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EDA => Circuit Studio => Topic started by: EE-digger on January 25, 2021, 01:26:01 am

Title: Will Libre or Open Office satisfy CS need for Excel?
Post by: EE-digger on January 25, 2021, 01:26:01 am
I just ordered a license last night while I finish off the eval version.  The temporary "new" win10 system I'm on has no office like programs at the moment.

CS output generation for BOMs, etc. requires Excel.  Will it work with Libre Office or Open Office?  Even .pdf output requires Excel, which is too bad.  That should be built in (perhaps it is for AD).
Title: Re: Will Libre or Open Office satisfy CS need for Excel?
Post by: JohnnyMalaria on January 25, 2021, 01:42:36 am
The online versions of Office apps are free: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/free-office-online-for-the-web (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/free-office-online-for-the-web)

If the free version can't save as PDF, just select the Microsoft Print to PDF printer.
Title: Re: Will Libre or Open Office satisfy CS need for Excel?
Post by: Whales on January 25, 2021, 01:46:42 am
Recommendation: try Libreoffice with your CS stuff.  If it doesn't do what you want then you've lost about half an hour of your life (ie much cheaper than an MSO license).

> Even .pdf output requires Excel, which is too bad

Libreoffice can output PDFs just fine.  It can even import them for editing (albeit imperfectly) which has been handy a few times.

N.B. Libreoffice is the spiritual successor to Openoffice; I don't recommend even considering Openoffice.  It got bought by Oracle and since then has mostly been sat on; most of the devs instead fled and started the Libreoffice project.  In terms of compatibility and features:  LO >> OO
Title: Re: Will Libre or Open Office satisfy CS need for Excel?
Post by: EE-digger on January 25, 2021, 02:43:13 am
Thanks guys.  I've run Libre Office in the past but switched to Open Office on other home systems (Libre was closer in response to Excel for functions I needed).

I installed fresh LO just now and it satisfies CS for .xls outputs and they look good (they auto open in LO).  CS still throws an error that it needs Excel for pdf, even though I'm not requesting any .pdf that I know of.

Microsoft "print to pdf" is present as a printer and CS apparently is not satisfied by it.

I'll try a few other things but can live with the good .xls outputs, ignoring the pdf error.
Title: Re: Will Libre or Open Office satisfy CS need for Excel?
Post by: Whales on January 25, 2021, 03:34:02 am
If you do want to end up purchasing an MSO license:

1. Be wary of the rental plans VS one-off outright purchases.  Microsoft likes pushing the former, but if you intend to use your copy of office for more than 2 or so years (ie everyone) then the outright purchase ends up being cheaper.

2. Don't buy one-off outright versions from office.com.  For some reason they're a bit cheaper through ordinary brick-and-mortar (or online) computer stores, even though they literally sell you a shrink-wrapped activation key and a link to the office.com website.

(This is based on info from my experiences in Australia, MS might have different rules/plans in other regions)
Title: Re: Will Libre or Open Office satisfy CS need for Excel?
Post by: JohnnyMalaria on January 25, 2021, 03:43:07 am
1. Be wary of the rental plans VS one-off outright purchases.  Microsoft likes pushing the former, but if you intend to use your copy of office for more than 2 or so years (ie everyone) then the outright purchase ends up being cheaper.

I disagree. For $99 per year, 5 people can each install the full Office suite on 5 different devices. With the outright purchase, it's just you and (I think) one device and you don't get upgrades. Plus, each of the 5 people get 1TB OneDrive. Contrary to wide belief, MS do introduce new features frequently and some of them are even useful.

With just one subscription, I provide Office for all the employees of two small businesses...
Title: Re: Will Libre or Open Office satisfy CS need for Excel?
Post by: CatalinaWOW on January 25, 2021, 04:54:34 am
1. Be wary of the rental plans VS one-off outright purchases.  Microsoft likes pushing the former, but if you intend to use your copy of office for more than 2 or so years (ie everyone) then the outright purchase ends up being cheaper.

I disagree. For $99 per year, 5 people can each install the full Office suite on 5 different devices. With the outright purchase, it's just you and (I think) one device and you don't get upgrades. Plus, each of the 5 people get 1TB OneDrive. Contrary to wide belief, MS do introduce new features frequently and some of them are even useful.

With just one subscription, I provide Office for all the employees of two small businesses...

Different strokes for different folks.  I am still mostly using Office 2003 when I need MS compatibility.  And haven't for the most part missed the "upgrades" in the Office product.  That would have been $1700 in subscription fees.  I did break down and get a fresh copy of Office recently for compatibility reasons and am gradually switching over.  And for most of my computers rather than trying to get multiple licenses I just use Libre Office. 

Your approach may well make sense for a small business, particularly one that has fairly high employee turnover.  But there are real costs to the re-training required as MS moves the goal posts around in their product.  Hard to work out the actual economics, but clearly the same size does not fit all.
Title: Re: Will Libre or Open Office satisfy CS need for Excel?
Post by: james_s on January 25, 2021, 05:00:07 am
The frequent updates are a nuisance not a feature. I really struggle to think of any innovative new features that have been added to word processors and spreadsheets in the last 25 years, they are very mature product categories.

Office 2003 is still the best version of Office IMO, it's the last on the Windows side that still has proper menus, although on the Mac I have for work the later versions are fine as Apple required the menu be retained. I have a legal copy although the last time I wiped my laptop I installed Libre Office because I couldn't be bothered to get up and find the MS Office disc and my optical drive. Haven't really missed anything yet, it does everything I need it to do. The fact that it's free is just an added bonus.

As for the subscription, I don't rent software, period, this is absolutely not negotiable, I refuse to support that business model.
Title: Re: Will Libre or Open Office satisfy CS need for Excel?
Post by: Joel_l on January 26, 2021, 02:07:06 am
For simple spreadsheets like a BOM, Libre or Open Office should be fine.

I went for SoftMaker Office which has good compatibility with advanced Excel functions and is fairly inexpensive to rent or buy. The only thing Softmaker lacks is VBS
Title: Re: Will Libre or Open Office satisfy CS need for Excel?
Post by: EE-digger on January 26, 2021, 03:28:40 pm
Update ...

For spreadsheet output, Libre office worked fine, but CS still gave one or more error or warning boxes about Excel needed for PDF output, even when nothing was visibly requesting PDF.

Just for kicks, I backed up my system and installed an un-opened copy of Office XP 2002  :horse:. This worked like a charm, errors are gone and can now generate PDF, even though Excel 2002 itself knows nothing about pdf generation.

I do have both Microsoft pdf and also Primo PDF printers installed.  Neither one satisfied CS by itself.

My guess is that with Excel installed, CS was now able to see the 3rd party pdf class of print device.