Experimenting With Replacing Microsoft Office

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Hook, Jun 17, 2016.

  1. Hook

    Hook Caught Watching Prawn

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    Who knows. Like I say, it was partially click bait because it would depend on, first of all, deciding that Scrivener is the tool I wan t to go with, second not deciding to wait for an Android version. I've owned Scrivener for a couple of years and while the main thing that has stopped me with it has been not having a mobile option, which I require. It would nicely solve the lack of OneNote. It may just be a reflection of my feeling grumpy that a lot of Devs have stopped developing for my TAB S. :vbwink:

    Which, of course, is silly since it works perfectly fine with my current setup with no further developments. :vbgrin:
     
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  2. Mi An

    Mi An Hyperfocal

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  3. Hook

    Hook Caught Watching Prawn

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    Getting this thread back on topic, I am loving my setup, in particularly Softmaker Office. I doubt I will go back to MS Office at all.

    Outlook was harder to let go of, but even that has been successful after 2 weeks. Yes, Outlook gives me better features and better integration of PIMS (since email and PIMS are all one app) but once I got used to the differences, Thunderbird and Pimlical are a powerful combination.

    Still working through some problems with the NoteCase Pro program in regards to attachments. I discovered there were actually 2 problems. One was that the Android tablet version wasn't allowing me to use my attachments properly. But the other problem was that if the NoteCase Pro files were on my SD card and I tried to use them, it would shut down my SD card (make it appear a 0GB to the rest of Android). :vbeek: Rebooting cleared the problem and it doesn't happen with NoteCase Pro files on internal memory. The Dev has been very communicative and helpful. I sent him all the files I was working with and all the info about my tablet. He was finishing up a new Windows version, but as soon as he finishes, he is going to take a look at the problem and update the Android app. So, we'll see. I like responsive devs. I'm willing to be patient. :thumbsup:
     
  4. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

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    Hook, I've been looking into Softmaker Office apps for Android, but yes, selecting one is very confusing. I installed PlanMaker HD Basic on my V10, and I really like it. But I wonder why they list the full version as "designed fot tablets". Have you tried the Full version of their apps on a cellphone? Is it that the UI is too big for a phone? The UI of the Basic version is quite big, but I find the apps very usable on my phone. If the full versions are similar, I don't think I'll have a problem using them.

    I have MS Excel installed on my phone, but only yesterday I noticed it can't open .xls files (only .xlsx) by itself. To open an .xls file, the file must be uploaded to a MS server and converted to .xlsx. Of course I learned this when trying to open one .xls file while offline. I have MobiSystems Office Pro, and they do open .xls files and several other formats too, but I like the UI of PlanMaker more, and it seems to have more features.
     
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  5. Hook

    Hook Caught Watching Prawn

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    It never occured to me to try the full HD version on the phone, but I'll give it a tru later (have some errands to run right now) and get back later tonight.
     
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  6. Hook

    Hook Caught Watching Prawn

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    So I downloaded both the HD Tablet version of Textmaker (I assume whatever applies to Textmaker applies to the other Apps) and also the Basic version so I could compare. As I suspected, there is no difference in the interface between the basic version and the HD version. The only difference between them is that if you ask for a feature that is on the menus but which requires the HD liscence, you are given an in-ap purchase box :vbrolleyes:. Upshot, if you like the basic app on your phone, you will be fine with the HD version.

    On my Nexus 5, I find the screen just too small for such a detailed UI. If the phone was all I had I could live with it and a 5.5" screen would probably be fine. Obviously, I love the HD version on my 10.5" tablet, but I only use my phone for quick look-up so I just use the very basic free app which has a quite usable but much less complex UI.
     
  7. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

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    Thank you, Hook. I suspected as much, and it's good to know the HD version will work ok on my phone. The app does have a very pleasant Office 2003 look :)
     
  8. jigwashere

    jigwashere Mobile Deity

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    My wife has the ipad air 2 and it's really nice. She loves typing on it with the great keyboard cover she bought. Note that only the cellular version has gps if that's important to you. She's loving cell connectivity here in rural Canada where internet access is a big challenge.

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
     
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  9. Hook

    Hook Caught Watching Prawn

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    Well, I'm really settled in and quite comfortable. SoftMaker Office is wonderful on my PC, Android Tablet and Android phone (though I don't do anything on my phone except view). There is nothing I used to do with MS Office that I haven't been able to figure out in SM Office (I love the mirrored initials-- it's bizarro world where toolbars exist and ribbons don't. Me am thinking much better). <-- if you get that joke you're a geezer. :vbrolleyes: Again, my heavy Office testing is with TextMaker because, frankly, Word Processing of one sort or another is 90% of what I do. I do only simple things with Excel/PlanMaker and PowerPoint/Presentations, but everything I have tried that I have done before in MS Office has worked fine. And, most importantly, if I have to do anything with them later in MS Office, compatibility is complete. On Android, because of my uses, I've paid for TextMaker HD, but only use the free Basic versions for PlanMaker and Presentations (Which has an S on its icon because I assume they didn't want two apps with a P-- so why not call it "Slides.") I've now gone so far as to let SoftMaker Office in Windows own all the office file associations. I have serious doubts I'll go back to MS Office at the end of this test. MS Office is still installed, but I haven't opened one of their programs in more than 3 weeks and I have been doing a lot of work.

    At this point, I don't even miss Outlook. That's something I thought would never happen. I've used Outlook non-stop since 1997 (God, Outlook 97 was awful, so much so that MS allowed free distribution of Outlook 98 which was so good, you had to forgive them). It was just ingrained in me at this point, and, of course work requires it still. However, even though it has some rougher edges, I have come to really enjoy using Thunderbird for Email and Pimlical for PIMs. I like the Pimlical Android app, but I may see what things are like using Deja Office with Pimlical. Companion Link syncs with Pimlical desktop and I do like the Deja Office UI. We'll see. I'll keep the Pimlical app on my phone and try Companion Link/ Deja Office on my tablet and compare.

    NoteCase Pro has turned out to be quite wonderful. The problem with attachments got cleared up. The help manual wasn't entirely clear in explaining, at least for me. Once I got it sorted, it works great. Both the Dev and I suspect the SD card problem is Android and Lollipop's problems with handling permissions to read/write sd cards. I took a log for the Dev and he's looking at the problem, but everything works fine on internal memory and my notes don't take up enough room for that to bother me. It is such a powerful note taking app and syncing via Dropbox is easy. It really is like Splash Notes, which was my favorite on Palm, but with many more features. It allows tagging as well as using a hierarchy. There are things I still miss about OneNote, but not enough to think this is a bad move.

    So, the experiment goes on until the end of September, but I no longer feel like I'm experimenting most of the time. :newpalm:
     
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  10. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    I took a look at softmaker office and I'd really like to give it a try but it is only available for Windows, Linux and Android. I do have a couple of Windows 7 virtual boxes lying around but I haven't bothered launching one of them in over 2 years. I'd probably have to sit through hours of updates just to wake one of them up and then I'd feel obligated to save the current machine state so I wouldn't have to sit through all those updates again. I only have a couple of Android devices, both of which haven't been powered on in many months.

    Still I think I might have something helpful to contribute to a thread about replacing MS Office. I've been using google sheets and google docs quite a bit. For ongoing work, I'd prefer to work on a document where the working copy resides in the cloud.

    As an Apple user, I have access to Numbers and Pages on my devices and in browsers but I prefer google docs and google sheets. There was a google outage a few months ago where I lost access to my files. I realized that I'd never properly backed them up so when they reappeared I made it a practice to "download as" and save important files every few days.

    I like that I can "download as" docx, pdf and epub among other file formats from google docs and I can "download as" xslx and csv from google sheets. The same download options are there for iCloud but I find Google Docs almost always works in Chrome while iCloud often (more than twice a week) reports an error when I switch from notes to photos or photos to pages. These iCloud errors in the Chrome browser usually force me to close the iCloud tab and reload it, often leading to nuisance login or a nuisance 2 factor authentication ritual. Both of these are an unwelcome intrusion in my workflow.
     

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