I am currently buiding an e-commerce website for a client. My client uses Microsoft Excel to edit the data we need to build the database. As of the 30th of November, the original file compiled by Excel for Mac weights 2,007 Kb. The same file, recompiled by Windows Excel weights 2,000 Kb.
I have good reasons to believe that in this particular case, OpenOffice comes as a much better solution than Excel, and here are the reasons why:
- OpenOffice Calc, has very good import and export filters allowing it to open and save in the proprietary Microsoft Excel file. I noticed that the CSV files exported by Calc seamlessly import into the MySQL database with an automated process. The CSV created by Excel, on the other hand, are not formatted properly, and the worst thing is that Excel does not allow to set the CSV export parameters.
- The OpenDocument format for spreadsheets maintaints all the parameters set in the Excel file, but when compiled, it only weights 330 Kb, simply because the Open Document format automatically involves data compression. And that is a lot of disk space saved! Especially since this particular file is meant to be mailed back and forth between me and my client.