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Tech: OpenOffice

JohnInKansas 22 Dec 11 - 06:21 PM
Bert 22 Dec 11 - 06:43 PM
Tootler 22 Dec 11 - 07:31 PM
GUEST,Joe G 22 Dec 11 - 07:48 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 22 Dec 11 - 08:13 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 22 Dec 11 - 09:34 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 23 Dec 11 - 05:53 AM
Newport Boy 23 Dec 11 - 06:29 AM
JohnInKansas 23 Dec 11 - 07:11 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 23 Dec 11 - 07:31 AM
JohnInKansas 23 Dec 11 - 07:55 AM
Zen 23 Dec 11 - 08:05 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 23 Dec 11 - 08:40 AM
GUEST,Joe G 23 Dec 11 - 08:43 AM
GUEST 23 Dec 11 - 08:44 AM
treewind 23 Dec 11 - 09:25 AM
GUEST,Joe G 23 Dec 11 - 06:14 PM
Tootler 23 Dec 11 - 07:37 PM
JohnInKansas 23 Dec 11 - 10:57 PM
Richard Bridge 23 Dec 11 - 11:47 PM
JohnInKansas 24 Dec 11 - 01:01 AM
treewind 24 Dec 11 - 05:45 AM
treewind 24 Dec 11 - 05:49 AM
Tootler 24 Dec 11 - 06:22 AM
Dorrington Lad 24 Dec 11 - 07:06 AM
JohnInKansas 24 Dec 11 - 03:09 PM
Tootler 24 Dec 11 - 04:19 PM
JohnInKansas 24 Dec 11 - 06:36 PM
GUEST,CJB 26 Dec 11 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,flubertyjub 26 Dec 11 - 02:19 PM
Joe Offer 26 Dec 11 - 03:58 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 26 Dec 11 - 04:03 PM
treewind 27 Dec 11 - 05:19 AM
Newport Boy 27 Dec 11 - 05:32 AM
Geoff the Duck 27 Dec 11 - 05:38 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 27 Dec 11 - 06:47 AM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 27 Dec 11 - 07:01 AM
DrugCrazed 27 Dec 11 - 07:49 AM
JohnInKansas 27 Dec 11 - 12:28 PM
GUEST, Tom Bliss 27 Dec 11 - 03:45 PM
Joe Offer 27 Dec 11 - 03:54 PM
JohnInKansas 27 Dec 11 - 04:34 PM
Tootler 27 Dec 11 - 04:56 PM
Joe Offer 27 Dec 11 - 05:15 PM
JohnInKansas 28 Dec 11 - 03:43 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 29 Dec 11 - 12:21 PM
Newport Boy 29 Dec 11 - 12:43 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 29 Dec 11 - 12:45 PM
JohnInKansas 29 Dec 11 - 01:41 PM
treewind 29 Dec 11 - 01:58 PM
Tootler 29 Dec 11 - 02:11 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 29 Dec 11 - 02:19 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 29 Dec 11 - 02:29 PM
JohnInKansas 29 Dec 11 - 03:55 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 29 Dec 11 - 04:26 PM
Newport Boy 29 Dec 11 - 04:34 PM
Newport Boy 29 Dec 11 - 04:43 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 29 Dec 11 - 05:07 PM
treewind 30 Dec 11 - 04:40 AM
JohnInKansas 30 Dec 11 - 11:49 AM
Geoff the Duck 31 Dec 11 - 08:31 AM
JohnInKansas 31 Dec 11 - 03:38 PM
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Subject: Tech: OpenOffice
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 22 Dec 11 - 06:21 PM

A recent e-newsletter gave a link to a survey by eWeek of "Stupid things that happened in 2012."

While the link is to a "slide show" – PowerPoint style, and I usually refuse to look at anything in that format since Power Point is only intended for the mentally impaired and/or by hopelessly downtrodden office serfs, my resolve was softened perhaps by the thought that perhaps a presentation on STUPIDITY requires a STUPID MEDIUM **.

The third slide in the pitch does make a comment that might be of interest to Open Office users:

Oracle's stewardship of the OpenOffice.org project turned into a clustered mess this year, as defectors released a competing, and arguably better, version of the productivity suite. The Document Foundation had set itself up in late 2010 as an organization truly committed to an open-source suite, in contrast to Oracle's treatment of products it had acquired as a result of its purchase of Sun Microsystems earlier that year. The foundation released the LibreOffice suite in January to relatively positive reviews. By mid-year, Oracle's lack of interest in OpenOffice.org was painfully evident and the company donated the suite to the Apache Software Foundation, where it seems to be going nowhere, having stalled at the 3.3 release while LibreOffice continues to evolve and grow.

The next slide (#4) has some cute comments on Mac progress, that might be of interest to some, and you're welcome to flip through the rest of them if you have nothing better to do. Most of the rest relate more to "networking" or industrial strength developments than to individual user concerns.

The thought here is that we do have a number of people using OpenOffice, and some might be interested in comparing LibreOffice. At the least, if OpenOffice support is degenerating, the need for an option might become more important in the (near?) future.

** Slide shows were invented by managers who can't direct their staff to do useful work. Preparation keeps the staff busy making "something pretty," without the necessity of having a staff with any real skills; and the focus of attention during presentation prevents the other participants from noticing that the boss is taking a nap while (pretending to be) giving the impression that he's interested in what the staff is doing. No useful information is ever conveyed by such presentations. Power Point IS BANNED in most productive companies.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Bert
Date: 22 Dec 11 - 06:43 PM

I've never liked PowerPoint, except maybe as a soporific.

I've used Open Office. It works but is a bit slow.

I'll have to try LibreOffice.


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Tootler
Date: 22 Dec 11 - 07:31 PM

As a University Lecturer, I found Power Point extremely useful.

I use Open Office as my normal Office Package and have done since just before I retired. I have found it very capable and no slower than MS Office on any computer I have owned - at least at the time I had both. Since going over to Linux as my OS, I no longer have MS Word available and I do not miss it.

I think the first release of Libre Office was essentially Open Office with the updates that were being worked on at the time Oracle took over Sun. I have Libre Office on my netbook but have not made a lot of use of it as I don't use the netbook that much for Office type tasks. What I have seen it is essentially the same interface as OO so if you are used to that you will not really need to learn anything new.


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 22 Dec 11 - 07:48 PM

This is very interesting and thanks to John for raising it - I was not aware of the developments - was about to download OO onto my netbook but perhaps Libre Office would be a better bet - would be interested to hear other views


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 22 Dec 11 - 08:13 PM

I've been using Open Office for years and it seems to run fine on any PC, albeit a bit slow to open. In the light of John's warning, for which thanks, I'll put LibreOffice on my partner's new netbook and we'll how it develops.


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 22 Dec 11 - 09:34 PM

We are back (returned) to the internet browser wars of 1995.

Android is a big player..
Java is struggling in an island sand pile.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

I refuse to give up my Win 98 Netscape and Outlook....Torvalds rule.


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 05:53 AM

Ubuntu (Linux) dropped OpenOffice as its standard distributed office package in favour of LibreOffice earlier this year (from the 11.04 release).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Newport Boy
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 06:29 AM

Most Linux distributions have moved or are moving to LibreOffice. I've been using it (Writer, Calc & Base) for 9 months now and there are a few significant improvements over OpenOffice. It's certainly quicker loading and seems snappier in use.

The main reason to switch is that LibreOffice is the one under active development - OpenOffice is dropping behind and losing users. I'm finding that a number of colleagues who are still on Windows are also switching from Microsoft Office, which makes exchanging files so much easier.

I should mention that I've never used Microsoft Office - I moved straight from Lotus Smartsuite to OpenOffice.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 07:11 AM

As a University Lecturer, I found Power Point extremely useful...

While at first I thought of spreading the rumor that Tootler was (once) one of those managers who likes his naps, I will agree that for a lecturer a Power Point slide show can be useful as an adjunct to a lecture. Publishing a PP or other slide show as a stand-alone article remains on my list of "stupids."

If the slide show is designed as it should be, and the only way one can reasonably be put together, it cannot show more than "highlights" or "summary points." As an accessory to a real presentation the slides can direct attention to the main point, while someone explains it; but the explanation must be a hand-out at the pitch, and most people who learned anything will keep the explanation and discard the PP crap.

The real reason the magazine editors have begun using the slide-show format likely is because it's harder for most people to copy and save their stuff. (Built in DRM?) My observation has to be that they seriously over-value what they're putting out. A recent review by one of the big financial think(?) tanks reported that among occupations requiring a college degree, ranked by average salaries, magazine and newspaper writers were at the bottom of the list. Maybe there's a reason. Even librarians (we all know who they are) came in a little above them (on average).

I looked at OpenOffice a while back, and although most people would find it fairly comparable to Word, I found quite a few Word functions that I couldn't replicate, or even imitate adequately in OO, and they are things that I use regularly. While some of the features might actually be buried somewhere and I just didn't find them, it looked like the learning curve for my needs would be rather steep. Most people quite probably would find it "as good as Word" for the uses they might have for Word.

Now that Microsoft has turned Word (2007 & later) into a kiddie toy, I probably will take another look at OpenOffice and/or LibreOffice if/when I'm forced to retire the present main machine.

I've found that Adobe has also made Photoshop Elements into a pinball machine emulation. The version I've been using has begun running into compatibility problems with Vista, and would be questionable on any later Windows, so IrfanView begins to look better every time my old PSE staggers.

The newer release of PS Elements that I bought to see if it would solve the compatibility issues is now on her machine, since her needs are a little less tech than mine and she uses it less often; but she doesn't much care for the changes either. Giving it to her didn't solve my problem, since she can't figure out how to get it to do what she used to do easily with older versions, so I end up having to try to figure it out anyway - and trying to explain it to her if I can find the answers. Less frequent (but much more intense?) involvement.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 07:31 AM

Thanks for raising this thread! I've been wondering about OO for awhile now because it's gotten/got so glitchy that I can no longer use it. I have a Mac laptop, and since the last OS upgrade (to 10.6.8, the last of the Leopards before Lion roared in and vanquished them) Open Office has just become impossible: multiple crashes and lengthy relaunches which offer to recover documents you don't want and never the one you do... etc...) I lost track of the number of increasingly bad-tempered Reports I sent.

Exactly the same situation at school, which has a network of big Mac desktops and is also on 10.6.8. They'd had OO installed on all our accounts (we have to do a lot of things globally) but have now taken it off again, and gone back to Word. As have I on my personal computer at home.

Will watch the new developments with interest. Is LibreOffice available for Mac, I wonder (SnowLeopard)? I admit I haven't done any homework on this yet, so please don't collectively jump on my head if the answer's obvious...

Great thread as usual, John, thanks -


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 07:55 AM

Bonnie -

If you're having Mac troubles, you might want to look at the fourth slide at the link in my first (opening) post. It said something about some Mac developments. It might not be particularly helpful, but it will give you some idea of what the big guys think of the latest Mac foxtails and fuzzy dice.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Zen
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 08:05 AM

Like Tootler I lecture at several universities and elsewhere and find Powerpoint type presentations very useful as an adjunct to a lecture to summarise key points.

I've been using Open Office for some time and will try out LibreOffice since it seems better supported... thanks for the heads up.


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 08:40 AM

Bonnie

LO is available for Mac for all version after Tiger (10.04), so it should be fine for SnowLeopard. LO System Requirements

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 08:43 AM

To those who are using libre Office how compatible is it with MS Word - I did have quite a few issues with formatting of folk club adverts with OO when imported back into word (or vice versa)

Cheers


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 08:44 AM

Libre Office incorporates many major improvements which had been originally introduced by a splinter group called Go-OO, of developers who had become frustrated with the sluggish response of Sun Microsystems (now Oracle) to new code offered to the project. Those changes included better importing of MS office files and many user interface improvements.

Libre Office has also had lots of dead code and general internal mess cleared up, and is a far fitter product than Open Office. It's not surprising that the major Linux distributions are moving to Libre Office, and many developers have joined in now they can actually get something done.

Go to libreoffice.org and try it. It's free and it works well. I've been using it (and OO before) for years.

The main problem with OO or LibreOffice for a few users is where a big investment has been made in development of Excel macros that don't easily port to LibreOffice. Rewriting that code could take some time.

For everybody else it's a fairly easy switch, apart from having to learn to do some things in a different way. But the longer you use it the more you appreciate that each and every upgrade to the latest version is as free as the first download, and all your old files are compatible with the new versions.


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: treewind
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 09:25 AM

First, anon GUEST above was me - didn't notice cookie expiry...

Joe: "To those who are using libre Office how compatible is it with MS Word"

If anything, better than OO because of the new MS office import code introduced by the Go-OO group and then folded into Libre Office. However, documents using frames or tables for layout and saved as .docx files still sometimes don't convert perfectly.


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 06:14 PM

Thanks very much - certainly sounds worth a try!


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Tootler
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 07:37 PM

While at first I thought of spreading the rumor that Tootler was (once) one of those managers who likes his naps...

I'm glad you didn't spread that rumour, JiK as I have never been a manager (with or without naps). I did suffer from naps in the year before I retired, though but about six months after I retired, I was diagnosed with bowel cancer and it turned out that wanting too many naps is one of the symptoms. If only I had known at the time as it caused me much embarrassment on a few occasions and I once crashed my car because of it - fortunately no other vehicle involved and the only damage was to the vehicle (and my pride).

You are right about PP being an adjunct and it was as a summary of main points that I used it. Being and Engineering Lecturer, I could also make sure that the students had the correct forms of important equations.

PS
The bowel cancer was dealt with by surgery. Fortunately the tumour had not penetrated the bowel wall and I was given the all clear a year ago - though I don't think you are ever truly clear.

PPS
I can now enjoy my naps with impunity :-)


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 10:57 PM

Tootler -

Glad to hear you're now napping with a clear conscience.

PP has its place, but the ubiquitous overuse is annoying, especially when used to avoid simply writing things better stated in plain text.

The notion that you have to a have a picture for everything especially detracts when you have to use something with no real connection to the ideas just to have "color" in the slide.

Even in engineering lectures, models and demos often seem more effective than slides; but of course the things that flash and spark and go poppity-boom aren't always available to all decent lecturers/teachers or for all the important ideas.

A commonly observed problem with the slide shows is that those who use them even as an adjunt aid seem to have a tendency to flip through them too fast to allow time for the students/audience to process the indeas or to make their own notes. It does take a good teacher/presenter to pay attention to whether the class is keeping up. (Sometimes there aren't enough of them awake to get a good sampling of whether the pace is okay, even if you watch for signs of lagards.)

Even for the slide show linked here, the default is to autorun at a pace that doesn't let you read the blurbs, so it's just a bunch of comic strip panels flashing past unless you pause it and step through manually (IMO). Sometimes the shows at the site seem to be on about the third or fourth slide by the time the page finishes loading so that there's a mouse response to allow clicking the pause (and I do have a decently fast connection).

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 11:47 PM

When lecturing law I have found PowerPoint a positive hindrance. I prefer to prepare proper lecture notes and hand them out and when I have a free run at doing that without interference from adherents to stupid standards, my students have told me that they liked it better too.


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 01:01 AM

Closer to the subject of OpenOffice and LibreOffice, although of only passing effect on the comparisons, it was recently reported that the ten year court battle by WordPerfect to claim that Microsoft "coerced them" into issuing a Windows compatible version in order to steal all their ideas and technology was dismissed by the court as "without grounds."

Having used both WordPerfect and Word for some years before Windows (compatibility didn't matter with DOS), I'm fairly confident that WP had little worth stealing once Word settled into viable form; but of course others are entitled to their own stupid opinions free to make their own assessments.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: treewind
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 05:45 AM

WP had little worth stealing once Word settled into viable form

A process that took some time. Early versions of Word were a bad joke. It sold because it was WYSIWYG (more or less) which WP for DOS wasn't, and WP was too slow in catching up with the Windows revolution.


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: treewind
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 05:49 AM

PS I meant Word for Windows - forgetting there was MS Word for DOS before that...


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Tootler
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 06:22 AM

The same was true of early versions of Open Office which certainly lacked functionality compared with MS Office of the time. It was only with v2 that Open Office became a worthwhile alternative to MS Office and even then, in the early iterations of v2.x, the spreadsheet lacked some important (to me) mathematical functions so I had to stick with Excel for some tasks for a while.

These days it doesn't matter as I don't have the need for such functions any more.


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Dorrington Lad
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 07:06 AM

I switched to Open Office a couple or three years ago and went to Libre Office when I transferred to Linux. I have not use a version of Word newer than Office '97. Libre Office and Open office will both produce doc files fully compatible with Microsoft Office and will read doc and docx files. I have used both programs to clean up flaky Office documents. The spreadsheets are nowhere near as comprehensive as excel but the differences only show at the limits of the features.

As I understand it, Sun never 'owned' Open Office. It was more that they were custodians, allowing Open Source programmers an opportunity to write some decent software. Sun would sell an 'enterprise version' to industry which was identical software but with tech support. This still the model for MySQL and is a similar setup to Fedora/RedHat. Sun owned the name open office and that went to Oracle but when Oracle wouldn't play the game, they were left with the name and software which was falling behind the curve. I wonder whether Apache will get together with the LibreOffice crowd?


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 03:09 PM

In the world of competitions, Microsoft has been attempting to promote their own search engine, and had persuaded Firefox to release a "Firefox Bing" version with Microsoft Bing pre-set as default for search.

The promotion apparently didn't get very far, but may have been what stimulated the agreement, just anounced, that Google will pay Mozilla ($300,000,000 (US)/yr?) to assure that they'll be the default search engine in Firefox releases. The agreement appears to be for the next 3 years.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Tootler
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 04:19 PM

In the world of competitions, Microsoft has been attempting to promote their own search engine, and had persuaded Firefox to release a "Firefox Bing" version with Microsoft Bing pre-set as default for search.

The promotion apparently didn't get very far ...


I'm not surprised. My favourite online map used to be Multimap. Clear maps, easy to scroll, good search facilities. When they introduced the satellite view the pictures were much clearer than Google and you could zoom in closer to find a location. They also had an aerial view which served much the same purpose as Google Street view before Google got in on the act which was also easier to navigate than Street view.

Then MS acquired them and integrated it with Bing and things went downhill. The mapping was poorer and less clear, the search box was almost hidden, the satellite view seemed to deteriorate, so I gave up on them. I now use Google, not as good as the old multimap but better than Bing.


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 06:36 PM

Ranging a little farther within the subject of alternative programs, we've had several threads on "archiving" of "stuff," but my search didn't turn up the ones where I made my most brilliant contributions, so I'll put in the note here about the recent item:

Vatican goes high-tech to preserve fragile ancient tomes
Library tu
rns to NASA for system to put 1,800-year-old manuscripts in digital format

One of the world's oldest libraries in Rome faces a huge problem — how to preserve 1,800-year-old manuscripts in a digital format that's readable for next-generation computers. A format designed to store images taken by satellites and orbital telescopes such as the Hubble Space Telescope could offer a solution to the Holy See's Vatican Library.

Archivists have already begun scanning the fragile, ancient tomes in the Vatican's collection with software that can transform old pages pressed against glass into an accurate, flat digital image. Such images saved in the flexible image transport system (FITS) format — designed by NASA and European space scientists in the 1970s — will allow computers built even 100 years from now to decode whatever information is stored.
[end]

A quick look for information on the FITS format found that it's primarily intended for preserving images, and I didn't find much of anything about whether it (or the methods used in it) could be applied to other things like editable text, music, or video.

I also failed to find anything that told exactly how "anyone" who wants to recover the images a hundred years hence would do it, or what hardware/skill sets would be required.

Perhaps one of our astronomy buffs has used it and could offer comments.(?)

I've avoided using the "native" formats of the image handling programs I have (mainly because I might not be able to afford updates of "back-compaitible versions with in my timespan)," for archiving images; and idiot that I am have selected the "minimally compressed jpg" format for nearly all such saved info. My rationale was that jpg has been around longer than most other competitive forms, and appears to remain "robust" for now, permitting the assumption that some program should be able to open them within the time span within which anyone might want to. There are, unfortunately, about a dozen defined "flavors" of jpg and the specification allows "tailoring" to create additional variants; and not all programs open all the different ones I've found in circulation. (A couple of fairly popular programs save a ".jpg" that can't be opened by most other programs.)

I suppose it comes down to "what alternative image editors" are we using?" for this thread.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: GUEST,CJB
Date: 26 Dec 11 - 02:13 PM

Thank you for the info. about the demise of OpenOffice. LibreOffice is so much faster and a doddle to download and install.


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: GUEST,flubertyjub
Date: 26 Dec 11 - 02:19 PM

That's very prescient, John. It's great to know the pitfalls we'll face in 2012! Did your opening post intend to read 2011?


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Dec 11 - 03:58 PM

So, what's the consensus? Should I uninstall OpenOffice and replace it with LibreOffice, or is it still too soon to tell?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 26 Dec 11 - 04:03 PM

Do you have to uninstall anything? Why not just have both and see which you prefer? (On a Mac, at least after OSX 10.6, there's not even any contest!)

Switching off now to have a hot port by the fire. Wishing everyone here the joys of the season and a (more) prosperous New Year -


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: treewind
Date: 27 Dec 11 - 05:19 AM

"Should I uninstall OpenOffice and replace it with LibreOffice, or is it still too soon to tell?"

I think you can install them side by side if you're nervous about it, but I doubt you'll find anything that Open Office did that Libre Office can't do. It is after all much of the same code with bug fixes, improvements and bloat removal (there was a lot of dead code in OO, apparently) Files in all the ODF formats are completely compatible between the two, of course.

For me, Open Office has the feel of a dinosaur about it now.


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Newport Boy
Date: 27 Dec 11 - 05:32 AM

Joe - unless you have very complex documents (presentations particularly) that you need to share with OO users, I would go for LibreOffice. There are already enough improvements to be noticeable, and I think OO is going to drop further behind quite quickly.

And, as Guest,CJB says, LibreOffice is much snappier in use.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 27 Dec 11 - 05:38 AM

Joe - no need to uninstall. I currently have a bunch of stuff I am using both Open and Libre Office to edit.
Libre Office will open some files that Open Office is not able to, but stuff you were already doing in Open Office can still be edited with the programme you are familiar with.
I personally use portable versions found at http://portableapps.com/, which can be run on a Windoze PC from USB stick, or just copied to any hard drive without installing it on the machine. The Portable Apps Suite includes many other useful programmes.
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 27 Dec 11 - 06:47 AM

WOW Geoff, thanks for that brilliant link! Quack right back atcha...


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 27 Dec 11 - 07:01 AM

Cut off my head and my neck reads 'Mac', and I only abandoned Clarisworks, (sorry, 'Appleworks') when I absolutely had to - and I still use it for some things. (Heck, I still prefer MacWritePro over all others, but it's no longer runnable, even in Rosetta).

So I'd just got used to Office when this docx nonsense started. So I began using OO to open docx files, and save them out as docs.

It's a pain. OO does not display docx amendment notes and blether correctly (something up with which we scriptwriters always have to put), and gets into a loop of compatibility warnings which are by no means easy to fathom. And sometimes they client can't open the doc I, reluctantly, send. (I'll happily actually write in anything - even Stickies - but sadly 99% of other people demand Word, so that's what has to leave this desk).

Will LO open docx nicely, and save sensibly to Word?

Tom


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: DrugCrazed
Date: 27 Dec 11 - 07:49 AM

It depends Tom. The problem with the .docx format is that the damn thing is a mess - whereas .doc was fine.

.docx did images terribly, so I installed a totally legal copy of Word for group assignments. If I'm working alone, .doc is fine.


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 27 Dec 11 - 12:28 PM

If you have a version of Word that uses the docx, docm, etc "new formats" natively, it should include the ability to "Save As" the recent older .doc instead of as .docx. When you do a save, the file type bar will show "Word 97 - 2003 (*.doc)." You don't have to ever use the .docx format just because Microsoft says "it's better."

If you have an older version of Word, you can download "filters" to let the older ones open and read the .docx formatted files, and I believe the filter lets you save files in that format, although the older program may not let you include quite all of the supposed "features" the new versions can use in the format.

I've been using Word 2007, with "native .docx," for a couple of years and don't have any .docx files on my computer. Of course, I'm a "lightweight" user since semi-retirement, so I only have about 15,004 .doc files on active drives.

As a young lady friend says the chef/instructor at the Paris Cordon-Bleu school explained to her, "the best thing you can say about iceberg lettuce is 'you don't have to use it.'"

You don't have to use .docx, .docm, .dotx, .dotm just because they're there.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss
Date: 27 Dec 11 - 03:45 PM

Sorry John, you've lost me there..

I never use docx or any of these other ones - of course. I just have to open them in something/anything, and then Save As a normal, old-fashioned doc - which clients and contacts can open, whatever system they've decided to buy.

I'm still using Office 2004, which is the last available version that works, and is perfectly adequate in terms of functionality.

As you saying I can get a patch for my Office 04 that will open docxes and save as normal docs? On a mac?

If so where so?

Thanks for your help.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Dec 11 - 03:54 PM

I don't know about Office 2004 and Macs, Tom - but Office 2003 for Windows has a converter that allows opening of *.docx files. I would be surprised if the same weren't true for the Mac versions. This page (click) gives instructions.

The reason I'd want to uninstall Open Office is that it has a fairly large component that constantly runs in the background on my computer, and I'm getting a little low on resources. If I'm never going to need Open Office, I might as well uninstall it. I have Office 2007 on my computer now, and that's what I used primarily. I keep Open Office and a number of other programs I don't use myself, because I often have to talk people through processes.

My laptop has only the programs that  I  use myself, and it runs Windows XP with no sluggishness. My desktop with Windows 7 and 8 gigs of RAM and all those programs I rarely use, is a bit sluggish at times.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 27 Dec 11 - 04:34 PM

Joe O -

With 8 GB of RAM Win7 shouldn't be noticeably sluggish.

If you're being bogged down with an excess of programs that load at Startup you may want to take a look at taking some of them out of the Startup folder so that they won't load at every startup. Just because the program installer put them there doesn't mean you have to leave them in Startup. You shouldn't really have to take them off the machine just to keep them from hogging resources when you're not using them.

If your hard drive is really cramped for free space some sluggishness might happen with memory paging on the drive. General rule is that you should keep at least a third of the drive empty for "process use" but that depends some on how big the drive is.

Of course clutter that you don't need is just clutter, so keeping things clean is usually a help.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Tootler
Date: 27 Dec 11 - 04:56 PM

With external hard drives being much more affordable, I now unload most files that I am not immediately using on to an external drive and only keep current files on the computer's own hard drive. That way you can ensure you have adequate space on your internal hard drive.

I also have a completely separate disk for the originals of media files - pictures, audio, video and load the originals from my camera, camcorder and audio recorder directly on to it and then import the files I want to work on to my hard drive.

My internal hard drive is 250GB and has just 68 GB on it - both programs and data but I have 270 GB of data on a 500 GB external hard drive. Admittedly much of the stuff on the external hard drive is duplicates but the size of the task of sorting it and the risk of losing an important file means that it is not worth pruning. I was recently able to recover some files that I thought I had lost so not deleting stuff on the external drive proved its worth.


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Dec 11 - 05:15 PM

Yeah, John, I know it's just a matter of housekeeping. Trouble with housekeeping, is you have to get around to it.

Reminds me of a song from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: "Everybody Ought to Have a Maid" - a thoughtful and deserving girl to putter around the house...

-Joe-
Isn't this about the most sexist thing you've ever heard? Clever, though...


[SENEX]
Everybody ought to have a maid,
Everybody ought to have a working girl,
Everybody ought to have a lurking girl
To putter around the house.
Everybody ought to have a maid,
Everybody ought to have a menial
Consistently congenial
And quieter than a mouse.
Oh, oh, wouldn't she be delicious,
Tidying up the dishes,
Neat as a pin.
Oh, oh, wouldn't she be delightful,
Sweeping out,
Sleeping in.

Everybody ought to have a maid,
Someone who you hire when you're short of help
To offer you the sort of help
You never get from a spouse:
Fluttering up the stairway,
Shuttering up the windows,
Cluttering up the bedroom,
Buttering up the master,
Puttering all around the house!
Oh, oh, wouldn't she be delicious,
Tidying up the dishes,
Neat as a pin.
Oh, oh, wouldn't she be delightful,
Sweeping out,
Sleeping in.

Everybody ought to have a maid,
Someone who in fetching you your slipper will
Be winsome as a whipporwill
And graceful as a grouse:
Skittering down the hallway,
Flittering through the parlor,
Tittering in the pantry,
Littering up the bedroom--

[SENEX & PSEUDOLUS]
Twittering all around the house!

[HYSTERIUM]
A maid?

[SENEX]
A maid.

[PSEUDOLUS]
A maid.

[ALL]
A maid!
Everybody ought to have a maid,
Everybody ought to have a serving-girl,
A loyal and unswerving girl,
To putter around the house.
Oh, oh,

[HYSTERIUM]
Think of her at the dustbin,
'Specially when she's just been
Traipsing about.

[ALL]
Oh, oh, wouldn't she be delightful,

[HYSTERIUM]
Living in,

[SENEX]
Giving out.

[ALL]
Everybody ought to have a maid,
Daintily collecting bits of paper n' strings,
Appealing in her apron strings
And graceful as a grouse.

[HYSTERIUM]
Pattering through the attic,

[SENEX]
Chattering in the cellar,

[PSEUDOLUS]
Clattering in the kitchen,

[SENEX]
Flattering in the bedroom,

[ALL]
Puttering all around the house!
The house!
The house!

[LYCUS]
A maid?

[HYSTERIUM]
A maid.

[PSEUDOLUS]
A maid.

[SENEX]
A maid!

[ALL]
Everybody ought to have a maid,
Someone who's efficient and reliable,
Obedient and pliable,
And quieter than a mouse!
Oh, oh, wouldn't she be so nimble,
Fiddling with her thimble,
Mending her gown.
Oh, oh, wouldn't she be delightful,

[LYCUS]
Cleaning up,

[SENEX]
Leaning down.

[ALL]
Everybody ought to have a maid,
Someone who'll be busy as a bumblebee
And even if you grumble, be
As graceful as a grouse.

[LYCUS]
Wriggling in the anteroom,

[HYSTERIUM]
Jiggling in the dining room,

[PSEUDOLUS]
Giggling in the living room,

[SENEX]
Wiggling in the other rooms,

[ALL]
Puttering all around the house!
The house!
The house!
The house!


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Dec 11 - 03:43 AM

Joe O -

I think I mentioned an old computer that we've had in and out of the shop several times. Their "experts" finally conceded that "something's messed up" and offered to reinstall the OS. When I got it home I found that they didn't replace the Vista Home Premium that we bought it with, but instead put Vista Home Basic on it.

I'm still trying to figure out how to run the crippled ^%$@#&! OS. Hadn't realized just how many things were left out of the Basic relative to the next step up.

I did notice that he was kind enough to put LibreOffice on it - or at least there's a desktop icon for it. And it looks like he managed whatever he did without losing all the non-system files, although all the other programs were gone.

I may get around to taking a look at it; but we intended using the machine as a dedicated copier, to get a few hundred old VHS tapes onto DVDs. Since you have to "play them in real time" with the copy utility we got, it'll be pretty busy until we get tired of that usage, so it may be a while. (The Roxio "copier" has crashed the PC twice in the three setup burns we tried; but I think I've got it sort of figured out now.)

It was some reassurance(???) to see that LibreOffice is what that particular group of bandits has chosen for their cheapskate customers (like us, in this case).

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 29 Dec 11 - 12:21 PM

OK, so I downloaded the latest version of Libre Office (for Mac OSX 10.6.8) but my document will only open in Open Office (with that familiar blue "Oracle" opening logo-box) and the .odt file extension. What extension is Libre supposed to have? Is it also an .odt?

I got no "open with" option - it just automatically comes up in Open Office even though that's not my default application; and when I try to "Save as…" it only gives me Word (which I have installed on this machine) or Open Office. No Libre in sight. I don't want to uninstall OO because I still have too many things in it (yes, I know I could open them in Word but have reasons why I don't want to right now).

I clicked "Text Document" straight from the Libre Office menu that offers all the various choices (text doc, spreadsheets, database etc) but can't seem to get it to BE Libre Office. What am I doing wrong?


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Newport Boy
Date: 29 Dec 11 - 12:43 PM

I don't know the Mac way of doing things, but LibreOffice text documents are .odt. The 'Save As' in LO should offer 'ODF Text Document - .odt' as first choice. Can you do things the other way - open LibreOffice Writer, then Open your existing .odt document?

Phil


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 29 Dec 11 - 12:45 PM

Bonnie

The default extension in LO is .odt (ODF document format if you use Save As - Linux version on the machine I'm working on).

If the document opens in OO it sounds as though the default for .odf is still OO not LO (I don't know how these things work on the Mac, so I can't offer any further help in changing the default open program). In the file manager on Linux (and Windows IIRC - I'm not using that so much these days) the right click context menu Open With option for a file has an Other Application that lets you select a program not already in the list of alternatives to the default; I would have thought the Mac had a similar option

If you use the File menu in LO it should just open a .odf file if you select it.

Hope that helps

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 29 Dec 11 - 01:41 PM

Joe - and others:

A quick look at the LibreOffice installed by the service shop on one of our computers poses critical questions about features that I've considered essential, that are included in Microsoft Word but that I didn't find in my initial look at LibreOffice.

EXAMPLES?

LO includes an "Insert|Bookmark" function but I found no place where I can easily "Insert|Link" so that I can go to a bookmark by clicking the link. The capability may be included, but if it's there it's buried in some place that wasn't obvious to me. Links in documents, to go quickly to a place in the document, or to open a related document, are features that I use frequently in Microsoft Word, and that I consider essential.

I also failed to find any reference in LO to an ability to insert "active functions." In Microsoft Word these are called "fields" and I use a few kinds very often for a variety of purposes, and a few more exotic ones occasionally. The trivial example for "field functions" is for numerical calculations, where in MWord Ctl-F9 inserts a field, typing "=" followed by an equation enters the field value, "F9" calculates the result, and Ctl-Shift-F9 "unlinks" so that the text result is all that's left.

I also have a number of MWord documents that display and record date and time information for logging transactions, like when/whether I take all my meds or am about to die because I missed something (according to my doctors).

In MWord, at top of my "medications log" document, I have a link to the insertion point boookmark where I track when (if) I take my meds. Just below the bookmark where I arrive when I click the link, the field {DATE \@ "d MMMM yyyy" \* MERGEFORMAT} shows the current date in the form "29 December 2011" and ({DATE \@ dddd}) tells me it's (Thursday). A list of the meds shows each line with {TIME \@ "HH:mm" \* MERGEFORMAT} at the beginning, that displays the current time (24 hour clock) next to a particular med. I can copy the "live" lines and paste them above the bookmark and into the log, and when I actually take each pill, F9 updates the date/time to the instantaneously current "11:15", and Ctl-Shift-F9 "unlinks" it so that only the (plain text) time when I took the pill remains as a permanent record.

Since I have several medications to take, some of which require different dosages depending on the day of the week, and some to be taken at specific different times in the day, a log of this kind is the only easy and reliable way way I've found to keep track of them.

Also at the top of the same document, I have a list of separate other documents, with a link to each, so that I can open any of the other documents related to my "medical records" with a single click. In one of these other documents I track Appointments scheduled and completed, another keeps track of medications ordered and/or received. A third linked document is where I keep my notes on "stupid things doctors have told me to do" so that I have them handy for the next appointment.

Additionally, when taking "web notes," a pdf is much simpler to download than copy & paste to a document when there's one available, but the pdf does not generally record the source site address. I have my browser set so that if I print a web page it shows the URL in the footnote, but that's often truncated and incomplete. I frequently make a separate MWord document to record the missing information, with a link to the pdf, when that happens. If there are several "associated downloads," I can have them all listed and linked in a single .doc with nearly instant access to all the ones that "belong together."

These functions were included when Microsoft Word was a DOS program (ca 1990?), and are essential to me; and although Microsoft has attempted to conceal them and prevent new users from knowing they exist (since Word 2007 at least) they still work in MWord, and if I don't find them in LibreOffice (or OpenOffice) those programs won't meet my needs.

A deeper look into LO and/or OO may find capabilities I missed with my brief look so far, but I can't be too optimistic about it.

If all you need to do is type some letters and print, LO looks much like a slightly clunky imitation of the first Word for Windows from the early 90s era, and is probably good enough. But it doesn't appear to include significant parts of the real power that was in MWord when it was a DOS program.

I can't blame the people who are working at producing the open programs, since only those who had to work at learning what Word could and can do are likely to even know of the existence of many useful functions that are there, much less what they're good for. But I use, and NEED, a lot of them that, for now, don't appear to be in the other programs - yet.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: treewind
Date: 29 Dec 11 - 01:58 PM

I don't know about bookmarks, but in LO writer, inserting fields is:
Insert -> Fields -> (choose a field, or "other..." and choose lots more)

It does a lot more than early Word for Windows, but some of the features are hard to find and hard to work out from the documentation. I'm not sure that MS office is all that much easier, except that if you ask around it doesn't take so long to find someone who knows the answer (usually someone at the next desk)... but there are some online forums where you can get help from other OO/LO users.

There are more training courses in MS products too. My wife went on training courses for Excel when she was in an admin job, and now when she uses Open Office she complains that it can't do various simple things, but of course it can - you just have to press different keys or find a different menu or mouse gesture from the one you were trained to do with Excel.


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Tootler
Date: 29 Dec 11 - 02:11 PM

I've just received the following email from Apache:

Subject: Now available: Apache OpenOffice Announcement List
Date: Mon, 26 Dec 2011 19:29:21 -0500
From: Rob Weir
Reply-To: ooo-dev@incubator.apache.org
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

The Apache OpenOffice Project Management Committee is pleased to
announce the availability of our new Announcement mailing list. This
is a low-volume list which will be used to announce the availability
of OpenOffice betas and releases, to issue security bulletins, and to
report similar relevant information. This is not a discussion list.
It will be used only for authoritative announcements regarding Apache
OpenOffice.

We encourage all OpenOffice users and other interested parties to
subscribe to this list

It then goes on to describe how to subscribe.

Interesting!


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 29 Dec 11 - 02:19 PM

John

I've just had a quick look at LO (I actually don't use it much) and some of the things you're looking for are definitely there.

Specifically, the linking to other files is via Insert/Hyperlink and the Document tab (ctrl-click opens the referred doc).

There are also various within file linkages present: Insert/Cross-reference lets you create references locations and insert references to them (also to pages/paras etc)

I haven't looked at the functions but there are a couple of tabs on the Cross-reference that seem to be related to that: Functions and Variables seem to have several options. As I said, I don't actually have much use for it at the moment, so I'd have to have a look at the manual to see if what you want with the formulas can be done. My first thought would be that it could be.

(I'm using the Linux version here, but I imagine the same features are present on all platforms).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 29 Dec 11 - 02:29 PM

Thanks for the answers above. Haven't yet figured out how to globally re-default (if that's a word) though I know there will be a way to do it, just haven't stumbled upon it so far. But I've managed to make myself a workaround LO template from which I can clone everything, or else convert individual files to LO and then Save, so I'm now happy. I only need it to do fairly simple things.

Thanks for such quick & helpful answers. One brief question, since I'm posting anyway (haven't had a chance to experiment with this yet): I found that using columns, which I do quite frequently, became increasingly unsatisfactory in OO - the tabs would not work consistently or at all, it gave me ugly horrible text boundary-lines which didn't print out but were nasty & distracting on the screen and which I utterly loathed and detested and abominated. (Am I making my feelings clear, I wonder?)

Somebody puhleeeeez tell me that LO behaves itself column-wise, especially that its tabs play nicely and don't fight with the other formatting. Otherwise I think I'm good to go, so thanks lads!


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 29 Dec 11 - 03:55 PM

inserting fields is:
Insert -> Fields -> (choose a field, or "other..." and choose lots more)


In the LO that's on my machine, there is no "Fields" (or hyperlink) on the Insert menu and the "Other" choice doesn't show anything useful. It's possible that the (censored) at the computer shop loaded an obsolete (or defective) version, so I'll have to look for a current one, and/or a manual.

It does a lot more than early Word for Windows How early are you talking about?

Although there have been a few "tweaks," Word for DOS ca 1991 did everything that current Microsoft Word does. (I didn't think you were that ancient.) Some of my current documents using lots of the "tricks" are imports from the DOS version, and all the functions that I put in the originals still work. As is probably the case with the other programs, you have to know, at least vaguely, what you want to do in order to find that you can do them, and Word 2007 and later have made it extremely difficult to look up anything other than the frippery that was added. (I don't find the 800+ "buttons" on the top 8 menues (the "ribbons) helpful, especially since each of those leads to ~50 or more "toy presets" that I have to skip past to get to - parts of - a real menu.)

Bonnie: In most wp programs I've used (5 or 6 different ones) ragged columns were usually caused by overlapping the columns through multiple paragraphs, some containing different tab settings. In MWord, selecting the whole bunch and Format|Tabs|Delete All (Alt-o, T, Alt-A) and then setting one set of tabs for the whole selection usually cleaned it up.

Different "paragraph styles" applied to paragraphs (each line is usually a paragraph) within the columns could sometimes cause the problem, but I haven't looked deeply enough at LO or OO to get to styles, so cant say if that's a possibility. If you've been rearranging formats, it's possible that some "style confusion" has crept in?

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 29 Dec 11 - 04:26 PM

John

The version I have is 3.4.4 and Insert has a host of options including Fields, Hyperlink, Bookmark and Cross-reference.

(Strangely their web download page Libre Office Downloading Instructions refers to version 3.3 for all three platforms shown, though the actual Download page shows final version of 3.4.4 available for all of them as well; obviously they haven't updated everything!).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Newport Boy
Date: 29 Dec 11 - 04:34 PM

Bonnie - I don't use columns much, but you can remove the guidelines using View, Text boundaries. I don't know quite what you mean by tabs behaving - I only ever use tabs in columns for list numbering, and I have no problems there.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Newport Boy
Date: 29 Dec 11 - 04:43 PM

I have version 3.3.2 in (virtual) XP, and that has the same options in Insert as 3.4.4 in Linux - including those listed by Mick. It's an easy (and FREE) update to the latest version, John. (Since I don't actually use the XP version, I haven't bothered to update).

Phil


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 29 Dec 11 - 05:07 PM

> ragged columns were usually caused by overlapping the columns through multiple paragraphs, some containing different tab settings

They weren't ragged, they were outlined with text boundary lines. And it only started doing this much later: was fine for ages.


> you can remove the guidelines using View, Text boundaries

Nope. Been there, done that. And click as I may, Open. Office. Simply. Would. Not. Do. It.

So I switched back to Word and have now also downloaded Libre. There. That showed it.

p

[that's aimed at OO, not the folks in this thread]

Hey... put them together and they spell POO. Ok, leaving now...


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: treewind
Date: 30 Dec 11 - 04:40 AM

"In the LO that's on my machine, there is no "Fields" (or hyperlink) on the Insert menu"

For reference, I was looking at the Word processor on LibreOffice 3.4.0 OOO340m1 (Build:12) according to help->about. It's the Linux version I looked at just now, but I'm used to using the Windows version and they mostly behave the same way, certainly for straightforward menu selections like that.

So it's strange that you aren't seeing an "insert field" function.


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 30 Dec 11 - 11:49 AM

Aparently the LibreOffice on my machine isn't up to snuff. The appearance of what opens is much like early versions of Microsoft Office, and what I do find present in the menues is quite similar. The functions I mentioned, as examples, apparently just aren't there in what's loaded on our machine.

As our intention was to use the computer for another purpose, it is likely to be a while before I'll have time to do anything more with LO, but the reports about what's supposed to be in LO are encouraging, and may help others with deciding whether to use LO and in helping those who do.

Responses thus far are appreciated, and I would hope that the discussion will continue to dig out questions that others may have now. I'll try to watch the thread and keep notes, but won't be able to do much more investigating of LO immediately.

We have two primary machines, one Vista and one Win7, and both have versions of Microsoft Office 2007 installed. The changes from earlier Office versions are annoying, but we don't really have cause to learn another system until we're forced to replace the machines or the software we have, and I'd prefer to avoid additional program clutter on the ones we do business on. The machine that has the pseudo-LibreOffice installed has other problems and will be busy with its own dedicated use for some time, and thus far has only limited network connection for downloading new programs.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 31 Dec 11 - 08:31 AM

John - Once again I will refer to the Portable Apps Suite. For me one of its strengths is that Nothing actually needs to be "Installed" on your PC. By that I mean that each programme is self contained within its own folder and keeps its settings and "memories" in sub folders. As such none of it adds stuff to the PC Registry, and if you want to remove a programme, you just delete the folder it is in. This also means that they will run from any memory device your PC will read, so you can use USB sticks, put it on an SD card, any external hard drive, or just a folder placed ANYWHERE on your computer's fixed drives.
If you want to update to a newer version, you just need to copy the folders where the "personal settings" are stored, install the new version then copy your personal settings to the relevant folder on the new installation.
Unlike much "Installed software" the portable programmes in the suite do not automatically load themselves into the background, and hence hog your computer's working memory and resources without you knowing.
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Tech: OpenOffice
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 31 Dec 11 - 03:38 PM

Geoff -

I've bookmarked the PortableAps page you linked, and will take a look at it when I have more time.

At present, my main problem is finding the time to mess with new software, with all my other important activities (like taking my naps, keeping track of my meds, drinking - badly neglected, and catching up on my accumulated reading material).

I noted that the PA site included a "recommended by Popular Science." I don't think I've seen it on the mag racks recently, and wasn't sure it was still being published.

Goeing back through my reading materials I did find an oldish issue of Popular Mechanics that apparently was given to me by "someone." Reading through it I learned that the British had recently test-launched a captured V2, military support troops were working on providing "running water for the Phillipines" and work on eradicating malaria using the newly discovered mystery chemical called "DDT" in Manila was ongoing.

That issue also included complete plans for building your own "3 tube radio receiver" and an "advanced design" with 5 tubes. The Dutch were busy patching the leaking dikes, and had recovered about half of the farmland flooded by British air attacks. 300 pages, shelf price 25 cents (30 cents in Canada).

The prize goes to whoever can guess what year that one was from, which might give an idea of how far behind I am in my reading. (I'm a little nearer up to date with my drinking, but I may click another step on catching up later today.)

John


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