Star Office - Opinions?

  The Ghost of Inept Pig 13:42 16 Jun 2004

'lo all,

I've recently had the need for a decent office software package, and wasn't too shocked to find out that the official Microsoft option was on the expensive side - however, I've an old copy of Star Office (5.2) that seems to do most things I ask of it - but am I missing out on much by not using the Microsoft route? and would it be worthwhile to upgrade to Star Office 7.0?

Is their any other alternatives? As long as the software can read/create Excel spreadsheets and Powerpoint presentations I'm happy - although the addition of a database would be nice too.


  Simsy 14:43 16 Jun 2004

a database, (by which I presume you mean a proper relational database), this limits things slightly.

Ability Office click here does have a relational database, and it can save in and read MS Access .mdb files. The latest release of this suite is imminent. The Word Proc and S/Sheet that come with the suite are "Word" and "Excel" compatible.... but graphics and charts can be flaky.... (Free Trial, about £45 quid for whole suite) The new version has a "powerpoint" equivalent for the first time. I can't vouch for how good this component is.. I'm not a powerpoint user.

EasyOffice click here is good, with lots of useful inclusions, (good backup system, pdf creation etc). There is a free version without some of the feature, but whole suite is only about £30 Also Word/Excel "compatible" I'm not sure if this has a Powerpoint equivalent.

602Suite is of a similar quality to EasyOffice, different, but, in my judgement, no better or worse. Again it is Word/Excel "compatible". Again I'm not sure if this has a Powerpoint equivalent. Note that there is an offer on at the moment, THAT RUNS OUT TODAY 17TH JUNE... If you buy the site at $29.95, (note that is US dollars, about £14), you get the "printpack", which enables pdf creation among aother things, FREE. The free version has limited features, but is worth downloading for a trial... not easy to find on the site, but it's here

click here

OpenOffice click here is the best for compatibility with MSOffice. It's FREE, and with this you can choose which components to install.

Star Office is basically OpenOffice with some extra features, that aren't free, so you have to pay for it.

I hope this helps,

Good luck,



  Simsy 14:46 16 Jun 2004

that I didn't give the link for the 602 free version... here it si;

click here

Good luck,



  mikef. 20:49 16 Jun 2004

A whole lot of us did a test some time ago for the Mag on Star Office 6 and the general opinion was it is great value for money that does most things that MS Office does for a lot, lot less money. All things you do can be saved in different formats including Office so can then be viewed on an office system if you want.

Obviously the layout is slightly different but you soon get used to it, in fact I prefer it's version of some things.

I now have this installed on my laptop and am more than happy with it.

  TomJerry 11:15 17 Jun 2004

You can get is from Amazon for £44.99. Open Office (free) is almost the same as Star Office, but without Database.

Personally, I would not touch other less know package.

By the way, I installed OpenOffice on my computer in addition to MS Office because some special function available in OpenOffice/StarOffice

  TomJerry 11:23 17 Jun 2004

I was wrong on my last post. The open office does have some database function even it does not have a separate database program. There is not much point to buy staroffice if you (1) do not need extra fonts and cliparts (2) do not need technical support.

  g0slp 12:29 17 Jun 2004

The other good thing about it is that you can legitimately use it on 6 machines per license. (Pretty sure it's 6)

As another of the PCA testers, I was impressed with it.

  Aspman 14:50 17 Jun 2004

Star office is very good value.

Even better is if you have kids at school the school can register for a licence to distribute Star Office to staff and pupils all of whom are entitled to run the software for free. The licence is also free for the school

We have just done that at my work. There hasn't been a huge uptake but then most people who have never bought MS Office get it by other means.

When microsoft licencing becomes tighter and getting caught is a real possibility I think cheaper (or free) packages like SO will take off.

SO7 is a big improvement over SO5 and SO6.

Compatibility with Office Docs is good but nothing near 100%. For simple documents it's fine. For more comples files with form elements/ tables and macros SO can't convert that very well.

Can't knock the price though.

  Totally-braindead 21:04 17 Jun 2004

I too was one of the PCA testers but couldn't get used to it and subsequently deleted it and reinstalled my old MS Office suite. Theres nothing wrong with it it was just me, I just prefered MS Office. But if I was going to use an office suite for work then would definatly consider it as the Microsoft price is ridiculous.

  The Ghost of Inept Pig 16:53 18 Jun 2004

Thanks for all the feedback folks,

I'll give Open Office a go, and then if I need any more I'll probably get a newer version of Star Office.

Thanks again

  Sparrowhawk 11:31 21 Jun 2004

For home usage, OpenOffice is more than enough. It offers a nearly full compatibility with MSOffice.
There is no reason to pay more than OpenOffice.
click here

You can use it in parallel with MS Works, which brings Word, as well as Encarta, Autoroute, Money... for a reasonable price.

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