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I just purchased Omnifocus and have been very impressed, and am trying to decide whether or not to purchase OmniOutliner. I just got the entire Microsoft Office 2008 suite on my mac (for cheap, of course), and I'm trying to see what the real benefits of OO are.

I think it would make it very simple and painless to manage several phases of my business, from finances to web content writing. I like it, and I'm definitely considering the Pro version.

What benefits does OO have over the brand new Office suite? After using Office 97 for years, I think the note taking feature in Word 08 is very slick, and Excel has incredible templates to get pretty much any project done.

What are your thoughts? It it the simplicity that makes it sell, or is there more to it? Omni is awesome, but Microsoft will never lose the software game. They own too much of Apple.
 
Totally tangential to your question, but Microsoft doesn't own any of Apple; they bought some non-voting shares back in the '90s, but they have long since sold them. (At quite a profit, if I remember correctly.)

Except to test Office-related bugs, I haven't really used it for several years. Obviously, I'm a biased source, but Outliner and some applescript does everything I need it to do, and I can do stuff in outliner (export to a dynamic html document for posting to the web) that I'm not aware of being able to do in excel - could certainly be wrong, though.

Outliner is definitely not a complete replacement for Office, though. It occupies a middle ground between Word and Excel, in my fairly unqualified and biased opinion. ;-)

In any case, I'll clean up that document I mentioned and try to post it somewhere publicly accessible.
 
If you use outlines or make lists a lot, OO is fantastic. Word is a terrible outliner (Notebook view is a modest improvement). It was designed not to outline, but to create a hierarchy that would be turned into a written document. For quickly bashing out notes, OO will be faster and easier.

Plus it does lots of other stuff. Columns, drop downs, styles, etc. Great list keeper.

OTOH, it's a bear to get OUT of OO and into Word to MAKE that structured document when/if you decide you need to.

SIGH. It's never easy, is it?
 
I am glad to see that I am not alone in my disappointment with such a limited ability to make a structured document in any version of Word from OO. IMHO, it is a shame because so much of OO is what I need, but the inability to export reliably to structured documents in Word has me now looking for a replacement to OO.

It also leaves me doubting that I would pay again for an upgrade to get a function that should be included in a $70 program. Not a great value, folks.

****

Quote:
Originally Posted by iNik View Post
If you use outlines or make lists a lot, OO is fantastic. Word is a terrible outliner (Notebook view is a modest improvement). It was designed not to outline, but to create a hierarchy that would be turned into a written document. For quickly bashing out notes, OO will be faster and easier.

Plus it does lots of other stuff. Columns, drop downs, styles, etc. Great list keeper.

OTOH, it's a bear to get OUT of OO and into Word to MAKE that structured document when/if you decide you need to.

SIGH. It's never easy, is it?
 
Our Word export format moves over all the formatting that their HTML document type supported at the time the export was written. If I remember correctly, it didn't support multiple columns, for example.

We haven't had a chance to look at it again since they released Office 2008, but in general, if their format doesn't give us the tools to represent your information the way it looks in Outliner over in Word, we can't do anything about that.
 
Fair play, Brian. It does mean that my docs are somewhat 'trapped' in OO though. Right now I am building a template for use in Pages that allows me to do much of my outlining there. I am also working some with Numbers. I miss the many easy features of OO, but struggle with the the lack of easy export options that preserve most of the features (regardless of your fine efforts.)

Thanks for the reply.
Best wishes for future efforts,
Josiah
 
Josiah - any chance you could make this template public?
 
What about the plugin that lets you export to Excel? Couldn't you export everything into Excel and then insert it in a Word document?
 
Yes, it works like a charm. If an OO document has columns, you can export the full document to Word by converting it to CSV or XML, and then copying it from Excel.

It doesn't preserve the hierarchy, but it does export all of the data. That's enough for me.
 
I'd love to see better Word export support in OO. Looking at something like Matchware's OpenMind product for the Mac, it certainly seems to be possible to output an outline that is accepted by Word 2008 and even uses the built in styles and formatting.
 
 


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