed on your PC. When you decide to install Linux on the PC, you can, for a price, continue to run the key Microsoft Office applications from the GNOME or KDE desktop. The convenience of running Microsoft Office in Linux comes in the form of a commercial product called CrossOver Office. CrossOver Office, from CodeWeavers, is a software package that enables you to install your Microsoft Office applications (all versions of Office, including Office 97, Office Secret 2000, and Office XP) in Linux. You do not need Microsoft Windows to run the Office applications in CrossOver Office. You simply install CrossOver Office and then install Microsoft Office from the Microsoft Office CD-ROM (CrossOver Office enables you to install many more Windows applications, including Internet Explorer, Outlook, Lotus Notes, Adobe Photoshop, Quicken, and iTunes). After you install Microsoft Office, the Office applications will be available directly from...

How to Establish Compatibility with Microsoft Office

Users experienced with other office suites, especially the Microsoft Office suite, should not expect any problems in handling OpenOffice.org. OpenOffice.org is able to open files stored in standard Microsoft Office formats. Just select the file from the File Open dialog. Files created with OpenOffice.org can also be stored in standard Microsoft Office formats. For example, when you select Save as from the File menu, you can select the Microsoft Word 97 2000 XP file format, which is offered for OpenOffice.org Calc spreadsheets. Microsoft PowerPoint 97 2 0 00 XP is offered for OpenOffice.org Impress presentations. Later in this chapter, you will use your own Microsoft Office documents in an exercise to see how well they are imported into OpenOffice.org.

Converting Microsoft Office Documents

OpenOffiice.org is able to work with Microsoft Office documents. To convert such documents, select 'File' - 'AutoPilot' - 'Document Converter. '. Choose the file format from which to convert. There are several StarOffice and Microsoft Office formats available. After selecting a format, click 'Next' then specify where OpenOffiice.org should look for documents to convert and in which directory the converted files should be placed. Before continuing, make sure all other settings are appropriate.

Ensuring Compatibility with Microsoft Office

While using OpenOffice.org, you'll sometimes have to work with people who instead use other office suites, such as Microsoft Office. You don't have to do much to share work with Microsoft Office users. To read documents created with Microsoft Office, you can open them in OpenOffice.org, regardless of the application you're using. Even modern XML-based Microsoft Office documents (such as the .docx documents created in Word 2007) open without problems in OpenOffice.org. You need to be careful, however, when saving documents in OpenOffice.org, provided you want Microsoft Office users to be able to read them. The default OpenOffice.org format isn't supported in Microsoft Office, so you must make sure to save the documents to a format that Microsoft Office can read. This isn't hard to accomplish, and the procedure is basically the same for all OpenOffice.org applications 2. Click the File type option. Doing so displays a list of all supported file types. The following are those related to...

Microsoft Office and Open Officeorg File Compatibility

Although I mention the point throughout this section, it is worthwhile to re-emphasize that OpenOffice.org can read and write Microsoft Office files. This compatibility is quite good, though tables sometimes prove slightly problematic. In order to read Microsoft Office files, all you need to do is doubleclick the file in question, and it will open in the appropriate OpenOffice.org module. When saving files within OpenOffice.org to use within Microsoft Office, however, you must save them into the appropriate format, as To do this when saving a file, click the small arrow next to the words File type in the Save window, and select the appropriate Microsoft Office format from the list of available file formats listed in the pane that then appears Microsoft Word 97 2000 XP for a Writer document, for example.

Have Open Officeorg save in Microsoft Office format by default

Can then be a pain to keep having to manually select Microsoft Office format. See also Tip 121, on page 168, which describes how to boost OpenOf-fice.org's support for newer Microsoft Office file formats, and Tip 308, on page 361, which explains how to avoid formatting incompatibilities when outputting Office file-format documents.

Installing Microsoft Office

The best choice of Microsoft Office product to install is Office 2000. This has a proven record of installing and generally running well under Wine. It also uses file formats that are, for all practical purposes, universally recognized in the business world. 2. Switch to the directory the CD has been mounted in within media, and use Wine to run the Office setup program (the instructions below assume the CD has been mounted at media 09PRMCD01, as is the case with Microsoft Office 2000 Premium)

Running Microsoft Office on Linux Cross Over and Wine

One of the primary concerns for new Linux users is what kind of access they will have to their Microsoft Office files, particularly Word files. The Linux operating system and many applications for it are designed to provide seamless access to MS Office files. The major Linux office suites, including KOffice, OpenOffice.org, and StarOffice, all read and manage any MS Office files. In addition, these office suites are fast approaching the same level of features and support for office tasks as found in MS Office. The install program will start up and you will be prompted to enter your product key. Be sure to use only uppercase as you type. Choose Applications Wine Programs Microsoft Office and then choose the application name to start up the application normally. If you right-click a menu entry, such as Microsoft Word, you can choose Add Launcher To Desktop to add an icon for the application on your desktop. The application is referenced by Wine on the users simulated c drive, such as...

Running Microsoft Office on Linux Crossover

One of the primary concerns for new Linux users is what kind of access they will have to their Microsoft Office files, particularly Word files. The Linux operating system and many applications for it are designed to provide seamless access to MS Office files. The major Linux Office suites, including KOffice, OpenOffice, and StarOffice, all read and manage any Microsoft Office files. In addition, these office suites are fast approaching the same level of features and support for office tasks as found in Microsoft Office. CrossOver Office also lets you install and run most Microsoft Office applications. CrossOver Office was developed by CodeWeavers, which also supports Windows Web browser plug-ins as well as several popular Windows applications like Adobe Photoshop. CrossOver features both standard and professional versions, providing reliable application support. You can find out more about CrossOver Office at www.codeweavers.com. With VMware, you can run Windows under Linux, allowing...

Microsoft Office

With a 95 market share, Microsoft Office is the 800-pound gorilla of productivity suites. If you get a document, spreadsheet, or presentation from someone else, there is a good chance it is a Microsoft Office file. With that said, for Linux to become popular on the desktop, it must have a program similar to Microsoft Office and it must also be able to read and write Office files. Linux has several programs that are similar to Microsoft Office. Most of them are also available in Windows versions. None of them is a complete, drop-in replacement for Microsoft Office. Each program has its own strengths and weaknesses that need to be considered.

The Little OS That Will

On the desktop, too, Linux continues to mature. The KDE desktop provides a GUI that rivals Microsoft Windows for ease of use and configurability. Unlike Windows, however, KDE is a thin layer of eye candy on top of the operating system. The powerful command-line interface is never more than one click away. Indeed, as this book went to press, Caldera Systems released version 2.2 of OpenLinux, which contained a graphical, Windows-based installation procedure No less than four office productivity suites exist or will soon be released Applixware, Star Office, and Koffice, part of the KDE project, are in active use. Corel is finishing up work on their office suite, although WordPerfect 8 for Linux is already available. On top of the huge array of applications and utilities available for Linux, the emergence of office applications every bit as complete as Microsoft Office establishes Linux as a viable competitor to Windows on the desktop.

What Youll Find in This Book

Part VI moves on to explain how typical office tasks can be accomplished under SUSE Linux. We investigate OpenOffice.org, the complete office suite built into SUSE Linux. After an introduction to OpenOffice.org, separate chapters explore its word processor, spreadsheet, database, and presentation package. You'll also learn how to use the Evolution e-mail and personal information manager program, and how to run Microsoft Office under SUSE Linux.

Commercial Applications

StarOffice is a complete office productivity suite for Linux, released by Sun Microsystems (originally developed by a smaller company called Star Division, which was bought by Sun). This suite, which is also available for Windows and Solaris, is more or less a clone of Microsoft Office, including a word processor, spreadsheet, HTML editor, presentation manager, and other tools. It is capable of reading file formats from a wide range of similar applications (including Microsoft Office) and is available for free download for noncommercial use.

Will Linux Crush Microsoft

Major in-roads into the desktop market by Linux systems are expected to be slow in coming. However, an area where desktop Linux systems are making the greatest gains are in low-end, mass-market computers. For less than 300, you can buy a decent computer with Linspire Linux pre-installed from Wal-Mart, PC Clubs, or several other retailers. Because it is Linux, the system comes with a boat-load of applications as well (not Microsoft Office, but OpenOffice.org). (Linspire is discussed in Chapter 15.)

Transitioning documents from Windows

For casual home users, small-office workers, and large corporation personnel alike, moving from Microsoft Office to another Office suite is an experience that can range from simple to harrowing. In general, it is useful to examine this migration in terms of home use versus work use At work, in addition to the accumulation of documents over time, there is a more pressing issue Other people will be sharing Microsoft Office documents with you. So while home users need to concern themselves most with access to historical documents, in the workplace you probably need to accommodate new documents as well as your historical information. Because you can convert your documents, no real challenges exist for migrating simple documents. However, if your Microsoft Office documents include extensive macro, scripting, or embedded object usage, you may find the conversion is not a very clean one. Make sure you attempt conversions using the following options before moving on to the last resort of...

Running Windows Software on Linux Wine

TIP Alternatively, you can use the commercial Windows compatibility layer called CrossoverOffice. This is a commercial product tested to run certain applications like Microsoft Office. Check www.codeweavers.com for more details. CrossoverOffice is based on Wine, which CodeWeavers supports directly.

Internet Applications

Although Linux is starting to catch up, Windows still has a lot more end-user applications than any other OS. Many applications such as Microsoft Office, Media Player, Out-look, and Exchange are not available for Linux. According to International Data Corporation (http www.idc.com ), Microsoft Windows has about 87 of the desktop OS market as compared to about 4 for Linux. This gives tremendous incentive for companies to release the Windows version of desktop programs first.

Using Word Processors

OpenOffice.org is a powerful open source office suite, available as a download and as part of many Linux distributions. Based on Sun Microsystem's StarOffice productivity suite, OpenOffice.org includes a word processor, spreadsheet program, presentation manager, and other personal productivity tools. In most cases, OpenOffice.org can be used as a drop-in replacement for Microsoft Office. If you've been using Microsoft Office applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and i IijiiiVaaSI PowerPoint, most files produced in those applications' native formats will work in OpenOffice.org. There are descriptions of supported office formats later in this chapter.

Using theOpen Officeorg Office Suite

Some have called OpenOffice.org the most significant threat to Microsoft's dominance of the desktop market. Thousands in business, education, and government have already migrated their documents, spreadsheets, and presentations from Microsoft Office to OpenOffice.org. While cost savings are a big reason for using OpenOffice.org, the freedom of not being locked into proprietary formats and forced upgrades may be even more important in the long run. Unlike other applications that were created to work with Microsoft document and data formats, Ope-nOffice.org (although not perfect) does a very good job of opening and saving those files with fewer problems. Very basic styles and formatting that open in OpenOffice.org often don't look noticeably different from the way they appear in Microsoft Office. In other cases, such things as bullets, alignment, and indentation can appear quite different in Writer than they do in Word. Also, some Word features, such as macros and scripting features,...

Working with Open Officeorg

For the majority of users of productivity suites, OpenOffice.org should fulfill most, if not all, of your requirements. However, the first hurdle you need to get over is not whether it can do what you require of it, but rather whether it can successfully import and export to proprietary Microsoft formats. In the main, OpenOffice.org should import and export with minimal hassle, perhaps getting a bit stuck with some of the more esoteric Microsoft Office formatting. Given that most users do not go much beyond tabs, columns, and tables, this level of compatibility should suffice. However, you are strongly advised to round up a selection of documents that could potentially fall foul of the import export filter and test them thoroughly (of course, keeping a backup of the originals ). There is nothing worse than for a system administrator who has deployed a new productivity suite than to suddenly get users complaining that they cannot read their files. This would quickly destroy any...

Business Applications

For our purposes, business applications are programs running on an individual PC that perform business functions. The top-selling software titles are loaded with various business applications. For instance, the top-selling Microsoft Office is a bundle of common business applications, including a word processor (Word), spreadsheet (Excel), and presentation software (PowerPoint). Some versions of Microsoft Office contain an email and calender program (Outlook) and a database (Access). Both of these applications are covered in other chapters. Financial programs such as Intuit's Quicken and Microsoft Money are also essential business programs. Graphics programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw, and Microsoft Visio round out the list of business programs.

Office Suites for Ubuntu

As we have mentioned earlier, OpenOffice.org is the default application suite for Ubuntu. However, with all things open source, there are plenty of alternatives should you find that OpenOffice.org does not meet your specific requirements. These include the popular Gnome Office and also KOffice, the default KDE productivity suite. You are more likely to hear more about OpenOffice.org, especially as more and more people wake up to the fact that it is compatible with Microsoft Office file formats. In fact, the state of Massachusetts recently elected to standardize on two file formats for use in government the Adobe Acrobat PDF format and the OASIS OpenDocument format, both of which are supported natively in OpenOffice.org.

Finding common desktop applications in Linux

NOTE Using WINE technology, the people at Codeweavers, Inc. offer a CrossOver Office product that lets you install and run Microsoft Office in Linux. See the Running Windows Applications with WINE section later in this chapter. Microsoft Office (office productivity suite)

Corel Word Perfect Office

Although it doesn't have near the market share of Microsoft Office, Corel WordPerfect Office is still the second most popular productivity suite on the market. It has all the same functions as Microsoft Office, including word processing (WordPerfect), a spreadsheet (Quatro Pro), presentation (Presentations), calendaring (CorelCENTRAL), and Web publishing (Trellix). The deluxe version also comes with a database (Paradox), more fonts, more clip art, the game Railroad Tycoon, and a bean-filled penguin toy Corel spent a lot of time making sure WP Office could read and write to Microsoft Office documents. Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents are imported into WP Office with little trouble. Later in the chapter, we will discuss importing and exporting MS Office files. WordPerfect 8 (WP8) is still available for download from the Corel Web site. While it isn't as compatible with Microsoft Office as version 9, it still has most of the features of version 9. It is also much faster,...

Productivity Applications Written for Microsoft Windows

As well, there are other solutions to enable use of Microsoft productivity applications, primarily CodeWeavers' CrossOver Office. If you are after a painless way of running not only Microsoft Office, but also Apple iTunes and other software, you should really pay CodeWeavers a visit. CrossOver Office is one of the simplest programs you can use to get Windows-based programs to work. Check out www.codeweavers.com to download a trial version of the latest software. It requires registration, but do not worry the guys at CodeWeavers are great and will not misuse your details. The big plus is that you get a whole month to play around with the trial before you decide whether to buy it. Of course, you might get to the end of the 30 days and realize that Linux does what you want it to do and you don't want to go back to Windows. Do not be afraid take the plunge

Other Commercial Productivity Suites

Sun's Star Office has very good support for Microsoft Office files. It offers equivalent programs for word processing (Writer), spreadsheets (Calc), presentations (Impress), graphics (Draw), email (Mail), calendaring (Schedule), and a database (Base). It also has an integrated Web browser. While it is not as feature-rich as Microsoft Office, it offers all its major functions such as fonts, headers, footers, and template style sheets. Star Office isn't for everyone, though. Probably the biggest drawbacks are its size and speed. Star Office requires 160MB of disk space and at least 32MB of RAM, although 64MB is required to get decent performance. It also takes a long time to load, even on a fast system. Low-end machines that are often used for Linux boxes are definitely out of the question.

Free Software Defined

Have you taken a look at the prices of software these days Productivity applications (such as Microsoft Office) can easily exceed 300.00, and the most popular photo editing and graphic design applications are pushing 500.00 and higher And what about the personal finance software that's supposed to help you monitor your bank account and get control of your spending You'll be forking out 70.00 or more for those types of applications.

Creating Documents with Open Officeorg

Included with Ubuntu is a full office suite called OpenOffice.org. This comprehensive collection of applications includes a word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, database, drawing editor, and math editor. The suite provides an extensive range of functionality, reads and writes Microsoft Office file formats, and can also export documents as Web pages, PDF files, and Macromedia Flash animations.

Using Red Hat Linux as an Application Platform

Although you can get word processing programs, spreadsheet programs, graphics programs, and almost any other type of application that you want for Linux, many of the most popular applications in each category don't run well in Linux or don't run at all. For example, the latest Microsoft Office product will not run in Linux. If your company uses Microsoft Word for word processing or Microsoft Excel for spreadsheets, you could try converting files from those applications to run in StarOffice in Red Hat Linux. However, those files won't always convert cleanly. In the spirit of Linux and the GNU (which stands for GNU is Not UNIX ), most application programs are free or inexpensive. This means that you can try out most applications for little or no money. Getting started running Linux applications can be done at a small cost. For example, StarOffice is free to download (and only 39.95 for the boxed set), whereas if you just want Word, you need to pay hundreds of dollars for the entire...

Conversion Quality and Considerations

It's worth mentioning that the conversion quality between different file formats (especially Microsoft Office) is excellent. The only caveats are that the conversion process from OpenOffice to Microsoft Office can lead to files larger that their original file sizes due to the lack of compression. However, this is likely to change in future releases.

Using Open Writer for Word Processing

We won't list them all here like the other applications in the suite, it would warrant a book in its own right. However, we will highlight some of the key features included and also describe how interoperability with other applications such as Microsoft Office is achieved. Some of the key features present are

Using Openlmpress for Presentations

OpenOffice's OpenImpress (or Impress) application again provides many of the kind of features that you would expect of a commercial application, and is comparable with Microsoft's PowerPoint, the presentation management application within Microsoft Office. The key features of OpenImpress include

Setting up Samba as a Stand Alone Windows NT File Server

Notice that we are using home samba for storing the user programs such as the installation files for Microsoft Office 2000. We have given the group staff the ability to write to this directory. We will also need to allow a non-root user the ablility to install programs here.

Running Open Officeorg

If your primary concern when choosing an office suite is the capability to read and write Microsoft Office-compatible files, OpenOffice.org (OOo) is probably your best bet. The notoriously finicky proprietary formats remain dominant in modern business, and OOo offers the best filters currently available. Although it is impossible to be 100 compatible without access to the format's structure, OOo does a terrific job. Microsoft Office users will also find OpenOffice.org's interface quite familiar, making the transition a little easier as well.

Selecting Appropriate Office Tools

Linux office productivity suites vary in complexity, completeness, compatibility with the ubiquitous Microsoft Office file formats, and other features. Most Linux office tools are open source, although a few, such as the now-defunct Corel WordPerfect Office for Linux, are not. This section presents an overview of some of the most popular and capable packages OpenOffice.org, KOffice, GNOME Office, and LaTeX. This section concludes with a brief look at running other operating systems' office productivity tools under an emulator.

Other Commercial Suites

ThinkFree Office for Linux was released just days before the OpenSUSE project was announced in August 2005. Its chief claim to fame is even easier document sharing with Microsoft Office tools. ThinkFree saves files to the Microsoft format by default and also makes Acrobat PDF files for use in the Adobe Reader. ThinkFree Office contains a word processor (Write), a spreadsheet (Calc), and a presentation (Show) package. You can try it out free at the ThinkFree website http www.thinkfree.com.

Writing with Open Officeorg Writer

M et's face it The whole world, or so it seems, uses Microsoft Office, especially Microsoft Word, to write stuff. You have to work with the world to get your job done. Until recently, the lack of a freely available and high-quality Microsoft Office-compatible office suite may have been holding you back from using Fedora Core as your primary desktop operating system. Well, your troubles are over. Fedora Core now comes with the OpenOffice. org office suite a set of office productivity applications comparable to Microsoft Office and compatible with Microsoft Office as well. OpenOffice. org should already be installed on your system all you have to do is select the Office Productivity package group during Fedora Core installation. If you didn't install the Office Productivity package group, follow the steps I describe in Book I, Chapter 3 to install that package group.

Commercially Available Office Applications for Linux

Because office applications are important to many businesses as well as individuals, I want to briefly mention some of the commercial office applications available for Linux. These commercial offerings include Applixware Office and StarOffice. These products do cost some money, but the cost is usually less than that for Microsoft Office the leading office application suite for Windows. (In case you don't know, Microsoft Office is a collection of several applications Microsoft Word for word processing, Microsoft Excel for spreadsheets, Microsoft PowerPoint for presentation graphics, and Microsoft Access for databases.) Another commercial product for Linux is CrossOver Office from CodeWeavers. With CrossOver Office, you can run your existing Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint under Linux and X Window System. (You need the Microsoft Office CD to install these applications under Crossover Office.)

Introduction to Open Office

OpenOffice is a feature- rich office productivity suite distributed and maintained by Sun Microsystems. Comparable to Microsoft Office, OpenOffice includes a word processor, a spreadsheet application, presentation software, and graphic program applications. OpenOffice is incredibly powerful many believe that not only is it as good as MS Office, but also better in many ways. OpenOffice is available for other platforms as well, including Solaris and Microsoft Windows, and runs equally well on all of them.

Word Processing with Writer

Microsoft Word is sold as a standalone application (for about 300.00) or bundled in the Microsoft Office suite (starting at about 400.00). Considering that Microsoft Office applications update about every three to four years, the updates can become a large expenditure for a consumer who wants to keep up with the latest and greatest versions.

The Terror of the Resource Fork

However, HFS+ deals with this differently. It certainly supports the resource fork, but it's no longer a hard part of the file. It's just a metadata fork, a la an NTFS file stream that is mostly used by older applications. There are some modern Mac OS X applications that still use resource forks the biggest example is Microsoft Office. But the vast majority don't do that anymore. They use a single-forked bundle format, which is just a directory that acts like a single file. on an app, then you should proceed with caution. Unfortunately, it's hard to tell if a file is just a file or a resource-forked application. It's not impossible, but you're not going to do it with standard Unix tools on a Linux system. However, Microsoft Office is one of the last major Mac OS X apps to still use resource forks, so there's one final rule of thumb. Stay out of any directory whose name contains Microsoft Office in the path or name. There is nothing in there you wish to mess with.

Linux Desktop Applications

Today, Linux supports several desktop suites several more are under development. Apparently, if rumors are to be believed, even Microsoft is considering adapting their Office desktop suite to run under Linux. Whether or not Linux users can expect to soon run Microsoft Office for Linux (or whatever name Microsoft might give this potential product), Linux users who prefer to avoid other operating systems can now do so without compromising their ability to produce first-rate documents, spreadsheets, and graphics.

Word Processing Open Officeorg Writer

OpenOffice.org is an entire office suite for Linux that was built from the ground up to compete with Microsoft Office. Because of this, you'll find much of the functionality of Microsoft Office is replicated in OpenOffice.org, and the look and feel are also similar. The major difference is that OpenOffice.org is open source and therefore free of charge. As with all OpenOffice.org packages, Writer is fully compatible with Microsoft Office files, so you can save and open .doc files. Just click File Save As, and click the arrow alongside File Type to choose a document format. The only exception is password-protected Word files, which cannot be opened. You can also export documents as PDF files (using File Export As PDF), so they can be read on any computer that has Adobe Acrobat Reader installed. Note Although compatible with Microsoft Office 2003 (and below) file formats, OpenOffice.org isn't compatible with Office 2007's Open XML file format at the time of writing. However, this will...

Opening or Creating Documents with Open Officeorg

The office suite OpenOffice.org offers a complete set of office tools including a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, vector drawing, and database components. Because OpenOffice.org is available for a number of operating systems, you can use the same data across different computing platforms. You can also open and edit files in Microsoft Office formats then save them back to this format, if needed.

Introducing the Open Officeorg Suite

The OpenOffice.org suite is available in more than 30 languages and can run on many operating systems, including Linux, Microsoft Windows, Solaris and Mac OS X. It is also compatible with all other major office suites, including Microsoft Office, which makes it easy for you to create, open, save and exchange documents with friends and colleagues in Microsoft Office formats.

Proprietary File Formats

The most common proprietary file format is probably Microsoft Word's format (denoted by a .doc extension). Many businesses run on Microsoft Word if you work with such a business, you'll have to exchange Microsoft Word files. In some fields, the file formats associated with other Microsoft Office components, such as Microsoft Excel (.xls) spreadsheets are equally or more important. Although Microsoft retains tight control over these file formats, most competing programs make at least some effort to support them. Chapter 7 describes some of the Linux programs that can handle these files. In brief, OpenOffice.org and its commercial twin StarOffice do the best job with Microsoft Word files. Unfortunately, no Linux program handles these files perfectly, so you may need to resort to emulation in some cases. Many other programs outside the Linux world use proprietary formats. Office suites other than Microsoft Office, desktop publishing programs, tax-preparation software, advanced graphics...

Office and Database Applications

A variety of office suites are now available for Linux (see Table 13-1). These include professional-level word processors, presentation managers, drawing tools, and . spreadsheets. The freely available versions are described in this chapter. Sun has initiated development of an open source office suite using StarOffice code. The applications, known as OpenOffice.org, provide Office applications integrated with GNOME and are currently the primary office applications supported by most Linux distributions. KOffice is an entirely free office suite designed for use with KDE. The GNOME Office suite integrates GNOME applications into a productivity suite that is freely available. CodeWeavers CrossOver Office provides reliable support for running Microsoft Office Windows applications directly on Linux, integrating them with KDE and GNOME. You can also purchase commercial office suites such as StarOffice from Sun. For desktop publishing, especially PDF generation, you can use Scribus.

Creating and Using Open Officeorg Spreadsheets

As companies such as Microsoft have discovered, there's a lot to be said for a set of consistent, related applications that know how to leverage each other's capabilities to perform many of the data management tasks required in a modern, computer-oriented office. Unlike Microsoft Office, the OpenOffice.org suite is a high-quality, no-cost solution to your office software requirements. Although I've been a Gnumeric user for years (see the section on Gnumeric, later in this chapter), I tend to use all of the OpenOffice.org applications on my desktop systems nowadays. Because Gnumeric is much smaller and lighter-weight than OpenOffice.org, I still use Gnumeric on my laptops, which has come in very handy both times that I've needed a spreadsheet in a hotel room in recent years.

Spreadsheets with Calc

The big name in spreadsheets these days is Microsoft Excel. The Excel application can be purchased individually for about 300, or you can get it as a bundle with the Microsoft Office suite of applications, starting at about 400. But as I mentioned in Chapter 5, Microsoft likes to update its Office products every three to four years keeping up with the latest versions can get expensive fast.

Importing Existing Presentations

The Document Converter used to convert presentations works identically to the Document Converter used to batch import spreadsheets, as explained earlier in this chapter, so I won't waste space by repeating those instructions here. For information on using the Document Converter Wizard to batch-import documents of any supported type, see Importing Spreadsheets Using the Document Converter earlier in this chapter. The only real difference when importing presentations rather than spreadsheets (or word processing documents, as explained in Chapter 16) is that you must select Microsoft Office and PowerPoint documents on the initial screen of the wizard, as shown in Figure 17-49.

How to Configure Open Officeorg

You can customize your OpenOffice.org application using the same options provided by other full-featured Office applications such as Microsoft Office. This kit cannot guide you through all of these options. However, you have most likely customized your Microsoft Office product. Based on that knowledge you should be able to customize OpenOffice to meet your needs and preferences.

Access ISO images as if theyre disk drives

Improve Ubuntu's Microsoft Office 2007 file support M 168 improve Ubuntu's Microsoft Office 2007 file support You might be aware of the scandal surrounding Microsoft's new Office 2007 file formats (also supported in Microsoft Office 2008 on the Apple Mac). Luckily, few people are actually using the file format right now, and the older .doc, .xls etc file formats remain dominant. OpenOffice.org comes with the ability to open Office 2007 files but not save them, and to be truthful it isn't very good at importing (at least not at the time of writing). To configure OpenOffice.org to always save in Microsoft Office file formats, see Tip 249, on page 288.

The Open Office Applications

OpenOffice 6 is the latest version of a suite of productivity applications for use with Linux. The OpenOffice suite is very similar to Microsoft Office, Corel WordPerfect Office, or other office suites you might be familiar with. Because OpenOffice is open-source software (like Linux itself), it is a favorite among Linux users. OpenOffice is also available for use with the Windows OS. Because OpenOffice is capable of opening and saving in MS Office file formats, it is possible to exchange files with users of Windows and MS Office using OpenOffice.

Permanently Changing the Document Type

The previous steps explained how to temporarily change the document type. If you use this technique, you'll need to do so again the next time you save a document. If you're constantly exchanging files with people who use Microsoft Office, you may want to change the default document type permanently. The following procedure describes how to do that OpenOffice.org User Data General Memory View Print Paths Colors Fonts Security Appearance Accessibility Java Load Save General VBA Properties Microsoft Office HTML Compatibility Language Settings OpenOffice.org Impress OpenOffice.org Base Charts Internet 3. Select the default document format from the Always save as drop-down list. For a text document, for instance, choose the Microsoft Word format to ensure maximum compatibility with Microsoft Office. For the best possible compatibility, select the Word 2003-compatible format.

Tip 14 Reading foreign documents

Linux comes with various freely available word processors and office suites. Unfortunately, Microsoft Office doesn't come with a Linux native port. But you can still read and write Word and Excel files. Word Perfect is a Corel word processor product that has a Linux port. The latest version is Word Perfect 8. It is available freely for personal use on Linux, and will read and write Word files. It is available from http linux.corel.com. Another program is Star Office. This product from Star Division looks very much like Microsoft Office and offers similar features. It will also read and write all kinds of file formats. Star Office is available freely for personal use from http www.stardivision.com

Windows Compatibility and Samba

You may also need to run Windows in order to use standard applications, such as Photoshop or Microsoft Office. In both of these cases, there are free, Open Source applications (namely, The Gimp, KOffice and OpenOffice) that can match or even outdo their proprietary, closed-source equivalents. However, it is still sometimes necessary to run Windows to obtain access to software products that have no Linux equivalent, or for which the Linux counterpart is not fully compatible.

Making the Move to Open Officeorg

You might be willing to believe that you can get a complete operating system for no cost. You might even be able to accept that this offers everything Windows does and much more. But one stumbling block many people have is in believing a Microsoft Office-compatible office suite comes as part of the zero-cost bundle. It's a step too far. Office costs hundreds of dollars are they expecting us to believe that there's a rival product that is free Well, there is, and it's called OpenOffice.org. It comes preinstalled with Ubuntu, as well as most other Linux distributions, making it the Linux office suite of choice. It's compatible with most Microsoft Office files, too, and even looks similar and works in a comparable way, making it easy to learn. What more could you want

Open OfficeOrg Key Features

Although OpenOffice.org largely mirrors the look and feel of Microsoft Office, it adds its own flourishes here and there. This can mean that some functions are located on different menus, for example. However, none of this poses a challenge for most users, and OpenOffice.org is generally regarded as very easy to learn.

Introducing the Interface

If you've ever used an office suite, such as Microsoft Office, you shouldn't find it too hard to get around in OpenOffice.org. As with Microsoft Office, OpenOffice.org relies primarily on toolbars, a main menu, and separate context-sensitive menus that appear when you right-click. In addition, OpenOffice.org provides floating palettes that offer quick access to useful functions, such as paragraph styles within Writer. Formatting toolbar As its name suggests, this toolbar offers quick access to textformatting functions, similar to the type of toolbar used in Microsoft Office applications. Clicking the B icon will boldface any selected text, for example. This toolbar appears in Calc, Writer, and Impress.

Configuring Open Officeorg Options

By creating entries here, you can automatically substitute fonts within documents you open for others on your system. If you don't have the Microsoft core fonts installed, this might prove useful. For example, you might choose to substitute Arial, commonly used in Microsoft Office documents, for Luxi Sans, one of the sans serif fonts used under Ubuntu. Microsoft Office HTML Options here relate to how files are saved. You can select whether the default is to save in OpenOffice.org or Microsoft Office format. Choosing the latter is useful if you share a lot of documents with colleagues who are not running OpenOffice.org. This option relates to how Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code is handled when Microsoft Office documents are opened. Specifically, it ensures that the code isn't lost when the file is saved again. This option provides functions specifically needed to convert or open Microsoft Office files within OpenOffice.org.

Working with Words and Images

Linux users are, on most levels, no different from any other PC user. They need to write letters, make presentations, write books, and sort information in spreadsheets. For the Linux user, a copy of Microsoft Office is simply not in the cards yet, but there are many powerful tools from which to choose. OpenOffice.org is a powerful open source office suite available as a download and as part of many Linux distributions. Based on Sun Microsystem's StarOffice productivity suite, OpenOffice.org includes a word processor, spreadsheet program, presentation manager, and other personal productivity tools. In most cases, OpenOffice.org can be used as a drop-in replacement for Microsoft Office.

IBM Virtual Bridges and Canonicals Virtual Desktop Solution

The trio of IBM, Virtual Bridges and Canonical have joined forces to offer a Linux-based virtual PC solution that the firms claim halves the costs of licensing and maintaining a desktop. The solution hosts multiple virtual Linux desktops on a server, replacing Microsoft Windows with Ubuntu Linux and Microsoft Office with open-standards-based alternatives, such as IBM Lotus Symphony. The virtual desktop, called Virtual Enterprise Remote Desktop Environment (VERDE), is provided by Virtual Bridges. IBM cites reduced TOC related to licensing, hardware upgrades, power consumption and support requirements. The solution is a key component in IBM's offerings for entities in financial services and in the public sector.

Open Officeorg Features

The three main applications in OpenOffice.org (Writer, Calc, and Impress) are, respectively, quite similar to their equivalents in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), so switching over to the OpenOffice.org applications should be relatively easy. If you don't have any experience with Microsoft Office, you should still find it all pretty straightforward, as the basic layout is pretty intuitive. And if you are lacking in the intuition department, the built-in Help files are pretty good, too. To further help you along, the Tips system works just like tooltips in the Windows and Mac worlds. In case you aren't sure what I'm talking about, tooltips are those little yellow boxes that pop up to tell you what a button or menu item does when you place your mouse over that button or menu item.

Getting Away from Windows

For casual home users, small-office workers, and large corporation personnel alike, moving away from Microsoft Office to another Office suite is an experience that can range from simple to harrowing. In general, it is useful to examine this migration in terms of home use versus work use. At work, in addition to the accumulation of documents over time, there is a more pressing issue Other people will be sending you Microsoft Office documents. So while home users need to concern themselves most with access to historical documents, in the workplace you probably need to accommodate new documents as well as your historical information. Because you can convert your documents, there are no real challenges to migrating simple documents. However, if your Microsoft Office documents include extensive macro, scripting, or embedded object usage, you may find the conversion is not a very clean one. Make sure you attempt conversions using the following options before moving on to the last resort of...

Running Office Components

Running the Office programs is a matter of navigating to the home c Program Files Microsoft Office Office folder and running the executables via Wine. For example, to run Microsoft Word on my system, I typed (because of the spaces in the path, I enclosed the entire thing in quote marks) wine home keir c Program Files Microsoft Office Office WINWORD.EXE

Scripting the Open Officeorg Suite

The OpenOffice.org suite includes a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation program, database front end, and a whole lot more. Designed as a drop-in replacement for Microsoft Office, the applications in the OpenOffice.org suite can load and save most Microsoft Office files. In fact, the majority of this book was written using the OpenOffice.org suite.

Scripting Open Officeorg in Basic

BASIC is one of the older programming languages. It was designed long ago for newcomers to programming. Since that time, BASIC has matured into a sophisticated programming environment. Microsoft's Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), provides a way to write BASIC programs that run within the Microsoft Office environment. OpenOffice.org Basic similarly provides a way to write BASIC programs that run within the OpenOffice.org environment. As such, you can write BASIC programs, or program snippets called macros, to manipulate documents, update spreadsheets, and so on. Furthermore, you can combine OpenOffice.org Basic with the OpenOffice.org database module to provide a simplified interface for writing programs that access databases.

I08 Avoid bad formatting when viewing Open Officeorg files on Windows

OpenOffice.org is pretty good at exporting files in Microsoft Office format but there might still be one or two occasions when what you created in Ubuntu just doesn't translate well when opened in Microsoft Office. Provided the document doesn't need to be further edited by the recipient, the solution is to save it as a PDF, in which case its formatting will remain fully intact. The recipient can then print it out at their end, if need be.

Users passwords and files

The root of the file system, normally indicated by C within Windows, is indicated by a single forward slash ( ) in Ubuntu. Thus you'll see a path like usr share doc in Ubuntu, rather than something like C Program Files Microsoft Office within Windows. Whereas Windows uses a backslash ( ) to separate directories, Ubuntu uses a forward slash. Other than that, there are no real differences.

Other Word Processors

The StarOffice productivity suite (http www.sun.com staroffice) from Sun Microsystems, Inc. is a commercial product that runs on Linux, UNIX, and Windows operating systems. StarOffice contains applications for word processing, spreadsheets, presentation graphics, e-mail, news, charting, and graphics. Like OpenOffice.org, StarOffice contains many features that make it compatible with Microsoft Office applications. In particular, it includes the capability to import Microsoft Word and Excel files.

Installing the Lotus Notes client on Linux

Once CrossOver Office is configured, you can then install the Domino Administration Client. By default, the CrossOver Office setup has line items for Microsoft Office, Lotus Notes and Other. Select Lotus Notes, then click the ADD button. The application installation dialog is presented (Figure 5-6 on page 261).

Running Microsoft Windows Applications Using Wine

From CodeWeavers (www.codeweavers.com). This version of Wine provides enhancements and bug fixes that enable it to run many more applications, such as the complete Microsoft Office suite, than the free version of Wine. The CodeWeavers folks are very good about working directly with the Wine community, are the leading commercial sponsor of the Wine project, and push all of their fixes into the open source version of Wine. CrossOver Office is an excellent investment if you need to run Office or other resource-intensive software packages on your Linux system. As a matter of fact, this section of this chapter was written in Word running under CodeWeavers' Wine implementation.

Open Source Office Suites

Gnome also has an office suite, but unlike Koffice, the Gnome Office is a collection of various open source tools rather than a new suite designed from the ground up. The goals of Gnome Office are to provide the features of Microsoft Office and have good compatibility with Microsoft Office files. Unfortunately, like KDE, the Gnome Office components are still under development.

SUSE Linux Desktop

Whether (or when) Linux becomes a serious contender on the business desktop has been controversial for some time. In terms of usability, the latest versions of the KDE and GNOME desktops are comparable to Windows for most tasks. In terms of manageability, running Linux on desktops in place of Windows could save companies money in license fees and take away a wide range of administrative headaches, particularly in terms of security and software licensing and auditing. OpenOffice and or StarOffice are now capable of almost everything that Microsoft Office can do. However, the devil is in the detail. A very powerful factor preventing change is the use of particular specialized applications that may be available only on Windows. The SUSE Linux Desktop is a business desktop version that is offered with a software maintenance agreement and that additionally includes licensed copies of Sun's StarOffice and CodeWeaver's CrossOver Office (for running Windows applications) and a Citrix client....

Novell Linux Desktop

Whether (or when) Linux becomes a serious contender on the business desktop has been controversial for some time. In terms of usability, the latest versions of the KDE and GNOME desktops are comparable to Windows for most tasks. In terms of manageability, running Linux on desktops in place of Windows could save companies money in license fees and take away a wide range of administrative headaches, particularly in terms of security and software licensing and auditing. OpenOffice and StarOffice are now capable of almost everything that Microsoft Office can do. However, the devil is in the detail. A very powerful factor preventing change is the use of particular specialized applications that may be available only on Windows. (In practice, as we will discuss in Chapter 32, the need for particular Windows applications can often be handled fairly easily, particularly in a larger organization.) Other factors inhibiting the switch to Linux desktops are a common strong psychological resistance...

Office Tools

Applix's (http www.applix.com) ApplixWare is another competing office suite. All three are commercial products, although Sun has released StarOffice as a free download and a stripped-down version of the old version 8 of the WordPerfect word processor is also available for free. All three of these products also include import export filters for Microsoft Office documents, but as noted earlier, this approach is imperfect at best. (StarOffice is generally considered to have the best of these filters.)

Letters

I understand that it's a struggle to find a balance between which audiences you target, but as the manager of an Information Technology department for a medium-size business, I would appreciate more focus on the business administration side of things. I'm looking for articles that give me good, detailed suggestions on how and where Linux can be useful to my organization. It's great to read an article about thin clients, LTSP and how the two can be used together in a lab environment for students in a school, but I don't have large lab environments with various people coming and going all day using the same machines. I have cubicles where the same people sit down at the same desks every day and use business applications, like Microsoft Office and Visual Studio. How about some articles that tell me how I can implement OpenOffice.org without making my users angry and without making it impossible to interact with all of our customers and suppliers who use Microsoft Office How about...

Using Star Office

The StarOffice suite from Sun Microsystems, Inc. (www.sun.com software staroffice) is a product that runs on Linux, UNIX, and Windows operating systems. Like OpenOffice.org, StarOffice contains many features that make it compatible with Microsoft Office applications. In particular, it includes the capability to import Microsoft Word and Excel files.

Using Open Officeorg

NOTE If you are willing to pay a few dollars, CrossOver Office from Codeweavers.com lets you install and run different versions of Microsoft Office (97, 2000, XP, 2003, and 2007) from your Linux desktop. See Chapter 5 for further information or check out Unlike other applications that were created to work with Microsoft document and data formats, OpenOffice.org (although not perfect) does a very good job of opening and saving files from many different versions of Microsoft Word (.doc) and Excel (.xls) formats with fewer problems. Very basic styles and formatting that open in OpenOffice.org often don't look noticeably different from the way they appear in Microsoft Office. In fact, some older Word documents will actually work better in OpenOffice.org Writer than they do in the latest Microsoft Office suites.

Office Applications

Because these office tasks are so important, Red Hat Linux 9 comes with a number of different office applications. Some of these applications are rich in functionality and compare with the likes of Microsoft Office, while others are smaller in size but still worthy of mention. These applications should be enough to

The Open Office Suite

Without a doubt, the Microsoft Office product has revolutionized the world of office software. It has become the de facto standard in word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation graphics programs. Computer users compare all other office software packages to Microsoft Office products. Unfortunately, there's not a version of Microsoft Office that runs directly on Ubuntu. If you want Microsoft Office products in Linux, you have to use an open-source look-alike package. In Ubuntu, that package is the OpenOffice.org suite of software, which contains packages that replicate each of the programs in Microsoft Office. This chapter discusses how to build your perfect office software environment, then walks through how to use the individual packages contained in OpenOffice.org.

File Format Options

This dialog provides you with options to convert from StarOffice or Microsoft Office file formats to the new OpenOffice XML (eXtended Markup Language) format. In the screenshot above, we're concentrating on Microsoft Office file formats and a Word document we have to convert, so we've marked the Word documents option.

Running KOffice

The primary weakness of KOffice is its lack of compatibility with most modern Microsoft formats. The KOffice tools will read the vast majority of Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets, and so on, but cannot produce complex documents in the current Office formats, although it can do Rich Text Format and WordPad (that is, Microsoft Word 6). Communicating with Office users is not impossible, as KOffice will Save to the OpenOffice.org format (which is an encapsulated XML format), WordPerfect, and standard HTML or XML.

Emulators

We've discussed various interoperability features of the applications in this chapter. For example, we've seen how OpenOffice is able to load and save files in formats like the Microsoft Office formats, and other non-native formats. In addition to these features, there are a number of emulators in existence. An emulator implements another (virtual) operating system within Linux, and hence you can run executables that are native to that operating system.

Open Officeorg

OpenOffice.org is a desktop suite that functionally resembles Microsoft Office. That is, OpenOffice.org can perform many of the functions performed by Microsoft Office and includes many of the familiar features of Microsoft Office, along with a few features not found in Microsoft Office. The distinctive advantage of a desktop suite is that its component applications are designed to work together. The applications of a desktop suite have a similar look and feel, which makes them easy to learn and use. Linux users have long had access to applications that help them prepare documents. However, development of Linux desktop suites has lagged behind that of Microsoft Office. The applications and suites have tended to be somewhat clumsy to use, unreliable, and poor in features. OpenOffice.org sets a new standard for Linux desktop suites, providing features and capabilities that are adequate to satisfy most computer users, not merely Linux fans. OpenOffice.org includes translation filters...

Using Open Office

Codeweavers.com lets you install and run older versions of Microsoft Office (97, 2000, XP, and so on) from your Linux desktop. See Chapter 5 for further information or check out www.codeweavers.com products office. Unlike other applications that were created to work with Microsoft document and data formats, OpenOffice (although not perfect) does a very good job of opening and saving those files with fewer problems. Basic styles and formatting that open in OpenOffice often don't look noticeably different from the way they appear in Microsoft Office.

Reuven Mlerner

Some programs have a long tradition of encouraging add-ons. GNU Emacs is best known as a text editor, but it comes with a full-fledged version of the Lisp programming language. You can create just about anything you want in Emacs, and people have done so, including mail-reading programs, Web browsers and an extremely sophisticated calendar diary. Photoshop caught on among graphic designers not only because of its powerful image editing features, but also because of the large number of plugins that were developed (and sold) for the platform. Microsoft Office, much as it might be reviled by many Linux and open-source advocates, became popular because of its built-in programming language (VBA), as much as for its built-in features. And, of course, the Firefox browser wouldn't be half as useful to me if it weren't for the half-dozen plugins that I have added to my software.

The file Command

User bible temp file realworddoc.doc realworddoc.doc Microsoft Office Document user bible temp dd if realworddoc.doc of 8bytes bs 1 count 8 user bible temp cat 8bytes index.html newfile.doc user bible temp file newfile.doc newfile.doc Microsoft Office Document user bible temp grep Office usr share misc magic 0 string 376 067 0 043 Microsoft Office Document 0 string 320 317 021 340 241 261 032 341 Microsoft Office Document 0 string 333 245- 0 0 0 Microsoft Office Document

Kyle Rankin

StarOffice, the enterprise-oriented sibling of OpenOffice.org, has been upgraded to Version 9. This open-source office productivity suite contains the Writer word processor, Calc spreadsheet, Impress presentation, Base database and Draw drawing graphics applications. StarOffice Version 9 adds features, such as Mozilla Thunderbird for e-mail and Lightning for calendaring, an enterprise migration tool and various extensions for blog-ging, communicating, wiki publishing and PDF editing. Further, like OpenOffice.org 3.0, StarOffice 9 can read and write Microsoft Office .docx files. A range of support models are available indemnification against intellectual property lawsuits is included in each. StarOffice comes in Linux, Solaris and Windows flavors. www.sun.com staroffice

Practical Example

Treb is an interface that reads documents created by Microsoft Office applications. It does this by using OpenOffice as a filter to convert the file to PDF and launching Evince to see the result. After Evince is closed, the temporary PDF file is deleted and treb itself is closed.

Creating a Flowchart

One of the best ways to illustrate a process is by using a flowchart. For the old Microsoft crowd, this meant using Microsoft Visio, which is an add-on application to Microsoft Office. Although Microsoft Visio is used to create more than just flowcharts and organizational charts, for the casual user, these are generally where their experience with Visio would end. Tb provide their users with the same experience as someone using Microsoft Office, OpenOffice.org included the ability to create flowcharts in Draw. Since organizational charts use similar shapes, this tool can be used to create this type of document as well.

File Compatibility

As well as core feature compatibility, OpenOffice.org is also able to read files from Microsoft Office versions up to and including Office 2003. Currently OpenOffice.org doesn't support Office 2007 files, although several projects are working on adding support, and it's likely it will be added soon. This is just one more reason why you should regularly update Ubuntu online in order to make sure you're running the very latest versions of each program. Although file compatibility problems are rare, two issues occasionally crop up when opening Microsoft Office files in OpenOffice.org VBA compatibility OpenOffice.org isn't currently compatible with Microsoft Office Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), although work is being undertaken to allow this functionality. OpenOffice.org uses a similar but incompatible internal programming language. This means that Microsoft macros within a document probably won't work when the file is imported to OpenOffice.org. Such macros are typically used in...

Software

Microsoft Office Nobody disputes that Microsoft Office is king of the hill in office suites, but if you put marketing and market share aside, how does OpenOffice.org compare bruce byfield How does OpenOffice.org (OOo) compare with Microsoft Office (MSO) The question is harder to answer than you might expect. Few users have the experience or patience to do a thorough comparison. Too often, they miss features that have different names or are in different positions in the editing window. Or, perhaps they overlook the fact that some features, although missing in one, easily can be added through customization. Yet another problem when comparing something to MSO is which of the eight current versions of MSO do you use for the comparison To cut through these difficulties, as I compared OpenOffice.org 3.1.1 and Microsoft Office 2007, I assumed until a search proved otherwise that, if one office suite included a feature, the other also would have it. I also focused on the...

The Right Fonts

One key to compatibility with the majority of Microsoft Office files is ensuring you have the correct fonts. This is an issue even when using Windows. It's very common to open an Office document to find the formatting incorrect, because you don't have the fonts used in the construction of the document.

Using Wizards

One of the core functions you'll find most useful when you're creating new documents is the wizard system, which you can access from the File menu. A wizard guides you through creating a new document by answering questions and following a wizard-based interface. This replaces the template-based approach within Microsoft Office, although it's worth noting that OpenOffice.org is still able to use templates.

Saving Files

As mentioned in Chapter 21, OpenOffice.org uses the OpenDocument range of file formats. The files end with an .ods, .odt, .odp, or .odb file extension, depending on whether they've been saved by Calc, Writer, Impress, or Base, respectively. The OpenDocument format is the best choice when you're saving documents that you are likely to further edit within OpenOffice.org. However, if you wish to share files with colleagues who aren't running Ubuntu or OpenOffice.org, the solution is to save the files as Microsoft Office files. To save in this format, just choose it from the Save As drop-down list in the Save As dialog box. If your colleague is running an older version of OpenOffice.org or StarOffice, you can also save in those file formats.

In Depth Impress

Impress is the presentation package within OpenOffice.org. At first glance, it appears to be the simplest of the key OpenOffice.org components, and also the one that borrows most the look and feel from Microsoft Office. However, delving into its feature set reveals more than a few surprises, including sophisticated animation effects and drawing tools. Impress can also export presentations as Adobe Flash-compatible files, which means that many Internet-enabled desktop computers around the world will be able to view the files, even if they don't have Impress or PowerPoint installed on their computers.

The Citadel

The time has come to consider moving that expensive, high-maintenance Windows system to a sleeker, more robust Linux system. The gap analyses have been done, the meetings held, the presentations complete, and now it's go time. Although installing and configuring a Linux server back end can be challenging, we all know that users aren't going to care about that. What they want is uninterrupted functionality so they can continue doing their jobs. Although migrating users from applications such as Microsoft Office to OpenOffice.org is generally an intuitive task, the 800-pound gorilla that's keeping you up at night is e-mail and groupware. How are you going to provide and manage Microsoft Outlook-like functionality to the masses In a word, Citadel.

Commercial Software

A growing number of commercially available tools let you work with anything from Microsoft Office to your Windows games under Linux. Mind you, ultimately the Linux user's goal is to not have to use any of these extra program layers but in the meantime, it's nice not to be inconvenienced. I've reviewed or at least used every one of these products (often more than once over the years), so I'm not just going by their Web sites.

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