typodupeerror
• #### Ask a writer (Score:4, Informative)

on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @05:24PM (#20561941) Homepage Journal
I'm a technical writer, and for doing long documents, I would not use either of these products. Open Office, while prized by some of my colleagues, seems to have too many mission critical failures or half-baked features. Microsoft Office, while good for both the home and small business market, becomes a hindrance when you use it for larger projects with more diverse requirements. I can make either one do what it must, but I would prefer Adobe FrameMaker or its open source clone, Lyx [lyx.org].
• #### wp speed tests (Score:4, Funny)

on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @05:27PM (#20562001)
I've been interested in this and conducted my own tests. You can definitely type faster in Word2007 whatever the OO people say. All those millions spent in development go somewhere you know.
• #### Re: (Score:2)

Does Word 2007 come with some new magic keyboard? My typing speed has sat at about 75wpm for the last twenty years, and that's going from old IBM Selectric typewriters, through XT clones running Wordperfect 5.1, through 386SXs running Microsoft Works, OS/2 running AmiPro, OS/2 running IBM Works, and various versions of Word dating back to the DOS days.
• #### Switch (Score:2)

I see no reason in the article to switch from LyX to either of those. I guess while OO is an option, Word isn't, MS doesn't make a Linux version.

• #### Dissenting opinion (Score:3, Informative)

on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @05:39PM (#20562203) Homepage
I have to say, it took me a while to warm up to Office 2007, but now that I'm used to it I quite like it. I have a few caveats.. I don't like the need to right click to bring up text-formatting options within floating objects, nor do I like how the selected menu reverts to "Home" after you do certain things, but in general I find that I can work as fast as I can in Office 2003.

With that in mind, there are some very nice features in 2007 that previous versions didn't have. The equation thingy is improved, using masters/templates is a lot more natural and easy, color selections have been changed to some very pretty gradients (rather than the typical 128 standard colors or whatever) so that for style-blind people like myself, making pretty presentations and whatnot is a breeze. Styles feel more natural in Word, so that you can set up the style and then just concentrate on the content (kind of in the direction of Latex, though obviously not the same). I could list more, but I don't want to be accused of being a shill :) So in general, if you have the cash to spare or you have access to 2007 for free through a school or company (and you don't mind a few days getting used to the reorganization of things) it's an improvement over 2003.

Now, Open Office. Style support has always been better than Word, and still is better than 2007's support. Equations used to be *much* better than Word, but with the changes in 2007 I'd say they're about on par now. Open Office's PowerPoint equivalent (can't remember the name) doesn't have all the bells and whistles of 2007 (not even close), and it's object-drawing (like for flow-charts) isn't as easy to use, but it certainly gets the job done without any major flaws. The whole application is a LOT slower than 2007 (or 2003) Office... and this is a big drawback to me, as my computers aren't exactly state of the art. On the other hand it's free, I can install it on as many computers as I want, it has better file type support (with the exception of 2007's ???x files), and I don't feel a chill go down my spine every time I use it like I do when I see that Microsoft logo :)

After using 2007 for a couple weeks, however, (and this is a big thing when it comes to Mr. and Mrs. Sixpack) Open Office just feels clunky. I'm not sure if it's the slower response of the application, or the bland UI, or just in my head, but Open Office just feels like it's a step behind Office. However, when it comes down to it, I'm going to run Open Office at home because I don't intend on paying for Microsoft Office.

So, to conclude this long winded post, if two identical machines are running next to each other - one has Open Office installed, the other has Office 2007 installed - I'm going to use Office 2007. It's faster, slicker, and just plain prettier. Granted it takes some time to get used to, and not all of the changes have been for the better - but in my opinion most of them were. As they say, "you don't sell the steak, you sell the sizzle" - anybody can develop a word processor; it's not difficult. When it comes down to these two options though, Office 2007 has the sizzle. Is the sizzle worth my money? Nope - but that doesn't mean it's not still better than the competition.

Ok, Bill Gates, I've backed a Microsoft product for once in my life... where's my 30 pieces of silver? :)
• #### For me, Office 2007 wins by default (Score:3, Insightful)

<megazzt@nOSPam.gmail.com> on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @05:51PM (#20562405) Homepage

OpenOffice 2.3 won't install until I uninstall OpenOffice 2.2. OpenOffice 2.2 won't uninstall until I present the original OpenOffice 2.2 installer, which I deleted right after I installed it, and probably isn't widely available anymore.

And this isn't the first time I've had uninstall problems with Windows Installer either. It's just a bloated, buggy mess. The most annoying part is that the OpenOffice installer seems to use NSIS. From experience in using programs that use both, I find NSIS far superior. I've never had an NSIS uninstaller fail on me, and when an NSIS installer failed it was because of some amateurish mistake of the person who made the install script, not because of NSIS itself, and they were isolated incidents. I don't see why OOo doesn't just use NSIS instead of using a Windows Installer packed inside an NSIS self-extracting archive... that just seems dumb.

• #### styles vs templates (Score:3, Interesting)

on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @06:05PM (#20562599) Journal
I don't tend to use word processors, so this is an honest question. What's the difference between styles and templates? They both sound like the same thing to me.
• #### Re:styles vs templates (Score:4, Informative)

on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @07:06PM (#20563439) Homepage
Styles are usually just format related, ie font face, size, indent and tab settings, etc. all wrapped up into a "Style" which you can apply to content all at once instead of making the same dozen changes to every place you want to update. Also, once the style is set, you can change the style in one place, and it gets updated everywhere. This is nice if you want to revamp the look of a document.

A template has styled elements to it, but is more like a partially pre-populated bunch of content, like a form letter. You open the template, and it generates a stub of the document you're creating. You fill in the unique bits, and save it under a unique filename. Ideally as much of the work should be done for you by merely opening the template as possible.
• #### LaTeX vs. Word vs. Writer (Score:5, Insightful)

on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @06:13PM (#20562725)
http://oestrem.com/thingstwice/?p=65 [oestrem.com] provides an informative comparison of the aesthetics of LaTeX, Word, and OO Writer. When beauty is the goal, LaTeX wins.
• #### Word - OOo - Word - ... (Score:3, Interesting)

on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @08:22PM (#20564373)

Here's what I love about the two word processors. When you import a Word doc into OOo, it looks pretty good, except it seems to replace all the styles with "n0003957" and "z8937zaa" tags. Then, when you make your edits and send it back to the original guy, and he opens it up in Word, all his styles are screwed up, and it's your fault.

That's why in my corporate environment, we only use Word. Because the two just don't do round-trip very well.

--Rob

• #### ... vs LaTeX! (Score:3, Insightful)

on Tuesday September 11, 2007 @09:58PM (#20565375) Journal
Semi serious, and very biased, but here you go:

The Interfaces: N/A or, choose between vi, emacs, kyle, lyx, pico, notepad, ... There's one out there for you. I like bash + gvim + makefiles. Winner: LaTeX!

Styles:\section, \begin{quote}, ... Simple, transparent and robust. Winner: LaTeX!

Page Layout: Er... Well, you can ultimately place a box anywhere you wish with a picture environment. It can be painful, but can force it. Winner: None!

Templates:\documentclass ... blah.bst. Winner: LaTeX (by a country mile)!

Outlining:No idea what that is. LaTeX doesn't do it anyhow. Winner: word (according to TFA).

Bulleted and numbered lists:\begin{enumerate} or itemize Just Works. Impossible to screw up. Winner: LaTeX!

Tables:Ye gods. Well, there's super table (nice) and longtable for those long ones, but that doesn't work with supertable... But basic tables Just Work. No formulae, buy you can always \input a mechanically generated table file, and (if you use makefiles) have it automatically update whatever you use to generate it. Winner: Really, it's down to personal choice on this one.

Headers and Footers: They're part of your template. But you can arbitrarily customize your own. Winner: LaTeX!

Footnotes and endnotes:I try to avoid these as a matter of preference. Winner: I don't know since I avoid them.

Cross-references:Winner: LaTeX, by a very, very long way.

Indexes, tables of content, and bibliographies: See templates and cross references. There's a BST file for any job out there. Winner: LaTeX!

Master documents: \input FTW! That said, I challenge you to find a real document which is too large for vim on my computer even without \input. Winner: LaTeX!

Drawing tools: Er..., well, xfig can output latex code... er... Winner: Not LaTeX.

Unique features:Split pane view? Well, there's diff, or xdiff or gvimdiff or your editor has. Version tracking? Well, it works with CVS, SVN, git, ... Export to PS and PDF works amazingly well, with full cross reference hyperlinking in PDF.s. Other than that, look at the package list on CTAN. Winner: LaTeX!

Conclusion:

1. Use LaTeX.

2. It's nice to seperate editing, presentation and content.

3. Then you can go the way of the UNIX and use the most suitable tool for every step.

• #### Re: X vs My predetermined favourite! (Score:3, Insightful)

Completely serious

Some fairly basic functionality only available via a text interface: ed is a complete bitch to use, so my ability to use it for really basic layout strokes my ego. Winner: my predetermined favourite!

Some functionality that I never use and don't understand: Who cares? Winner: Whatever he said.

Something my predetermined favourite sucks at: Ummm, well yknow, stuff and such. Winner: It really depends on your personal tastes.

Conclusion:

1. Use my personal favourite obscure UNIX utility

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