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PSA: Using OpenOffice? Might want to switch to LibreOffice instead

Over on James Nicoll’s LJ, this past weekend, I saw this post wherein James was asking for help on an OpenOffice feature–and folks in the comments were advising that he should consider switching over to LibreOffice instead.

The basis for this is that apparently the code base for OpenOffice is not getting actively updated. The last release was back in October of 2015, and there is a known security issue now that hasn’t been fixed in any release of the suite yet. That issue is described here, where it is noted that there is a hotfix patch available, if you’re comfortable with trying to install that.

But more tellingly, also in the comments on James’ thread, I saw a link off to this Ars Technica article that discusses an active possibility that OpenOffice just might be shut down. Apparently Apache’s OO team doesn’t have enough active developers to support the code.

So if you’re an OpenOffice user, you might want to keep an eye on this. At minimum, you should go install the patch discussed on the security bulletin I link to above. And you should think about whether you want to continue to use OpenOffice, or maybe make the switch to LibreOffice instead, since that’s still being actively developed.

Whatever you decide to do, good luck!


How to do change tracking and comments

This is of interest to anyone who might want to help out with beta reading Queen of Souls. As y’all saw in that post, what I need is for people to load the manuscript into a word processor that supports Office-style change tracking and comments, so that I can take your comments and merge them all into a master file.

Here’s the important thing to note: you do not need to actually have Microsoft Word on your system.

Yes, Microsoft Office is king of all the word processing, and in particular, it’s what gets used in the vast majority of work in the publishing industry. But because it is so ubiquitous, other word processors pretty much have to have some level of compatibility with it in order for people to actually get work done. This includes Pages, if you’re a Mac owner and/or an iOS device user, and Open/LibreOffice, if you’re a Linux person.

The functionality that’s of most interest to me here is the ability to leave comments, but you’ll need to turn on change tracking to get to that functionality, most likely. Here are assorted bits of instructions as to how to do this, depending on what word processor you have immediately available.

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