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Can I copy MS Office from one computer to another without brimstone and fire?
June 22, 2005 12:21 PM   Subscribe

Long story short: I had to use the "System Recovery" CD that came with my computer, wiping out and then restoring my hard-drive. I backed up all my documents first. What I didn't think about is: I didn't back up Microsoft Office.

I also, um, like, don't exactly have a CD for Office either. Can I somehow copy Office from my roommates computer to my computer without making things explode n' stuff? (By 'explode', I mean: is there any nastiness built-in to prevent me from doing this?) And how would i do that safely?

PS. I'm not on the support line asking where the "any" key is, but not exactly gettin' a job at Google either. Answers for non-moronic lay-persons please!
posted by Kololo to Computers & Internet (16 answers total)
 
If Office came preinstalled on your computer, then you should have gotten a recovery CD for preinstalled apps (Office, DVD viewer, etc). It is usually a separate CD from the system recovery disc.

If it didn't come preinstalled, and you don't have the CD, I think you're SOL.
posted by Brian James at 12:28 PM on June 22, 2005


SOL. Copying from your roommate's computer won't work. There's no nastiness -- you just need to install it properly since there are a bunch of DLLs and registry entries that Office needs, and the installer properly place on your drive.

Long story short, even if you had backed up Office, it would have done you no good.
posted by pmbuko at 12:35 PM on June 22, 2005


I'm in the same boat, Kololo, currently using frigging Notepad for everthing.
posted by dreamsign at 12:48 PM on June 22, 2005


Get yourself a copy of Open Office. The differences are minor enough that you probably won't much care.

Its look-and-fell is almost exactly like Microsoft Office, with a few exceptions (e.g. it handles embedded images in a more intuitive manner, and doesn't expect to know to right-click in exact places to make adjustments; its "charting" wizard in its Excel-like component differs a bit, &c.)., and it can load an save Microsoft document types.

And it's about as stable as MS Office.
posted by orthogonality at 12:48 PM on June 22, 2005


dreamsign writes "I'm in the same boat, Kololo, currently using frigging Notepad for everthing."

Get yourself a real text editor (as opposed to a word processor). There are a plethora of free alternatives; my favorite is ScITE.
posted by orthogonality at 12:51 PM on June 22, 2005


I'll chip in another vote for OpenOffice -- it's free but it's fantastic.
posted by Handcoding at 1:08 PM on June 22, 2005


Yet another recommendation for OpenOffice...

If you download the beta version (it's been beta for what, like 6 months now?), you should not have any problems with your existing documents.

I've been testing this for a possible rollout at work (with lots of users who use a lot of the "extra" functionality of MS Office), and their documents all open, save, and transfer (to other non-OOo users) just fine.

In short, it's free and good and interoperable (a rare combination which makes this geek get googly-eyes).
posted by chota at 1:21 PM on June 22, 2005


You also might try, um, like, buying MS Office...
posted by mkultra at 1:29 PM on June 22, 2005


open office is the way to go ... i've been using it for years
posted by pyramid termite at 1:33 PM on June 22, 2005


Yet another OO.org fan. I wiped MSO off my computers years ago, because OOO does it all very nicely. The print-to-PDF is awesome, and far, far better than sending raw .DOC files.

SciTE is a kickass little text editor, and is actually my main squeeze these days. Between it and DocUtils, I get great looking PDFs with a minimum of effort and long-term source text viewing/editing.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:34 PM on June 22, 2005


If your roommate has an MS Office installation disk, you can use it no problem (unless it's the most recent version, then there might be problems. I don't know about that). No, you can't just copy the .exe file from your roommate's computer and put it on yours.
posted by muddgirl at 2:07 PM on June 22, 2005


Thanks for all the incredibly quick responses! Looks like checking into Open Office is going to be my next step! I had never even heard of it until now!

(Oh, and no, I didn't get office pre-installed, and I um, don't want to buy it. I'm unethical that way. I take candy from children too.)

Thanks again!
posted by Kololo at 2:24 PM on June 22, 2005


Dear Metafilter, please help me pirate software.

Really.

If PC versions work like Mac versions, you can't install from your roommate's disk, or every time both of you launch an Office app and are online, one of you will experience a shut down.

I'm no MS fan, and consider Office at best a necessary evil. But right is right, and the law is the law, and those of us who pay for software end up covering for those of us who, er, um, just, um, "don't want to buy it."


posted by realcountrymusic at 6:10 PM on June 22, 2005


But right is right, and the law is the law

And never the twain shall meet. Take the scolding elsewhere.

I like the .pdf making in OO, but I'm this close to ditching Adobe altogether.
posted by trondant at 5:52 AM on June 23, 2005


realcountrymusic writes "If PC versions work like Mac versions, you can't install from your roommate's disk, or every time both of you launch an Office app and are online, one of you will experience a shut down. "

This doesn't happen but you can't just copy the folder like you can with a Mac.
posted by Mitheral at 8:46 AM on June 23, 2005


Trodant, whatcha using in lieu of PDF?
posted by five fresh fish at 10:15 AM on June 23, 2005


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