Best MSOffice Version?

Any thoughts on what version of Office is best? I’m using Microsoft Office 2000 right now, but have a chance to upgrade the home machines to Office 2003 Pro. I’ve no complaints with 2000, I was just wondering if you folks knew of any advantages to the upgrade to the later version (even Office XP, if you know).

If you use something completely different, open source or whatever, feel free to chime in too.

Thanks.

-Amanpour

I have 2003 installed at home and use 2000 at work - without a doubt the help function for Excel in 2000 is far better than that of 2003. It’s to the point where I am probably going to uninstall 2003 and go back to 2000 because it’s so annoying to find worksheet functions properly in the help file.

If Office 2000 has everything you need I wouldn’t upgrade. I bought Office XP Student and Teachers addition and really liked it. Especially the clipboard funtions. My main complaint with Office XP was that I had to call MS everytime I upgraded my computer and wanted to reinstall Office XP. So I bought Office 2000 Business Edition when I found a used copy for $60. I no longer needed to call MS. However I went back to Office XP when I discovered that I could activate it again over the internet.

XP. Avoid 2003 like the plague, please.

If you use Outlook at all, 2003 is well worth the upgrade. Really nice redesign of the program with much better performance.

About the only other 2003 enhancement I’ve done much with is the cool new “reading” view in Word.

I think XML support is the other big addition, if you need that sort of thing.

Office97 was the peak. It all went downhill from there.
Seriously, and this is not relevant for you, they majorly screwed hebrew support after 97.
They just finished upgrading to Office2000 where I work, and everyone was begging the sys admin to switch them back to 97.
I wonder if this happened with all RTL languages.

Nice to meet another Israeli here.

I’d have to say Office XP was integrated at my workplace flawlessly - Hebrew and all.

I still use Office 97 at home, Just don’t need any of that fancy stuff anyway.

-Assaf

I agree that Outlook 2k3 is a good email client (especially if you have an Exchange 2003 server; RPC over HTTP alone is worth the upgrade). However, for everything else, I’ve got my users with Office 2000. The newer versions don’t offer anything worth upgrading to, IMO.

I don’t use Outlook at all. I was considering it for a few minutes, until Supertanker told me what they call it around his office: Lookout.

I guess I’ll just stand pat with 2000 until XP comes my way.

-Amanpour

I don’t use Outlook at all. I was considering it for a few minutes, until Supertanker told me what they call it around his office: Lookout.

Oh my. That’s funny. Can’t believe I hadn’t heard it before.

Of course, it wouldn’t be funny if there wasn’t a grain of truth to it.

I do like the functionality of 2003 better than XP. The thesaurus is much more useful, and there are a number of features that have been effectively streamlined. The software is better, and there are a few interface tweaks which made it worth the upgrade (for me anyway).

But it’s true the help sucks. MS is trying to create this “next generation” AI and it ain’t working. They’ve also totally borked the auto-bullet feature in Word for some unfathomable reason.

The help function in MS Office has taken a leap backwards with every revision since they first introduced that annoying animated helper assistant. It isn’t just the kitschy cartoon puke assistant that makes it so obnoxious - the help function seems both clunkier and actively disrupts you from using the product, neither of which seem to be the intention. In the earlier Office revisions, the Office help function was the same as a regular app’s help function. A little pop-up window would come up and you could search for terms or go through an index or appendix. Clean, elegant, easy to use - perfect.

Compare that to Office 2000, which is what I’m using now. Using the help function is like playing an 80’s adventure game. When I click on the help function, I am immediately challenged by MS Office’s end boss, the smugly winking paper clip. The only way to defeat him? Beat MS Office’s incompetent help text parser by phrasing my request in the exact other-worldly syntax that I have previously memorized by the mistakes I’ve learned facing the boss a thousand times before. And if I’m successful? Instead of a pop-up window, the entire Excel window resizes itself to half-screen and the other half fills up with the help window, which is somehow even more intrusive and hard to work with than the pop-up window it replaced.

It’s gotten slightly better with the 2003 online integration thing, but not much.

As far as features, 2003 is the best. No reason to get any other version unless you’re totally strapped for cash.

Heh. My personal, and legit copy of 2k3 Pro cost me 17.99 UKP through some “Work at home” deal MS has with my employer. Technically, I’m supposed to stop using it if I change employers. Realistically, they can bite me. It’s mine now, and for only eighteen pounds.

Outlook a good mail client? Don’t make me laugh!

Now Now, don’t be prejudiced against Outlook. I challenge you to name another mail client that has as many virus-enabling and proprietary lock-in features. Go ahead, try it. I dare you.

Now Now, don’t be prejudiced against Outlook. I challenge you to name another mail client that has as many virus-enabling and proprietary lock-in features. Go ahead, try it. I dare you.[/quote]

I… well… see… Um… No Mas! You win! :lol:

www.openoffice.org

Never look back.

Sure, but is OpenOffice completely interoperable with MS Office?

Its nice to have an open source/free alternative, but if no one your company interacts with uses it and cannot read its files, then its moot.

It’s at about 95% with Word docs. I don’t do much with spreadsheets or presentations so I couldn’t comment on those areas of compatibility.

I do use it every day at work and I get by. Sometimes things that people send me look funny, something things I send them look funny, but we all communicate. The only time it makes me nervous is documents being sent to a customer. Those have to look sharp and professional, so I generally send them to one of the marketing people who do that sort of thing frequently and can make my ramblings look good :).