Excel vs. Quatro Pro 10

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Bill & Lisa

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May 11, 2003, 3:48:46 PM5/11/03
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Does anyone have advice to offer on the pros and cons of the two
programs? I am interested in the most user friendly program, but one
that is flexible. I'd appreciate any information. Thank you.

Ken Wright

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May 11, 2003, 4:31:28 PM5/11/03
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I have little experience of QP but the following points may well be worth considering:-

Excel is almost a desktop standard now, so if you are planning on sending receiving files to/from
other people, then you may prefer a more widely used app such as Excel over QP.

QP has one big advantage over Excel for a lot of people in that you can have more rows and columns
than Excel. Excel is limited to 65,536 rows and 256 columns, wheras QP can have circa 18,000
columns and 1,000,000 rows. Depending on how you will use it this may or may not be a limitation.

Excel will be dearer than QP though I believe

As far as functionality goes, I believe that for the casual user, each will be more than
competent, as probably also will OpenOffice, which is actually free and available from
www.OpenOffice.org (50MB download)

OpenOffice will open Excel files (Not sure about QP ones), and will also do word processing etc
like Word.

--
Regards
Ken.......................
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Harlan Grove

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May 12, 2003, 1:21:19 PM5/12/03
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"Ken Wright" wrote...
>Excel is almost a desktop standard now, . . .

And is therefore ripe for regulation as a monopoly?

> . . . so if you are planning on sending receiving files to/from other people,


>then you may prefer a more widely used app such as Excel over QP.

Depends on what's being shared. Using nothing but simple functions and keeping
everything within a 256-by-65536 grid, Excel, Quattro Pro and 123 (as well as
many of the Unix/Linux spreadsheets) are interoperable.

>QP has one big advantage over Excel for a lot of people in that you can have
>more rows and columns than Excel. Excel is limited to 65,536 rows and 256
>columns, wheras QP can have circa 18,000 columns and 1,000,000 rows.

..

Another potentially compelling advantage QP (and 123, for that matter) has is a
keystroke-equivalent macro language in addition to a hybrid object/procedural
scripting language.

>As far as functionality goes, I believe that for the casual user, each will be
>more than competent, as probably also will OpenOffice, which is actually free
>and available from www.OpenOffice.org (50MB download)

That's a good point. I'd go further. Depending on the OP's needs, there are
several other freeware, shareware and cheap alternatives that are much smaller
than OpenOffice. These include

ThinkFree Office - http://www.thinkfree.com/
Ability Office - http://www.ability.com/
602 PC Suite - http://www.software602.com/products/pcs/
Easy Office - http://www.e-press.com/
ProPack - http://www.techmarc.co.uk/propack.htm
As-Easy-As - http://www.triusinc.com/
GS-Calc - http://www.jps-development.com/
Sphygmic Spreadsheet - http://www.ds.unifi.it/~stefanin/AGR_2001/SH/sssheet.htm

Note about Sphygmic: you can still download it (apparently legally), but
Sphygmic Software, which created it, seems to have gone out of business. Pity
because I thought it was the best of the small GUI spreadsheets for Windows.

These are all viable alternatives if the OP's needs are modest. If the OP is
going to be doing work at home, the only sensible answer is to buy and use
whatever is used at work. But if it's purely for personal use, then if only a
spreadsheet is wanted, either GS-Calc or Sphygmic are more than adequate. If an
entire suite is wanted, ProPack provides much more than the other alternatives.

BUT DON'T TAKE MY WORD. Many of these packages have online reviews. None measure
up to Excel, but if you haven't used a spreadsheet before and you aren't being
trained to use one at your employer's cost, then Excel, Quattro Pro (and 123 and
OpenOffice) are questionable choices because they're so large. If unsure,
download Sphygmic, and try it out. If it's bewildering, all the other
alternatives (save, perhaps, GS-Calc) would be worse. If it's inadequate, try
out ProPack or 602 Suite. If they're inadequate, you really do need one of the
full-blown spreadsheets, at which point it becomes a question of whom you'd
share files with.

>OpenOffice will open Excel files (Not sure about QP ones), and will also do
>word processing etc like Word.

It doesn't even support .WQ1 files, much less .WB? and .QPW files.

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Ken Wright

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May 18, 2003, 4:58:48 PM5/18/03
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Sorry for the tardy reply Harlan, but my ISP has a diabolical newsfeed service so I don't use this
one as much I used to now. Appreciate the links to the other apps, as I hadn't heard of half of
them.

--
Regards
Ken....................... Microsoft MVP - Excel
Sys Spec - Win XP Pro / XL2K & XLXP

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