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Category Archives: microsoft office

Idea: Phasing Out Office Documents Per E-mail

>Currently, Microsoft Office files, in various incarnations, are still the dominant format for mailing documents. Although everybody (including Microsoft) agrees these formats are not standards-based en hence (at least in theory) not future-proof, this is a situation that is not easy to change.

Try sending an ODT* file to a colleague. Chances are she will have no idea what to do with it. But since everybody knows Word, Excel and Powerpoint, the situation will remain for a while.

Here’s a wild idea for improving the situation: when sending an email, most mail clients support a standard for sending both text and HTML email as alternative formats in the same mail. Perhaps a similar approach could also be applied to DOC/XLS/PPT attachments: For example: every time a user sends an ODT file, a corresponding DOC file is automatically attached as well, and vice versa.

* ODT = OpenDocument Text, an ISO standard format for text documents.

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Posted by on 22 April 2009 in microsoft office, odf

 

>Even Microsoft prefers Apple hardware?

>
When you look at advertisements in newspapers, magazines and on TV, you may get the impression everybody’s using Macs. This is old news.

However, it seems even Microsoft is now showing Apple hardware on their site (more specifically, on their Dutch Office Online start page). Have a look at the laptop in the picture: clearly an Apple.

 
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Posted by on 21 June 2007 in apple, mac, macbook, microsoft office

 

>Configuring a new iMac 20-inch [updated]

>For a customer I bought an iMac 20-inch (2.16 GHz C2D, 2GB), which I’m now configuring. On top of Mac OS X 10.4.9, iLife and iWork ’06 I’m customizing the machine as follows, to suit his needs:

Some challenges I’m still facing:

  • Which version of Office 2007 should I choose? I expect only Word or Excel is occasionally needed.
  • How do I convert all current faxes from WinFax Pro 9 to the Mac?
  • How can I use VNC through the DSL modem and firewall? — Update: this is fairly easy with an SSH tunnel.
  • (How well) does VueScan integrate with PageSender? Or how well can I make them integrate using Automator?
 

>Open-source iWork

>The Mac OS X application suite iWork consists of two programs: Pages and Keynote.

Pages is a simple word processing application that has good looks and is easy to work with, but comes nowhere near OpenOffice.org Writer or Microsoft Word in terms of features.

Keynote is great presentation software. In my opinion it beats both OpenOffice.org Impress and Microsoft Powerpoint, hands tied to the back. The shows you can create with it are really impressive and in fact make a good showcase for Mac OS X’s graphics capabilities.

However, Pages has quite a few bugs and lacks important features needed for writing larger documents (e.g. cross-references). There are improvements planned for iWork ’07, but I doubt it will bring Pages to the feature level I would require for day-to-day text processing.

Both products have limited export features, with various bugs, and lacking OpenDocument support, for example.

Considering the low price of iWork, it seems the application suite is more a showcase for Mac OS X features than a real competitor to Microsoft Office and OpenOffice.org.

However, this may change, if Apple decides to open-source iWork. This may boost the development of iWork, allowing the community to fix bugs and add new features. Like MySQL, Apple could decide to ask money for support. Or they could even choose a license that is free for personal use and non-profit organisations but costs money for commercial organisations. There’s all sorts of options.

Apple has experience with the open-source community, since they adapted Konqueror to become WebKit, the engine for their Safari browser. But then again, perhaps this is the reason they won’t consider it…