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Byfield Compares Writer to Word

Bruce Byfield writes “ Writer vs. Microsoft Word” for Newsforge.

“Now that OOo is starting to be used in business, a more detailed look seems overdue. Accordingly, I compared the beta of OOo Writer 2.0 with Microsoft Word 2003. Both are adequate for most users’ purposes, so I focused on functions that power users are likely to want: Styles, Templates, Outlining, Bulleted and numbered lists, Tables, Headers and footers, Indexes and tables of content, Cross-references, Conditional text, Master documents, Drawing tools, and Unique features.”

“At the end of each category, I give my verdict about which program has the best combination of features and usability. While hardly surprising, the results offer a concrete example of how open source tools are not only equalling but starting to surpass proprietary ones.”

I’m not one for suspense, so here’s Byfield’s conclusion:

“Several years ago I concluded “Opening Up to” by saying, “OOo Writer outperforms Microsoft Word in almost every way.” With the release of the version 2.0 beta, that statement is truer than ever. At its worst, OOo Writer is an adequate alternative for Microsoft Word. Most of the time, it is a superior one. And the greater your need for page design features or long document handling, the greater that superiority becomes.”

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