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Hi :)
Ouch!  A bit of a knee-jerk reaction again!  I'm obviously quite tense

Maybe take advantage of the fact they specified OpenOffice and didn't
mention LibreOffice at all.  Keep using LibreOffice?  That way you are not
exactly breaking their ruling just bending it a bit.

If you get a file that is clearly a bit messed up, from a tutor, ask them
which version of MSO they are using because your version doesn't seem to
read it properly (omitting to say your version is not actually MSO).  Ask
them to
File - "Save As ..."
to send in the older format that everyone CAN read.  If they press you on
which version you are using obfuscate and say that you've heard all the
different versions have problems with that particular file.  Chances are
that they do anyway but it'd be nice to check in the library or somewhere
if possible just to be certain.

If the file was from a student then do about the same but maybe consider
telling them to use LibreOffice or anything else so that their files can be
used by anyone.  But students can be annoyingly naive so take care with
such suggestions in case that back-fires too.

Regards from
Tom :)

On 17 April 2014 17:47, Tom Davies <> wrote:

Hi :)
They have probably had to deal with a lot of grumbles from people using LO
or AOO who have trouble with documents created in MSO where MSO has used
their newer formats (about 4 or more different versions of docX, xlsX, pptX

So, it's all back-fired a bit!  The aim was to push the college to switch
formats that everyone could use on any platform.

Perhaps write to them to complain?

Point out exactly what you just said, that you don't see why you should
pay upwards of $110 to some 3rd party organisation!  I'd be tempted to
request they give a free copy of MSO!  You already have software that does
all the same things and don't see why you should spend more money just in
order to keep doing the same things that you can already do for free.
Maybe get really rude and  ask if they get a commission on the number of
students forced into buying something that  they don't need.

I don't know if i would point out the security risk of running such
ancient software as MSO 2007 as that might backfire too.  As might the
recent problem with opening any Rtf file in MSO.  Macros have repeatedly
been such a huge problem over the years that it's resulted in MSO popping
up a security warning when trying to run any macro.  That might be worth
pointing out.

So, the college is putting students at risk and demanding they spend money
to do so, when there are perfectly usable (and free) alternatives.
Regards from
Tom :)

On 17 April 2014 17:08, Jay Lozier <> wrote:

On 04/17/2014 11:14 AM, Jeffrey Deutsch wrote:


I'm thinking of applying for an online tutoring position at
However, they require that tutors (and applicants, for the mock tutoring
session) have Microsoft Word (2007 or later) itself -- they specifically
say that OpenOffice is not acceptable. I'd rather not spend $110 just to
get MS Word (or $140 for MS Office, or $10/month or $100/year to rent MS
Office) for this specific job, when OpenOffice/LibreOffice has worked
fine for me for the past decade.

Does anyone here have any relevant experience (eg, does in
practice allow OpenOffice/LibreOffice, is it absolutely necessary to get
Word, do you know of similar online tutoring services that allow
OpenOffice/LibreOffice, etc)?

Thank you in advance!

Jeff Deutsch
Speaker & Life Coach
A SPLINT - ASPies LInking with NTs

"Listen to the universe while it whispers before it has to shout."
Marion Grobb Finkelstein, Communication Catalyst --


Either they do not know a number of applications can handle the vast
majority of MS Word documents, not just LO. I have at least four
applications (all available at no cost some FOSS and some proprietary) on
my Linux box that can read/write MS Word documents plus Google Docs. Or
they use  VBA macros which is a very, very, very, very serious security
risk/stupidity. If they are requiring running VBA macros, I would seriously
question their competence and/or ethics for risking anyone's computer. My
experience is that many VBA macros can be replaced by a template with user
entry fields.

The normal security rule is never allow a foreign (one you have not
reviewed/written) VBA macro to run on your computer because they have been
a notorious attack vector in the past. The problem is there is often no
indication in the file extension a macro is present that could run
automatically when the file is opened. I would generalize this to never
allow any foreign macro to run on your computer.

Jay Lozier

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