Open Office Question

Win 7 upgrade question:

Have no idea where my old Office CD is. People have recommended Open Office. This is for my home PC, running full Office at work (latest version, with Ribbons, etc.)

Key questions about Open Office:

  1. Writer/Word - will the Open Office app open and read all Word docs?
  2. Same question for the spreadsheet
  3. and same question for whatever the PowerPoint app is
  4. Is there an Open Office app that can read my old Outlook PST for my archived old mail?


For the first three questions, yes. I’m not sure on the last one, but I don’t think so.

  1. Writer/Word - will the Open Office app open and read all Word docs?

[INDENT]Yes, it should be able to read in 99% of word docs without any issue.[/INDENT]

  1. Same question for the spreadsheet

[INDENT]Yes, it should be able to read in 99% of excel spreadsheets without any issue. My customer did find one macro (some old vb thing) that OpenOffice wasn’t able to run and I had to ask an OpenOffice developer to write a conversion for it, which is in now. Also excel 2007 supports more than 256 columns and OpenOffice (and all earlier versions of Excel) are limited to 256 columns.[/INDENT]

  1. and same question for whatever the PowerPoint app is

[INDENT]Yes, again 99% of them should be fine.[/INDENT]

  1. Is there an Open Office app that can read my old Outlook PST for my archived old mail?

[indent]I have no idea.[/indent]

Open Office does not include an email app, so you’re out of luck on the fourth one… but you can just use Thunderbird or whatever other free email client to import the contents of your old .pst.

If you’re getting the student discount Windows 7, might as well do this, too:

Open Office is good at opening and reading Word/Excel/other MSOffice files, but beware trying to save some of them, cause it sometimes loses some of the formatting when it tries to save them. That’s one reason I quit using it, in fact. I got a lot of docs from others that I needed to edit, and I couldn’t resave them without losing formatting.

I would switch from Office in a heartbeat if anything could handle Track Changes in Word, which pretty much every editor on the planet uses. So far I haven’t found anything that preserves the comments.

I was using Open Office but had to switch to the Ms Office package since as far as I could tell, the spreadsheet program in Open Office has incredibly shitty data analysis, and specifically no regression analysis. I could be wrong but I couldn’t find an option for it anywhere and all I found by googling was public requests for someone to write a data analysis feature into it.

Do you have any specific examples of the type of formatting that isn’t saved?

I have the Word document reader downloaded and every time I get a message about formatting after I edit a Word doc in OO, I save anyways and check it out and never see any changes in formatting.

The people using Word might.

I figured it was more the inner workings that are modified but the display comes out to be the same. Therefore I guess I don’t really care.

I can only relate hearsay, but I know people that tried switching to OO.o and found that they had difficulties exchanging files with regular Office people without stuff being lost in the round trip. It’s probably fine for casual use, but I’d hesitate to use it for business use.

Plus, the UI is godawful horrible, so there’s that.

Yeah, you aren’t alone here. The spreadsheet program is the only part of OO that is very clearly inferior to Word in an unmanageable way, and most science people I know find themselves having to go back to Excel time and time again.

Jeff, one other option is to download a trial version of Office ( and plug in your old serial number to activate it. If you don’t have the number use something like Belarc Advisor to retrieve it:

I have Office 2007 Professional discs you can borrow if you manage to find your serial number and the trial activation doesn’t work.

In my experience, this is one hundred percent due to people saving documents in OpenOffice’s native format instead of saving them as Word documents.

Actually, saving Word *.doc files in OO will screw up tables when Word opens them.

Que mierda, ¿no?

RTF should work for simple tables IIRC.

Unfortunately it was at least a couple of years ago now, so I can’t really offer specifics. But I know that one of the things I was trying to do was edit a highly table-dependent resume, and it got bolluxed up badly, so I’d imagine it was tables, as well as perhaps some font/preset stuff.

C’est la vie.