Open Office vs. MS Word: The Pros and Cons of Each

Are you struggling to choose between using Open Office vs. MS Word? If so, then it may be a good idea for you to weigh the pros and cons of each program before making your purchase. While both programs are equally good for business, there of course will be one program that will ultimately be superior to its competition, depending on how you plan to use it. Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons of both Open Office and Microsoft word:

Open Office Pros:

Open Office provides a free alternative for users who don’t want to go out and spend money on office software. It allows them to create standard documents, and it works not just on a computer but on many mobile devices as well like smartphones and tablets. This program has all of the features of Microsoft Word, but with a slight different design and navigation system to make it unique. Of course, this product doesn’t just work for office documents, but it also allows you to create presentations, spreadsheets, and more. Users seem to be quite intrigued by the fact that you can export your documents directly to PDF format from Open Office, so you won’t need to use a separate program or website to make that conversion for you. In short, this program is very convenient for just about anyone who needs to use office software on the go and doesn’t want to pay a lot of money to do so.

Open Office Cons:

Although Open Office does have a lot of things going for it, it does have a downside as well. To begin with, the Open Office platform does not have a Publisher program. That means that there is no program within this software that will allow you to make business cards, brochures, or invitations. However, that is really one very minor drawback. People have also reported crashes and glitches occurring within the Open Office platform, although that may have been fixed by now. In some cases, documents created in Open Office may not open in Microsoft Word, so if you are sending a document to someone who only uses Word, you need to ensure that the file’s extension is .doc or .docx so that it will open properly.

Microsoft Word Pros:

As you type in Microsoft word, spelling and grammar errors will be detected automatically and underlined with either a red, green, or blue line, depending on the type of error that was made. Bullets and numbering are also done automatically, so you don’t have to worry about pressing the button every time you want to create a new item in your list. You can insert graphics, tables, and more quickly and easily while adjusting the settings to make them fit just exactly the way you want them to on the page. If you don’t have the slightest idea about how a certain type of document should be formatted, there are various pre-installed templates that you can choose from to create that document, and there are even more templates that you can download from Microsoft.com if you so choose.

Microsoft Word Cons:

If you are trying to open a document that was created in Word 2003, you may have difficulty opening it in the newer versions of Microsoft Office. In the event that you are able to successfully open your old document, the formatting and style may be greatly altered due to compatibility issues with the new software. The ribbon on Microsoft Word is designed to be more user-friendly, but it can actually be rather confusing for some people, as you now have to hunt to find the tools you want, whereas the dropdown menus on older versions of Word were much easier to navigate.

In a comparison of Open Office vs. MS Word, one can easily see that each program has its respective positive and negative features. However, it is ultimately up to you to decide which program is the better choice for you. If you are looking for freeware that can work on your tablet or smartphone, then Open Office may be the best program for you to use. However, if you don’t mind spending some money to get more features for a program that you will primarily use on your computer, then Word is definitely the way to go. Of course, before making any sort of a purchase, you need to weigh the pros and cons of each program and decide which features, if any, are selling points for you and which ones are deal breakers. Only then can you get the right program for your specific needs.