July 26, 2007

Ending compatibility problems

Last year I had a handful of students who used Microsoft WORKS for word processing because that is what they got for free with their computers. The problem is that WORKS cannot save documents in WORD format. So the students had to remember to save the file as an RTF or TXT file.And 9 times out of 10 they forgot so I had to ask then to resend their articles.

Rather than force the students into spending hundreds of dollars to get WORD -- and thereby add to Bill Gates' wealth -- I have recommended the following FREE word processors that are WORD compatible to my students.

First is Open Office at http://www.openoffice.org/index.html.

This is a complete office suite that includes a spreadsheet, word processor, database, and presentation program.

I often use this program and LOVE IT!

Open Office is part of the open architecture movement.

The latest addition to this program is a version that you can store on a thumb drive and run on any computer. (http://portableapps.com/apps/office/openoffice_portable) Just save your documents on the same thumb drive and you are good to go on any PC.

Another freebie I am testing out is Abiword. (www.abisource.com)

So far the program does everything WORD does and it is free.


1 comment:

Paul said...

Thanks Dan for the heads up on this. In my syllabus I included a section on submitting assignments in a Word compatible format and I included the link to the open source software you suggested. Now I only hope the students understand the point.