I use Open Office as my word processor over Word most of the time because it has a few features which for me as a translator and a self-employed person are particularly useful. My favourite functions are:
- Export to PDF: this makes documents look more professional, is more accessible (I always send Word files otherwise but not everyone has Word despite what Microsoft would have you think!) and I know it will look the same on their computer as it does on mine. I have had my CV in PDF format for months but realised when writing this that I could and probably should send my invoices as PDFs too. It would mean they couldn’t be accidentally changed and there are less likely to be problems reading it.
- Table to text: Word and Open Office both have “text to table” which is a great feature for creating bilingual tables if you aren’t going to work in a CAT tool – highlight the source text, convert to table and add a target text column to the right. However, only Oo has “table to text” which allows you to easily convert your bilingual table back to a monolingual target text – delete the source contents and its column then convert the target column “table to text”.
The other important feature is that it is fully compatible with Word files and you can save files to be compatible with various versions of Word. The only downside is I often end up with two versions of a file as I prefer to save as Oo files to start with.
Do you use any other helpful tools in Open Office or Word?
Note: I have since noticed the ‘table to text’ function in Word so some versions do seem to have it.