03 May 2010

RE: Do I need MS Office suite?

Though this is not strictly a Desire2Learn question, it can affect how we create materials for this system. A colleague asked for my thoughts comparing MS Office, OpenOffice.org, and Google Docs for his home computer. Here is my response:
I would hold off on paying for the software and try Google Docs. I like always having access to the documents wherever I am, and the features are more than adequate for what I do. Unless you use macros or have detailed formatting needs, Google Docs work great. I used to be concerned about access to those documents if the internet is unavailable, but I use those rare times to get other things done like organize papers (on my desk at work), and there are a zillion things to get done at home. Google Docs can export into PDF and MS Office formats, so you could access those via the Office software on your computer at work if you wish.

OpenOffice is even closer to MS Office than Google Docs, but it is not in the cloud so you would have to keep track of document versions or transport files from one place to another. If I were in your situation I would use Google Docs as my primary place to do work, so that I would not have to worry about transporting files from home to work. If I needed extra formatting capabilities or had to print at home, I would have OpenOffice on that computer.

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