Office-compatibility torture test

SoftMaker Office shines and OpenOffice.org falters in InfoWorld's Office-fidelity face-off

In InfoWorld's tests using complex Word and Excel documents, OpenOffice.org 3.1 failed to deliver on its promise of better Microsoft Office interoperability, severely mangling our Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel test data files. By stark contrast, SoftMaker Office showed excellent compatibility with Office 2003 file formats, making it a safe choice for heterogeneous environments -- at least where external data access wasn’t a priority. Neither OpenOffice.org nor SoftMaker Office was able to preserve links to an external SQL data source in imported Microsoft Excel documents. (See the review, "The better Office alternative: SoftMaker Office bests OpenOffice.org.")

The three images below show the identical document section rendered under Microsoft Word 2010 (in compatibility mode), OpenOffice Writer 3.1, and TextMaker 2009, respectively. Notice how OpenOffice mangled the hanging indent in the bulleted list, while Word and TextMaker rendered the list correctly. (Click each image for a closer look.)

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