[ubuntu-studio-users] Is Libre an acceptable substitute for MS office for college student? (long; sorry.)

Jimmy Sjölund jimmy at sjolund.se
Thu Nov 7 16:22:11 UTC 2013

On Thu, Nov 7, 2013 at 4:04 PM, Mike Holstein <mikeh789 at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Nov 6, 2013 at 4:22 PM, Pete Wright <pnwright at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I know what the answer to that question should be, but I am old enough to
>> know how ignorant I am (plenty), so this is a legitimate serious question,
>> not troll-bait.
>> My 16-year-old high school junior is in a State of Washington program
>> (Running Start) that lets students start college early, which she is doing,
>> carrying a full load of college courses plus a couple of high school
>> classes.
>> She is bright and reasonably computer literate, but she has been writing
>> for years and when the rest of the computer environment doesn't let her
>> work as fast as a word processor does, she gets frustrated. She also has
>> some health issues, so just letting her sink or swim on her own is not the
>> best option; hence my effort to help her.
>> The most recent bump she has hit is a biology assignment to make graphs
>> out of data; the examples (samples) are provided as txt files and the
>> instructions are to use Excel. Our first attempts to do the job with Libre
>> calc and/or base failed.  Her instructor, via email, just says "use the
>> computers at school if you don't have Excel."
>> We don't own MS Office and because of her health and living more than am
>> hour away from campus, using the school's computers are not often a good
>> option.
>> So, should she be able to do in LIbre what she would be able to do in MS
>> Office? (I am assuming the college does not make much use of the fanciest
>> bells and whistles that probably differentiate the two suites.)
>> I can and do teach kids and adults how to use Gimp and Libre Writer
>> instead of their high-priced counterparts, but when it comes to
>> spreadsheets and such I barely know a range from an operator, so your
>> responses can be basic to the point of primitive without danger of
>> insulting me.
>> I am interested in broad general answers to the broad question in the
>> subject line, but would like to hear finer-grained answers about the
>> graph-generation issue, as well.
>> I tried a few years back to organize a local organization to persuade our
>> schools to use Open Source software instead of proprietary stuff, but the
>> teachers were all either Apple-only or totally computer illiterate. When
>> the others gave up, I did too, and the effort fizzled. But I remain
>> dedicated to using and proselytizing Open Source; just not very good at it.
>> Helplessly yours, Pete
> for me, the problem lies in the very assignment. if the assignment is "use
> a microsoft product to create a document...", then, thats the assignment.
> we all know that ilbreoffice is a viable product, and works as advertised,
> but the only way to work in the above situation is to create a document
> that looks like it was created in a microsoft product. i think this can be
> challenging for some specific documents such as spread sheets. i never
> understood what the issue was, since the teachers, and anyone else for that
> matter, is provided a free copy of libreoffice. but, the teachers arent
> interested in learning new software, and may legitimately not have access
> to installing software on the machines at their disposal (or, they just
> dont understand how to install software). i feel like for a linux solution,
> googe docs may have an advantage here, since you can usually just share a
> link with someone, and they can open the document created in any web
> browser without adding, changing, or installing something. still, its not a
> microsoft product.
> I agree, it depends on the assignment. You should be able to create the
same results using Libre Office but it might look a bit different
cosmetically and have to be made doing a couple of other steps in the
workflow than using Excel. The University I went to was supposed to accept
Open Office/Libre Office or MS Office files when turning in assignments.
However, some teachers just wouldn't bother with other than MS Office and
to make sure they could open the files and make it look like I wanted to I
only turned in PDF files. That said, even that would make some teachers
come back to me claiming they could open my strange file ...

Google Docs can work but I have found that more advanced (and some basic)
features are not present in Google Docs. I use it only for simple layouts
and straight-forward spreadsheets.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-studio-users/attachments/20131107/731a8c97/attachment.html>

More information about the ubuntu-studio-users mailing list