Open Office not reliable on Macbook air

I have a client who has a Macbook air and Open Office is not reliable on it.

It is a freshly installed latest El Capitan edition. It has plenty of resources, ram, hard drive, and it was downloaded fresh from the Open Office direct website. So it’s not like it shouldn’t work. I asked the client if she wanted me to troubleshoot this and she said no. She said she would just buy the student edition of Microsoft Office for $69.

Open Office not reliable on Macbook airThat is a great decision. Rather than mess around with something that has no support, she is using what is universally accepted in business. Wait a second! I can hear you say. Didn’t you say yesterday that people should be free to use word formats and not have to use expensive word? Yes I did say that, and thank you for reading. So whats the deal big guy? Are you ok with Word or not?

Like anything in life, having a hard and fast rule doesn’t really help anyone. If you can afford Word then go for it and buy it. Like she did. However if you can’t afford Word, it shouldn’t be counted against you but it does. I know this for a fact because I was there in offices where people try to send them documents in WordPerfect or other formats and they could not open them. When you send someone your resume in WordPerfect, what do you think happens to it? It goes into the garbage along with your file. People who are opening dozens or even hundreds of applications are not going to spend their time hunting for a way to open up a non word format.

I know because I saw this in every company I worked at. I was even standing by when this happened and offered to download a free viewer so they could view it. Do you want to know what the general answer was? “If they don’t know Office/Word they probably aren’t going to be useful to us anyway.” Now you can agree or disagree with that, but it does have a real world validity.

So why did the person ask for Open Office? I suggested buying Office/Word but she didn’t want to spend the money. Ok, then you get what you pay for. I personally have written about using Nisus Pro on the mac and finding it better than Word. It opens and saves to Word files so you aren’t giving anything up. I have sent out plenty of documents in Word format and no one complained that they had a problem. So to me, that seems like a trusted and worthwhile program to avoid the constant Microsoft upgrade cycle.

Of course you can choose to pay for the subscription model that Microsoft/Adobe and other companies are offering. Its your money.