OpenOffice to the Rescue

I got a call earlier this week from the son of a close friend. He had received a Word document which he urgently needed to open, and MS Office refused, complaining that it was damaged or corrupt.

I got a call earlier this week from the son of a close friend. He had received a Word document which he urgently needed to open, and MS Office refused, complaining that it was damaged or corrupt. After just a bit of diagnosing on the phone, I told him to just forward it to me, and I would see what I could do. A few minutes later I got the document, and OpenOffice (3.0.1) opened with no problems whatsoever. What he most desperately needed to do was just open, read and print the document, so I saved it directly to PDF from within OpenOffice, sent the PDF back to him, and the problem was solved.

It really totally escapes me why most people pay money for Microsoft Office these days - and quite a lot of money, at that. OpenOffice does virtually everything MS Office does, and it does quite a lot that MS Office can no - such as save directly to PDF format. It can read and write MS Office file formats, so it is easy to exchange documents with others who are still unfortunate enough to be using MS Office.

jw 27/3/2009

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