♬ With arms wide open
Under the sunlight
Welcome to this place
I’ll show you everything
With arms wide open ♬
Recently I was given a book written in WordPerfect to review. As you all know, Microsoft Word does not open WordPerfect documents, even on the Mac. Furthermore, there is no current version of WordPerfect available for a Mac. What to do? Mark Robertson, a fellow Mac lawyer in Oklahoma (and co-author of “Winning Alternatives to the Billable Hour” published by the ABA) who happened to be on my left-elbow at the time, said: “Try NeoOffice”. So I did.
NeoOffice is “a full-featured set of office applications (including word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing, and database programs) for Mac OS X.” The good news is that it can open WordPerfect documents (and Word, OpenDocument Text, Rich Text, StarWriter and others..) with ease. Moreover, it is clean and easy to use. You can save documents in Word, OpenDocument Text, Rich Text, StarWriter and others – but alas, not native WordPerfect. But WordPerfect will open and save to OpenDocument format so perhaps the future is to adopt OpenDocument as a new standard.
Wikipedia states: “On May 21, 2008 Microsoft announced that Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 2 will add native support for the OpenDocument Format. It will offer the option to make ODF 1.1, as well as PDF, the default format, both in the installer and via options settings, while support for their own pending ISO 29500, based on the Office 2007 format, won’t be implemented until Office 14.”
The OpenDocument format is one way of getting around the pesky problem of incompatible word processing formats and is to be appaluded. Furthermore, NeoOffice is the Mac version of Sun’s OpenOffice initiative. I am now wondering if NeoOffice (and OpenOffice for the PC world) is now a viable alternative to acquiring Microsoft’s Office suite.
Certainly I was impressed when using the NeoOffice word processor. It seemed clean and simple to use and certainly less annoying than Word and Word’s tendancies to constantly reformat my document, thinking that it knows what I want to do better than I. I haven’t ventured to use the Spreadsheet or Database or Presentation components so far. But from my venturing into the Text editor – it has styles (that seem easier to use than Word’s), it has a mail merge feature, autotext and all the other bells and whistles that I look for in a full featured word processor.
Accordingly, I am placing NeoOffice (and OpenOffice for PC) in the “Cheap is Good but Free is Better!” category (since it is unbelieveably all free, being open source) as well as the “Make it Work!” category. For anyone setting up a law office today, I would certainly recommend that they try NeoOffice or OpenOffice before they shell out $$ for a proprietary word processing office suite. I would certainly welcome you to NeoOffice and the whole OpenDocument movement with arms wide open!This entry was posted on Monday, January 19th, 2009 at 11:09 pm and is filed under Adding Value, Cheap is Good but Free is Better!, I'm a Mac, Issues facing Law Firms, Law Firm Strategy, Make it Work!, Technology, Trends. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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