[Athen] [Athena] Microsoft Word versus Open Office

Daryl Murphy dmurphy at collegeofthedesert.edu
Wed Sep 12 14:53:14 PDT 2007

MS Office 2007 is great and easy to use, once you learn that you can do
things in less time then 2003. It's like any other program, you will
have a learning curve to master it. As for as printing, 1 click it's

-----Original Message-----
From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On
Behalf Of Kelmer, Susan M.
Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2007 9:26 AM
To: Access Technologists in Higher Education Network
Subject: Re: [Athen] Microsoft Word versus Open Office

I use OpenOffice whenever possible to work on documents. It is clean,

easy, not a resource hog, never binds or pauses or burps no matter what

else I have running in the background. I've used it to work with and

format documents up to a thousand pages. One key element that I

absolutely adore about Open Office Writer is that it remembers where you

were. When I work in MSWord and have to leave for the day but have not

completed working on my document, I close it and save it and then write

down where I was at so I can find it again. You don't have to do that

in OpenOffice, you just open the document back up and the cursor is

WHERE YOU LEFT IT. I can't even calculate how much time this saves me.

I cannot say the same for MSWord. Does it crash on big documents?

Frequently!! I find anything over 30 pages with or without graphics to

be a problem; it binds, locks up, pauses, doesn't turn on auto spell

check, whatever. Frustrating and makes me perform extra steps to make

things happen.

And don't even get me started on MSWord 2007. One of my MAJOR

frustrations with this program is the reassignment/relocation of key

tools that I use, down to the fact that the PRINT tool is no longer

available and I must click three times or more to print. That is just

MESSED UP and if I find the person that designed that particular

"feature" I'll be taking my aggressions out on him/her. This is hands

down the worst "redesign" of a software I've ever seen. It isn't even

deployed on our campus because of the huge learning curve that is going

to hit our users; these are people that don't have spare time in their

day to figure out where all of their most useful tools have gone to in

the new version. And I've tested 2007 on a fully-capable Vista

machine...I've never seen such slow response, lagging commands, and

lockups! I want to know what those developers were smoking when they

embarked on this acid trip of a redesign.

I have not tested OpenOffice with any screenreader. This gives me

pause, and perhaps I should check it out, although I'm not the best user

of a screenreader as I'm not visually impaired and also default respond

better to visual rather than audio. Definitely something for me to look

at, though. We have OpenOffice available on our student use machines,

whether students are actually using it or not I am not sure (I do run a

general purpose student-use computer lab but don't tend to go out and

see what they are up to specifically). But for working on converting

books, there's nothing like it for ease of use, easy catching of errors,

and removing of extraneous info. I love it! (And no, Dann did not pay

me to say this.)

Susan Kelmer


Information ACCESS Lab

St. Louis Community College at Meramec



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