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OOo Off the Wall: The Elephant in the Living Room -- OOo and MS Office

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OOo

For OpenOffice.org (OOo), MS Office (MSO) is the elephant in the living room. As much as the project might want to ignore MSO, it cannot. Many potential users never have used anything except MSO, and most have to share files with MSO users at some point. The lucky exceptions, of course, are those in a free software work or educational environment, who deal only with equally lucky family members and friends.

For these reasons, OpenOffice.org includes design elements and features to making interacting with MS Office and switching from it as easy as possible. Much of the interface as well as the basic work flow is the same in both programs. Many features have the same name and are located in the same place in the menu, although enough differences exist that users occasionally will stumble. In additional, several features exist specifically for interacting with MSO. Yet, in the end, despite all of these provisions, you still need to plan intelligently if you regularly share files between OOo and MSO.

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