Monday, March 25, 2013

No More Microsoft Office…

Maybe this will help you…

For me, in my situation, Google Drive/Docs and LibreOffice have completely replaced Microsoft Office.  Not only do I not pay for MS Office anymore, but I get more functionality out of Google and LibreOffice.  Here is my set up.

In my situation, I have found the price of MS Office to be cost prohibitive. I have also found that there are FREE alternatives out there that are not only ready for mainstream, but give me increased functionality.  I wanted to make this jump years ago, but after trying out the alternatives, I had found that they were still clunky, and not quite ready.  But, now, they are.  Here is what I have done…

google-driveI almost exclusively use the online Google Drive/Docs.  I create, edit, and share all docs via Google Drive.  I have download Google Drive onto my desktop.  I can create, open and edit files even when I am offline.  There are some limitations while offline, but I have not found them to be a big deal.  The biggest benefit I find is that by using Google Drive/Docs, all of my files are available on any computer I sit at, on my iPad, on my iPhone, or anyone else’s for that matter.  They are also shared, if I want them to be, with a host of other people.  I work on a team, and I highly value team collaboration, constant access to constantly updated files.  Therefore, shared docs are a must.

For creating New files…

I have created links on my desktop (finding the right links to use wasn’t exactly easy), so that I have one click access to creating new files. It’s just like opening MS Word to create a file. It’s really slick.  Here are the links if you want to put them on your desktop to try this out.

Here are the links you need if you are using Google Apps for a domain (right click on your desktop, choose create new shortcut, and use the following as the location)…

  • https://docs.google.com/a/YOURDOMAIN.com/document/create?hl=en
  • https://docs.google.com/a/YOURDOMAIN.com/spreadsheet
  • https://docs.google.com/a/YOURDOMAIN.com/presentation/create?hl=en
  • https://docs.google.com/a/YOURDOMAIN.com/drawings/create?hl=en

If your Google Drive Docs does not reside within a domain, you can still create shortcuts, but you will leave out the reference to a domain, like this:

  • https://docs.google.com/document/create?hl=en
  • https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet
  • https://docs.google.com/presentation/create?hl=en
  • https://docs.google.com/drawings/create?hl=en

Here are the icon images you can use. Right Click on each and choose (“Save As”), then once you have the link on your desktop, point to these icons instead of the default.

gdoc-32  gsheet-32  gslides-32  gdraw-32

I do it all in Google Drive.  If someone emails me a file, I click on the link for the attachment in Gmail to save or open in Google Drive.  The “Save to Drive” link does just that, it saves it within my Google Drive (This is only viewable, and shareable, but not editable).  So, if someone sends me an Office file, I have enabled the gmail lab item called “Google Docs previews in mail”, that allows me to click “Open in Drive” and this automatically converts the file into Google Drive format so I can edit immediately.

libreofficeI say I use Google Drive almost exclusively, because there are still times when I want to open an Office document on my desktop, edit it offline, and save or email to someone without first going through the process of opening or converting it to Google Drive.  I am now using LibreOffice on my desktop for this.  LibreOffice is robust, I can automatically open MS Office documents, it is easy to automatically save into MS Office format, and it’s free!  I still set my defaults to saving in MS Office format, because that is what most other people use.  Google Drive doesn’t have an MS Access equivalent, so LibreOffice helps with this too.

Hope you find this helpful.

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