alternatives to M.S. Office

  Markito 17:25 30 Nov 2011

My laptop was supplied with Ability 4 already installed. This is now out of date and I am faced with the alternative of paying for Ability 5 or changing to other software. Since I cannot afford M.S. Office, I have looked elsewhere and have read good reports about Open Office. All my Ability documents has been saved as .doc files, but I can find no clear indication as to whether Open Office - or any other suite for that matter - will open them.

Could I ask you for advice on this and for guidance on the best office suite please?

By the way, I am not interested in producing and handling anything other than word documents. (i.e. I have no use for the equivalents of access, powerpoint, spreadsheets, etc).

  johnincrete 17:59 30 Nov 2011

Wow! Ability - that brings back a few memories.

Since Open Office is free to download (although it takes time & space) you could download and see if it open your files.

  robin_x 18:07 30 Nov 2011


LibreOffice (ex OpenOffice developers fork)

MS Office 2010 Starter Edition

  Salut 18:19 30 Nov 2011

Markito, I have used OpenOffice for some while and find that there are very few files it cannot open. I regularly receive files in .doc and .docx format and read them without any problems occurring. You can set OO to automatically save your newly created files in .doc format. Well worth the download, even if you only give it a trial run.

  Markito 18:38 30 Nov 2011

Thanks guys.

Robin, I'm still on Windows XP Pro, so I don't think the MS Office starter edition is available to me.

I now have a little more confidence to try Open Office, though LibreOffice looks interesting too. So thank you all.

  Taff™ 09:20 01 Dec 2011

I would go for the LibreOffice which I regularly put on new machines for people. Once installed you need to go to Tools>Options and under Load/Save adjust the text document settings to MS Office XML formats and similar with Spreadsheets and presentations to the corresponding MS format.

With OpenOffice you will need to download the MS Office Compatibility pack.

  robin_x 10:18 01 Dec 2011

Didn't notice Office Starter was Vista/7 only. Thanks.

  mooly 12:23 01 Dec 2011

I use Libre Office and it does work with .doc files

Also see,

  Belatucadrus 14:19 01 Dec 2011
  Markito 14:42 01 Dec 2011

Thanks all.

Unless I hear anything serious to the contrary by close of play tomorrow, I'll download the latest version of Libre Office, which seems to be 3.4.4RC1.

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