Q

Google Docs vs. OpenOffice

An office suite expert recommends breaking spreadsheets into smaller pieces for sharing between users.

How does OpenOffice compare to Google Docs? I need to share files with co-workers and I don't know if OpenOffice has a document-sharing ability.

OpenOffice.org has far more features than Google spreadsheets. If you need only very simple features and you absolutely need to edit files at the same time as other co-workers, then you might want to try Google spreadsheets. However, there are other issues with Google spreadsheets such as speed and security, if your organization has qualms about having its data on Google's computers. Test both types of spreadsheets first with typical...

daily tasks before you make a decision.

If one user opens an OpenOffice.org spreadsheet, and another user tries to open the same file, the second user can only view that spreadsheet. But I think that's a good decision; what if both users are changing the same cell at the same time? That could cause problems.

You might also try to break your spreadsheets into smaller parts. If you have a spreadsheet with 20-30 tabs, see if it's necessary to have them all together.

This was first published in April 2007

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