Date: prev next · Thread: first prev next last
2013 Archives by date, by thread · List index

Hi :)
Errr, one of the classic moves from MS is to get people to do an all or nothing approach.  

They will try to tell you that you can't have MS Office and LibreOffice on the same machine.  Going 
that way is disastrous and requires huge amounts of training and leads to immense dissatisfaction.  
Users hate this route and fight against the new toys.  

Almost every OpenSource advocate recommends keeping whichever MS Office happens to be on existing 
machines but to install LibreOffice alongside.  

After that point-of-agreement is where we all start disagreeing.  Some say to do something like;
1.  keep installing MS Office on newer installs of Windows or on refurbished machines (refurbs) but 
only for the first 6 months to 1 year or so
2.  let people keep using primarily MS Office but encourage them to play around with LibreOffice so 
they can figure it out for themselves
3.  Use training courses to bring 2 or a few people from each office up-to-speed with LibreOffice.  
It helps if those individuals are the ones people usually seek advice from and includes the office 
manager.  There are online courses (mostly in English though and just the basics so far i think) 
but i think it's best to collect people together away from the regular office space and give them 
"proper" training.
4.  Start encouraging greater use of LibreOffice and roll out training to the rest of the staff.  
5.  Keep any existing versions of MS Office on machines even well into the future, evn if everyone 
has fully moved over o LibreOffice and seems happy with it.  Just don't install on any refurbs or 
newer machines.  

Some OpenSource experts recommend skipping one or 2 steps or slightly different order or different 
time-scales or even adding a step (or few) or cover it in more detail.  

The aim is gentle migration NOT revolution.  Give people time to adapt but not too much time 
because those older versions of MS Office get out-dated.  If people are to continue meeting 
deadlines and remain productive they need access to the tools they are familiar with.  They will 
become more familiar with LibreOffice but it takes time.  
Regards from 
Tom :)  

----- Original Message -----
From: Tom Davies <>
To: Milos Sramek <>; "" 
Sent: Tuesday, 7 May 2013, 10:38
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] Compatibility LO/MSO

Hi :) 

Ok, several points;  (again just my own personal opinions which often put me at 
risk of being thrown off the mailing-lists for being too blunt) (err, and 
i'm English not US)

1.  To analyse you might find it better to add 2 programs into the mix.  

1.a.  On the OpenSource side perhaps Calligra/KOffice or AbiWord (AbiWord is 
smaller and faster but Calligra is more fully featured) or any other OpenSource 
office programs.  So, just 1 of these 2 would help;

1.b.  On the MS side a lot of companies are still on MS Office 2003 while a lot 
of others are on MS Office 2010 now or moving to it now that 2013 has been 
released.  It's still very rare to be using 2013 or 365 and will be for the 
next couple of years.  Perhaps add MS Office 2003 to the analysis.  

Even a quick analysis between the different versions of MSO will flag up a lot 
of differences in the handling of their ooxml formats and even some in their 
handling of their older formats.  By contrast even an in-depth analysis of the 2 
different OpenSource programs (LibreOffice and whichever other) will show that 
both Doc and Odt are handled very much the same by both OpenSource programs.  
Also a Doc created by any OpenSource program will also look very much the same 
in both versions of MS Office.  

A few people have reported that when MS Office users have troubles sharing 
documents because the formatting has gone too strange then it's the 
LibreOffice user that is able to fix it so that all 3 sides can read it the same 

2.  So, during the migration and for external communications in the near(ish) 
future you will see that it is best to use the older MS formats

Doc, Xls, Ppt

and so on.  NOT the ooxml ones.  

DocX, XlsX, PptX

The ISO standard as registered with the ISO committees does NOT seem to be the 
same as any of  their implementations of it.  I guess they have a legitimate 
argument in saying that "accidents happen", as they tried to use in 
the court-case over their RTF (=Rich Text Format).  Actually even if you decide 
to stick with MS then it's still probably better to use the older formats 
for greater interoperability even between the different versions of MS Office 
(even between 2007, 2010, 2013 & 365).  In the mid-term future an increasing 
number of external people will be using ODF but it's a little way off yet.  
I think almost every single one of the responses agreed on using the older 
formats for greater interoperability.  

3. Are you only getting advice from MS about the migration?  Do you have people 
from the Free Software Foundation involved in the process?  If you are only 
accepting advice from MS then their lack of understanding about OpenSource will 
typically steer you into as many problems as they can manage to find.  That 
would explain your current difficulties.  We have seen this over and over 

4.  The promise from MS sounds good BUT if it would be that easy for them then 
why haven't they done it already?  Why don't they just do it rather than 
make promises which may or may not happen?  In the case of the RTF court cases 
it seemed that MS were better at making promises and blaming other people than 
actually delivering the results they promised.  For a successful migration you 
need to involve OpenSource experts such as the people at FSF.  

Actually the "lining up" issue looks like a styles or a fonts thing to 
me, but any editable format is going to look different on different machines or 
in different programs.  It's only Pdf that is meant to look the same on all 
and the main reason for that is that it is not meant to be editable and is meant 
to ignore all local conditions.  Just because fonts have the same name 
doesn't mean they are identical.  

I think there are 2 ways of generating Pdfs in LibreOffice.  

1.  File - "Export to Pdf" or "Save as" 

2.  File - Print - "to file" and change the format from 
".Ps" to ".Pdf"
The 2nd way embeds the fonts into the document.  The first way has more 
flexibility about the configurations&settings used in the Pdf, such as if 
you want it to be improved for screen-readers or have different amounts of, or 
type of, compression (do you want a lot of swirls and a very light-weight 
document for emailing or do you want it print-quality).  The 2nd way is not easy 
to find&use.  

I hope this helps!
Regards from 

Tom :)  

 From: Milos Sramek <>
Sent: Tuesday, 7 May 2013, 8:28
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] Compatibility LO/MSO


thank you all for your answers. In fact I take part in a larger scale
testing of interoperability of formats, since open source software is
currently considered by Slovak administration as and alternative to the
standard MS stuff. If everything goes really well, there will be a
transition period when open source (say, LO) and proprietary
applications will be used in parallel and documents in various formats
will be interchanged. Therefore, we want to understand the situation and
prepare a guide (use this feature, avoid that feature), which would help
in creating documents which can safely be opened by the other tool.

I am aware of the fact that "open" standards like OOXML, which are
more-or-less in hands of only one company (even if it is an ISO
standard) will always be a problem. Simultaneously, MS support of ODF
will probably never be perfect. But a state administration does not need
complex features and formatting - therefore we want to prepare the guide
which would tell them, what is safe to use.

The discrepancies between rendering of odt and docx files by the other
applications are really big. Jean-Francois pointed to "Styles. Or lack
of. " I've heard this also from other people. So, is it really 
that a program, when opening a document, applies some additional
formatting, which can change appearance in comparison to the original?
Should this be considered as a bug, or is it a feature (which can be
eventually switched off) ?

As an example I created a simple document in LO40 (MS2013), stored as
odt (docx) and opened and printed in MS2013 (LO40) :
In the pdf (overlay of rendering in bork applications) you can see that
the major difference resides in interline spacing. Do you have and idea,
where is  the reason?
ODF 1.1 and OOXML transitional were used, the used fonts were available
on both computers. Line spacing does not seem to be a big issue, but one
can see inconsistent line spacing nearly everywhere. So, from the point
of view of interoperability it is perhaps a blocker, since the
displacement is sometimes a couple of lines per page.

If this is a bug in LO I will file a bug in its Bugzilla. If it is a bug
in MS2013, we will ask MS to correct that (there is a guy from Microsoft
in our team who promised to do that). If they do not correct it, it will
be a nice argument against using MSO at all.

I will be grateful for each advice on how to analyze the problem and how
to sort out the reason.

With best regards

Dňa 06.05.2013 18:31, Regina Henschel wrote / napísal(a):
 Hi Milos,

 Milos Sramek schrieb:

 I observe that LibreOffice and MS Office display even simple 
 containing just a few paragraphs with numbered and bulleted lists,
 differently. These differences are from both sides: a document is
 created in LO, stored in odf and opened in MSO (2013)

 Do you mean, that you write to .odt and open the document then in

 Are you writing with ODF1.2 or with ODF 1.2 extended? In case of ODF
 1.2 extended, you cannot expect that MSO can read it the same way,
 because is might contain parts which are specific to LO.

 Do you write and reopen the document on the same machine? Otherwise
 make sure, that you have installed the same fonts on both machines.

  and vice versa:
 created in MSO, stored in docx and opened in LO.

 I would like to understand the situation and to know
 - if it is just a bug (perhaps on both sides)
 - if some standard local settings are applied, which result in 
 - if it is a fundamental problem residing deep in the ODF and OOXML

 If one application writes ODF (without extended) and another
 application reads this file and shows it with large differences, then
 there might be errors in the application, but it can be shortcomings
 in the specification as well. In such cases you should provide sample
 documents and detailed descriptions, so that it is possible to

 Kind regards

email & jabber:

To unsubscribe e-mail to:
Posting guidelines + more:
List archive:
All messages sent to this list will be publicly archived and cannot be 

To unsubscribe e-mail to:
Posting guidelines + more:
List archive:
All messages sent to this list will be publicly archived and cannot be deleted


Privacy Policy | Impressum (Legal Info) | Copyright information: Unless otherwise specified, all text and images on this website are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. This does not include the source code of LibreOffice, which is licensed under the Mozilla Public License (MPLv2). "LibreOffice" and "The Document Foundation" are registered trademarks of their corresponding registered owners or are in actual use as trademarks in one or more countries. Their respective logos and icons are also subject to international copyright laws. Use thereof is explained in our trademark policy.