Looking back at my usage patterns over the past year, it looks like I have been permanently reconciled with OpenOffice.org. Up until the middle of 2008, I had been actively resisting OpenOffice, preferring instead to use Abiword (for my word processing) or Gnumeric (for my spreadsheets); the only times I would care to dip into OpenOffice.org was for my presentations. But now, it looks like I'll be using OpenOffice.org for the most part.
I guess the reason for the shift was some unhappiness with Abiword. Abiword is fine and clutter-free, but annoying when it comes to its decisions of where to break a sentence. For an obsessive-compulsive writer like me, that's a real no-no. OpenOffice.org Writer on the other hand, despite its initially confusion options, managed the sentence breaks a bit better.
When my word processing shifted -- that being my main application anyhow -- so did my spreadsheet use.
What finally got me over the hump with OpenOffice.org was my mastery of styles. Once I'd gotten the hang of how to manage the defaults, e.g., spacing, colors, tabs, etc., I just felt more comfortable. Trivial? Not for an obsessive-compulsive completist like me.
Thus far, I've managed to put together two books using OpenOffice.org. That's not a trivial undertaking, I tell you. I'd love to write up how I did it, but it would take too long. Believe me, I tried; so maybe one of these days, I'll put up a video.
My presentations have also gotten much better, once I learned how to change backgrounds in Impress; and finally, having learned Styles, I can now get over the hair-pulling experience of changing colors and font sizes each and every time.
Long live OpenOffice.org!