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Hi :)
A couple of key points.

Firstly ...
So far you seem to have been following the Microsoft route to change.
"Slash and burn" or "burning your bridges".  It is better to think of
"migration" rather than "move to".

Step 1 is to install LIbreOffice alongside MS Office

Step 2 is to start gradually using LibreOffice more and more.  Certain
people might be resistant at first.  Certain tasks might still require
MSO for a while.  During this phase companies seem to still buy
machines with MSO on or even install and upgrade MSO on some machines.
 Some retraining of some staff might be required.  Perhaps pick key
people from each department.  Best seems to be
1.  people who are still using MS Office 2003 or who were very
familiar with it and hate the ribbon-bar,
2.  geeks and innovators
3.  people who seem to help colleagues naturally or who people go to
for help with IT issues
This reduces the down-time and usual confusion when moving to new systems.

Step 3 is to start rolling out training more widely.  Around now stop
buying new MSO licenses but still keep old versions of MSO.  This is
the phase to stop getting MSO on newer machines.  Keep working at
setting-up LibreOffice to do those awkward tasks that still need MSO.

It's only with MS products that you need to get rid of the old
systems.  The usual reasons are incompatiblities with formats,
difficulty to support, security issues and so on.  With OpenSource
it's a complete contrast.  You can keep the older systems even though
they are almost never used.  Incompatibilities fade and security and
support issues drop away.  New staff might start off using MSO but
quickly find that LO is better so they gradually learn from colleagues
without "being all at sea" so much in their first few days.

So a lot of OpenSource advocates would recommend never bothering to
remove MS products at all.  Just minimise their usage.

Secondly ...
It helps to get advice from people who have helped many companies
migrate.  My steps are just a rough-outline but they can help develop
more precision tailored to your company from where you have got to so
far.  They might also be able to help with certain specifics and may
have tools developed by other companies, governments or organisations.
 The people on our "Contacts" page can probably help guide you to a
suitable organisation or individual to help with that.

Regards from
Tom :)

On 2 April 2014 05:54, Sqwuiddy <> wrote:
Hello, I just want to preface this with a huge thank you for reading and
taking any time to reply, sorry for the long post!

My company is looking to move our production team to LibreOffice. We are
currently using Microsoft Office, and using Word 2010 to build all of our
mail merge templates. I have spent about 3 weeks trying to research
workarounds for some of the code we build into our templates to no avail.
And unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any support online for the issues
I've encountered. This is problematic, as we have well over 300 templates
that will need to be broken down and reconfigured if we cannot find
solutions to these issues. Fortunately, we haven't moved to LibreOffice yet
and production is still functioning. But if I cannot find solutions to these
issues I need to inform my supervisors immediately.


Part of our company has moved completely to LibreOffice and removed
Microsoft Office from their computers. I have tried programming mail merge
templates on my computer, and then having them open it on theirs, and the
documents will not merge. The first error we encountered was that the IF
statements that I built didn't function at all. I simply wanted to make an
"X" appear when a field contained a certain value. These were if statements
that would function on my computer. The second error was that... well, none of
the merge fields merged. When I re-inserted them they worked fine, but they
wouldn't pull from the database even after re-registering it. My question
here is, does Word give Libre Writer a leg up if both programs are on one
computer? Is that why when I moved a document I'd programmed and tested to
success in Libre Writer to another computer without Microsoft Office it
wouldn't function? This is essential to know; because I'm helping others
troubleshoot their issues.

Nested IF Statements:

Is this possible? I have tried a variety of things and I've done a good deal
of research, and I've hit a wall. We cannot move forward if we do not have
the capability of creating nested if statements.

IF Statements resulting in a Mail Merge Field:

So far I have only been able to make conditional mail merge fields
hide/appear using hidden sections. This is not a practical technique for us,
as our documents are built almost entirely on conditionally revealed values.
I have researched this as much as I could, it seems I cannot create a
conditional statement that results in a mail merge field, but I wanted to

Formatting Fields:

We regularly use a formatting switch on our mail merge fields in Word 2010
called "DollarText." This takes a number from an Excel spreadsheet and
spells it out, like below:

Cell Value: $1,231.67
Formatted: One thousand, two hundred and thirty one dollars and sixty seven

We have other switches that we need to use as well, but those don't seem
available in the list of additional formats. Is there a workaround for this,
or am I missing something? I have to admit, I don't fully understand how to
build custom formats (I haven't found much documentation on them at all).

Check Boxes:

FormCheckBoxes from Word do not translate in Writer. Meaning, I can open
Word 97-2003 documents containing these functional check boxes with Libre
Writer but they do not print. Is there a setting somewhere that I need to
switch or perhaps a better alternative? I have tried retemplating these
documents in Libre using Writer's FormCheckBoxes but they are impossible for
me to place on a table. Wingdings are also not an option.

Table-Intensive Documents:

We build forms that go to court, so they have to be laid out in tables
exactly as the court requires. Most of the time we build these forms on
tables in Word. When opened in Libre Writer, the tables break, cells expand,
and other such things occur. I spent 4 hours last week trying to rebuild one
for a firm that doesn't have access to Microsoft Office and had no luck.
After I finally finished my rebuilding, I saved the document as a Writer
document to prevent further issue with compatibility, and to my absolute
dismay I discovered that it turned all of the mail merge fields into text. I
spent the next 4 hours attempting to reprogram it. ...I don't really have a
question here, I guess.


We have already built hundreds of mail merge templates in Word. In order to
continue to function through the conversion from Word to Writer, we need to
be able to merge these and not rebuild them all immediately. However,
simple, very simple, documents have been crashing Writer like we were in a
derby and on fire. This isn't just with one, but a great majority of our
templates. Is this common? They are Word 97-2003 documents I am opening in
Libre Writer 4.0.

In all, I just need to know if these things are possible. If not, I can tell
my team that we need to keep Microsoft Office, the rest of our company is on
Libre anyway. If they are, I would love a brief tutorial or explanation.

Also, below are some fun, plain-text formulas I built in Word that we use on
every day templates, just to give you an idea of the level of complexity I'm
talking about.

"{ IF { MERGEFIELD SUITCOST } >= 5001.00 "GREATER" "" }" = "" "CHECKS" "NO

The above formula determines firstly whether or not the county we're filing
in is Miami-Dade or not. If it is, it then goes and determines whether or
not the principal we're filing for is over $5001.00. If it is, we want
checks, otherwise it will say "NO CHECKS." If it is not Miami-Dade it checks
to see whether the county is any within a list of counties and if it is, it
will result in "CHECKS" which triggers the final layer of IF statements to
either display "CHECKS" if it is one of those counties or "NO CHECKS" if it
is not.


True: SUITCOST = 5001.00 False: No Checks
True: Checks False: No Checks

False: COUNTY = "List of Counties"
True: Checks False: BLANK)
YES: No Checks NO: Checks

NUMBER3 } <> "" "60" "{ IF { MERGEFIELD NUMBER2 } <> "" "43" "20" }" } }

This is how we number paragraphs in our documents. Because we make frequent
edits, and the "automated numbering" tool in Word continues numbering
through all the documents in the merge, we have to program numbers in. These
can change depending on which paragraphs we include, and we have to force
the field to start at certain numbers depending on certain variables.
The \r switch within the field tells the field it needs to start at a
specified number. In this case, if "NUMBER4" in our spreadsheet isn't blank,
we want the IF statement to result in "77." If it is blank and "NUMBER3" is
not, we want it to result in 60 and thus start numbering at 60. And so on...

Can these be recreated in Libre Writer without learning to code in Pearl and

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