Sunday, November 16, 2008

Why you should avoid .doc in OpenOffice Writer

Day 13

I have OpenOffice installed on my other computers and have never had a problem with it. Differences between it and Microsoft Office are minor and there are a few options that Word is missing. For example, the pdf export option saves all kinds of headaches when it comes to using fonts not installed on other computers.

But tonight I ran into some weird formatting issues that I've never encountered before. I use a lot of frames/text boxes and I especially like the formatting options that Writer has for these. The problem I was running into was that things were randomly repositioning or disappearing completely whenever I'd close out of the file. It was actually quite irritating especially when it involved having to resize or move multiple frames. At first I thought it had something to do with the anchor option (which, for the record, I never quite understood), but then I figured it out. In an attempt to make the Eee more versatile, Asus defaults all OpenOffice Writer files to be saved as .doc files. This does weird things to formatting options that aren't available on Microsoft Word. It was a simple fix - save everything as .odt files.

Avoid proprietary file extensions.

0 thoughts :