Posts Tagged ‘OpenOffice’

Wednesday, August 29th 2007

Why Microsofts New Format OOXML Sucks

In the kerfuffle of the Swedish ISO vote on Microsofts Office Open XML having been bought by Microsoft Sweden and their partners, I found a great page explaining what is wrong with the Microsoft specification.

There seems to be plenty wrong with it. Also, in section four of that page, there is a very telling letter written by Bill Gates in 1998 that indicates how Microsoft operates.

To me it seems crazy that ISO are even considering OOXML since they already have one standardized document format, ODF.

Here’s to using OpenOffice for $0 (that is £0, or €0) instead of Microsoft Office 2007 for around $399 (that is £198, or €292)!

Wednesday, January 17th 2007

Openoffice Suction

Back in September of 2005 I was moaning about how the spell checker in OpenOffice sucks. Sadly, it hasn’t improved since then.

Heck, Firefox has a much better spell checker for its text fields.

I have to moan some more about this expensive software:

  • There is no simple way of binding a certain character to a keyboard shortcut. You have to record a macro which inserts the character, and then edit the macro with a text editor so that it works independent of which font you happen to be using. Finally, you bind the macro to a keyboard shortcut.
  • The upgrade process is awful! Why are all my settings obliterated when I install a new version? Obviously, this really puts me off upgrading. I could live with there being no binary update, but I would like it if I could at least install a point upgrade without losing all my settings and dictionaries.
  • Page numbering anyone? Could it be more complicated and non-intuitive?

Thursday, September 29th 2005

OpenOffice's Spell Checking Sucks

I was trying to use the spell-checker of OpenOffice 2 beta 2, with a few additional language dictionaries. Here are the problems:

  1. There is no intuitive or simple way of changing the language of the document you’re reading or editing. Since the program has no automatic language identifying system, this is pretty annoying. (To change the document language: [Tools > Options… > Language Settings > Languages] Change the default language, tick the “only this document” box, and click OK. That’s eight clicks!)
  2. If you try to change the language in the spell-check dialogue it changes back to the default for every single word you check… This is a totally vein-blowing experience.
  3. There is no way to set a different language for a certain part of a document.

All in all, a pretty lousy experience. Or did I just miss something?

Edit: Hopefully, but unlikely, this will be fixed before 2.0 final.

Tuesday, April 26th 2005

Good Free Software

I’ve been thinking for a very long time that I should put together a list of the free software I use. Free in the $0, no nags, no ads, we-want-you-to-use-it-for-free way. (If for no other reason, then at least so as to give them some well deserved Google juice.) So, here it is:

  • FTP client: FileZilla
  • Drive emulator: Daemon Tools
  • CD ripper: CDex (Latest ogg codecs here.)
  • Music/video player: Winamp
  • Calculator: GraphCalc (For those who feel limited by the windows calculator.)
  • Image editor: GIMP (Feels a little strange to begin with, but is pretty powerful once you get to know it.)
  • Office Suite: OpenOffice (Will rock even more once version 2.0 is out.)
  • Web browser: Firefox (Goes without saying.)
  • Email: Thunderbird
  • Anti-spyware: Spybot Search & Destroy
  • Antivirus: AVG (Not free for businesses. Now even easier to get – no registration necessary.)
  • Bittorrent client: Azureus
  • Instant messenging: Gaim (Chat without those pesky msn ads!)
  • PDF maker: Ghostword (Short guide here.)
  • Website/HTML editor: Nvu (The preview release still has some bugs, but v1.0 should be out pretty soon.)

Edit: As I see it there are three levels of free:

  1. Free: Use this software, but you’ll have to put up with enless nags about paying and/or ads.
  2. Free-er: Use this software without paying, and with no nags or ads.
  3. Free-est: Use and alter our software in any way you like.

Software classed as free-est can be counted as belonging to the free-er class too, since it to most users is simply free – $0, 0 nags.

Sunday, April 24th 2005 Gets a New Look

I was just stopping by at, and saw that they have redesigned there website. Very nice!