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19 October 2023 • (Updated 19 October 2023)

Thanks and bye, Microsoft Office!

Reinhart Previano Koentjoro's profile picture

Reinhart Previano Koentjoro (@reinhart)

Published on Uncategorized #iwork #microsoft-office #libreoffice #google-workspace #wps-office

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I’ve never used Microsoft Office ever since 2015. Yep, until some certain college projects require me to use that, including my thesis.

And now that I’m finally done with my thesis, it’s time to move on by, yep, removing Microsoft Office from my laptops.

What I’m currently using?

Plain good LibreOffice and Google Workspace for work. They have become my daily driver since 2015, since I switched to Linux.

And this time, I also decided to use iWork (Pages, Numbers, Keynote) to work on some things on my new iPad.

Why leaving Office?

Well, it’s not all about the Microsoft Office license, considering that my financials are now OK enough to buy one, and I still can use my old university Microsoft account for some little more days.

But as a person who has been familiar with LibreOffice keyboard shortcuts for years, like Ctrl-Shift-P for superscripts and Shift-F12 for bullet points, I can’t deny how productive I am using those shortcuts, and how “homesick” I am that these shortcuts aren’t the same in other software. To give some examples,

ShortcutLibreOffice WriterMicrosoft WordGoogle DocsPages (iWork)WPS Writer (Desktop)
Make text bold[Ctrl]-[B][Ctrl]-[B][Ctrl]-[B]⌘B[Ctrl]-[B]
Convert text into superscript[Ctrl]-[Shift]-[P][Ctrl]-[Shift]-[+][Ctrl]-[.]^⇧⌘+[Ctrl]-[Shift]-[+]
Center align text[Ctrl]-[E][Ctrl]-[E][Ctrl]-[Shift]-[E]⌘|[Ctrl]-[E]
Justify text[Ctrl]-[J][Ctrl]-[J][Ctrl]-[Shift]-[J]⌥⌘|[Ctrl]-[J]

Sure, you can say, “you’ve currently practicing computer system multiculturalism but can’t tolerate the difference between keyboard shortcuts?” But the ability to remember different shortcuts on different apps is definitely a big to-do, and that still affects productivity.

Oh, yes, of course, because the OpenDocument Format (ODT, ODS, ODP, etc.) has become my most preferred document format for years. Again, this is because of habits developed in almost-a-decade, instead of long-going political issues on whether Microsoft’s supposedly-not-to-be-open document formats, or the “open” formats should be sanctioned in governments and businesses.

Learn to respect other people’s office suite applications.

By not using Microsoft Office for, em, office, it is also an important job for me to encourage people in the office to respect how others do their own work with different tools. Just like how different project managers prefer with Google Docs, Notion, Todoist, or Trello, common office suite applications must also be taken into account.

Not everyone use fancy Add-Ins or AutoShapes. What most people wanted to have is a great software that allows them to do things efficiently. (And LibreOffice is one of them.)

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