My company, which has 35 users, is interested in moving from MS Office to OpenOffice.org. Can you offer advice on best practices for migrating? Are there any hidden loopholes? We don't want any unpleasant surprises!
This is essential for anyone switching, even if you've already decided. Knowing what's coming before you begin the process is very helpful. If your documents convert beautifully, and they might, so much the better. If you have complex Office documents, you will probably need to do manual tweaking. Mail merge documents often need to be fixed after conversion, too.
Your designated team can use the mass document converter to speed things up. It creates an OpenOffice.org copy of every MS document you point it to. Choose File > AutoPilot > Document Converter.
See also the question from another reader on training. Good documentation is essential; good training is really helpful as well, since you can do a lot more with OpenOffice.org than it seems. Your designated team will need documentation in order to determine whether everything you do now that you absolutely need can be done in OpenOffice.org, and to determine any workarounds for important things that could be done another way if necessary. They might also find things that OpenOffice.org does better.
This was first published in May 2003