I’m a happy Ubuntu user, but the reality is that there are still a lot of Word files flying around in the commercial environment. A combination of Open Office and OmegaT seems to handle them quite well, but on my latest job I experienced a number of formatting difficulties that had to be corrected manually, which was both time-consuming and introduced a new potential source for error.
Open Office crashed on me recently, just as I was tweaking a final .docx file before sending it off. Its automated recovery process then recovered the file to a previous version, causing errors to be reintroduced that had already been corrected in a proofing stage. This was vexing, and required another round of corrections.
One obvious way to avoid such problems in future would be to use the industry standard proprietary solutions. I priced this today: Microsoft Office plus SDL Trados Studio 2009 would be at least 650 euros, a considerable overhead given prevailing market rates for translation.
The decision for the time being is to upgrade to the latest and greatest LibreOffice, and persist with OmegaT, but it’s under review. Version control problems caused by software crashes are most unwelcome.