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I do not mean this to be an advertisement in any way, but I am trying to find out how many people in our profession use the OpenOffice Office Suite of products including Calc by Sun Microsystems?  I am having difficulty saving my Multi-Lat™ spreadsheet with backward compatibility when creating it in Excel 2007. There are a lot of minor errors and it limits the usefulness of the program unless the user is willing to pay to upgrade to Office 2007 or just Excel 2007. Instead I decided to transfer (rewrite) Multi-Lat™ in Calc which is fully compatible with Excel 97 or 2000 up. The spreadsheet can be saved in ODS (OpenOffice format), XLS (Excel format), Sylk, Star Office, HTML or PDF format and also XML or the newest document format that is compatible across multiple platforms.


I think it is worth the additional work since the user can always download Office Suite for free and Sun Microsystems has invested millions when they purchased the company from Star Office Suites in 1999. They intend to leave it on Open Source for free download, but if you go to the Sun Microsystems website, I believe they have the software for sale at under $50.00 (verify please) to maintain competition with Microsoft. I like the idea of not forcing a user into purchasing the spreadsheet if they wish to have a useful tool and if another spreadsheet is written in Excel 97-2003 then it should be backward compatible with OpenOffice or later versions of Excel.


Are there may of you who have used this free software and if you have, do you notice or have you documented any major bugs that I should consider before investing more design time in the spreadsheet?


Thanks in advance,


Dennis S. Wish, PE

California Professional Engineer

Structural Engineering Professional

Author of the forthcoming Multi-Lat™ 2008 Beta 1.01 within 60 days.

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