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Office Software Thread, Open Office v MS Office in Technical; Originally Posted by moggy Firstly if you are a secondary with Open Source applications (we use Windows XP PCs and ...
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    moggy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moggy View Post
    Firstly if you are a secondary with Open Source applications (we use Windows XP PCs and 2003 server) do the teachers have problems with the heavily M$ Office biased coursework and support material, and, secondly, what products do you use instead of Publisher and Access.
    Still not clear on whether any of you secondary schools have gone totally Open Office/Open Source and how do you handle MS Access and Publisher?

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Access = Open Office Base
    Publisher = Scribus


    whilst base is not as good as access I will admit, it does the job just fine.

    Also I have not been able to find a program apart from publisher that opens .pub files
    Last edited by nephilim; 10th March 2009 at 03:13 PM.

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    moggy (10th March 2009)

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    moggy's Avatar
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    Thanks Nephilim.

    Are you at a secondary school and are you completely Open Source?

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    I am a middle school, and no we are not completely open source, however we are going down that route. Only people that have MS Office is the admin team, everyone else has Open Office.

    But we are still currently reliant on XP and Server 2003 for our school for the time being until we work a solution out. Being entirely open source will mean we can stick our fingers up at MS.

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    rolfea's Avatar
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    We've pushed out Open Office to all our machines.

    I don't think students actually know what it is however.
    I wish they would use it more, I love it.

    However at the moment I'm the guinea pig for testing office 2007, I hate it.

    If I knew how to lock down Linux i'd put that on every pc.

  7. #51


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    Quote Originally Posted by rolfea View Post

    If I knew how to lock down Linux i'd put that on every pc.
    you probably don't need to lock down linux. it's quite secure.
    or have a look at this Puppet reductive

  8. #52

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moggy View Post
    Still not clear on whether any of you secondary schools have gone totally Open Office/Open Source and how do you handle MS Access and Publisher?
    Well the decision has now been made here. OpenOffice will be the official Office suite and de facto standard accross all PC's as of September 2009.

    MS Office XP (the last copy we have a good number of licenses for) will be available in some key areas (major ICT suites, Library, staff laptops and admin). Office 2003 will be available in the ICT Techs office .

    We use Serif Page Plus as our standard DTP package so we advice parents to download the free version from Serif's website or take Serif up on their 10 offer for the version used in school (currently X2).

    Publisher 2003 will be available on the Teachers PC's in the two main ICT suites, ICT Techs office and some Admin PC's.

    Outlook 2003 will be available to Admin and Access XP will be on the PC's in the two main ICT suites (along side OpenOffice Base).

    So I think I have all bases covered!

    OpenOffice will be supported and updated as new versions are released. Office XP will slowly disappear as OpenOffice/Serif is used more and it's compatibility with future versions of Windows becomes an issue.

  9. Thanks to tmcd35 from:

    moggy (17th March 2009)

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    I am currently stuck in this decision. We have mostly Office 2000 across most of our school (with Star Office in a few labs of obsolete PCs to give them some basic functionality). We have Office 2003 licences for a 1 of our (3) ICT suites and one set of (partially) shared laptops. Office 2003 had to go on these to enable teaching to the CLAiT exams. The problem we have now is that the suite that 2003 is on is a shared, bookable suite and we are having compatibilty issues - mostly with Publisher.

    So I have to decide whether to ask the school to spend 10-12 K for office licences throughout the school (I would personally go for 2003 across the board rather than 2007, not only because it saves a few licences) or whether we should go with Open Office. (Note that this is about the same as our entire IT budget for the year.)

    For us the main sticking point is Publisher (and training) - many subjects use Publisher regularly. I don't know how Scribus compares, but there is going to be a compatibility issue regardless. How have you worked around that issue?

    I also find that while Open Office will open almost all MS Office (non-publisher) files and they are readable, they can often differ in rendering (sometimes quite significant) - I found this out over last week while typing out an application form for my wife - I was alternating between Open and MS (working at work/home) and it was, frankly, a royal pain in the bum, things never looked/formatted the same in both - in the end I gave up and finished it off exclusively in MS Office.

    Don't get me wrong I like Open Office and I really like Open Source (I use OOo/Linux at home) but I really do feel MS is the better way to go in school - if only for the ease of having a least one consistent piece of software across the school! (But I'm still wavering.)

    Another area (like Publisher) that rarely gets a mention in this regular debate (regular on the 'net not necessarily here) is clipart. We block google images (and other search engine image sites) although that still wouldn't be as easy to use as MS clipart, so clipart is going to be something of a deal breaker I suspect.

    I tried the Open Clip Art Library once but just couldn't get it to work properly. Has anyone had any joy with Open Office and clipart?
    Last edited by SteveLaw; 28th March 2009 at 09:46 PM.

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