The short version: How easy is it to use OpenOffice as a Word alternative? Is there a learning curve? Is it pretty much just like using Word but with a different layout?
The long version: I use Corel’s Word Perfect at home for my minimal word processing needs. On the rare occassions that I need to flip between WP and Word, it’s been painless but because my documents have very minimal formatting. The once or twice I’ve tried to convert a heavily formatted document or one with images, WP choked on me.
My girlfriend needs to work on a heavily formatted document this weekend and would prefer to do so on my computer rather than her own. I’m not convinced that Word Perfect will format it properly for her in conversion and she doesn’t have time to spend trying to fix it. Would we have good luck trying OpenOffice? If there’s a sharp learning curve, she might just be better off using her own computer but, if it’s pretty much seamless to Word then it might be what we’re looking for.
By “heavily formatted”, I mean that it is a government document meant to be distributed as a flier or pamphlet. So it has difference colors, indenting, bullet points, maybe some graphics (charts) and that sort of thing.