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Suave View Drop Down
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    Posted: 08 Aug 2017 at 1:24am
I have a peeve, and I thought I would see if anyone else has the same.

    I have always used "Wordperfect" as my word processor of choice, from way back, when it was really the only thing available.  I find it a far superior product to "MS Word" now, as MS has just given the least they have to call it a word processor, as with many of their products, while they crush the competition.  The trouble is that no one wants to support anything but the MS product.  In the contests here, I write in my processor and then try and convert all that formatting in into some other format and back and forth, and there are many times it just does not come out the way it should - this is mainly because MS will not include others code in their program so that anything can be read even though they are now the leader in that market - Word will not even open a Wordperfect document.  This is something that was talked about all the time as MS started strangling compition, sort of reminds me of the North Korea situation.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MattrickBT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Aug 2017 at 3:51am
I love MS Word. When I changed laptops and I didn't have it for a bit, I used OfficeLibre and OpenOffice (should open WP files), but they had little quirks I didn't like. Word 07 was the best version of it though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nixie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Aug 2017 at 9:37am
I was a WordPerfect user, and hated Word when I first had to use it (back at version 2.0).  A few things that might help you, practically and philosophically:

1.  The file format issues you are discussing have more to do with the fact that the WP file format has not evolved over time.  (Word has moved on to an xml format that makes it much easier to cross-platform with other modern technologies).  If WP is your comfort zone and product of choice, you may want to consider saving to rtf or another more common/standard file format.  If you can get to where you can create a good document in a standard file format, you will find that it imports into other formats and programs more easily.

2. If it is just the rabid "Microsoft is evil" bit that is an issue, you might consider some of the broadly used open office suites such as Libre, Star, or Open Office, all of which are also capable of successfully managing current, industry-standard file formats.

3. The challenge that most WP users (including myself, in the beginning) have with Word is that they work from diametrically opposed core designs.  WP basically stuck a windows overlay on top of its original (excellent) DOS product.  The core philosophy is the same as it was then, and requires you o format as you go. Going back to do that work after is more work and more subject to error.

Word, by contrast, was redesigned based on a different philosophy. MS invests in a LOT of usability testing and neuro-theory in developing their UIs, and with Word, their research suggested to them that a significant factor in word processing is that we are trying to conduct opposing processes simultaneously, which reduces effectiveness.  Word is designed to work best when those processes are separated.  Its core approach is that you should put your hands on the keyboard and spew out words then, once that is done, take hands *off the keyboard, and use the mouse to select and format(creating a physical separation between the "left brain" process of wordsmithing and 'right brain" process of layout and design).  If you have to *use Word, remembering that helps.  (You can access word for free if you have a MS email  account, as it gives you access to Word online)

The fact remains that WP for DOS held 50% market share (there were several good competitors - but WP was an industry leader due to their investment in features for legal and medical) - but they were several years late to the game in getting a windows product out, and when they did, their early versions sucked, leaving them effectively five years behind competitively. *someone was bound to step into that gap, and as a result of their own poor market assessments and decisions, they are now 5% of the market. There is no valid reason for most people to support a proprietary file format of an application that occupies such a tiny market share.  

It has been two decades - an extremely long time, in terms of technology - since up made up a sufficiently significant portion of the market for it to be worth anyone's extra effort. You're not going to see that change, and it has little to do with anyone's conspiracy theories about evil software empires - it's simple market mechanics. Not going to see much support for a dot matrix printer, either, even though they were awesome technology a quarter century ago. 

If you are a hobbyist, and this is a spare time activity for you - then you may want to invest some time in working with intermediary file formats that will make life a little easier for you. If you wish to make this a 'pro' thing - then understanding and working with industry standards is on you, not on the markets you submit to, and your 'work environment' is dictated by the industry.  Complaining about it and insisting that the thing you liked a quarter century ago is somehow "better" because you like it, and the folks who succeeded worldwide with something different are big mean cheaters won't change the reality of the working world. Whatever your theories about MS, Word is a worldwide standard, and its file format is modern, more flexible, and broadly used within publishing for those (very good) reasons. :)

you know i <3 ya Suave - us Master List masochists gotta stick together after all - but it's time to admit that 'just because it was cool in the 80s" doesn't mean it's somehow innately 'better' than the thing that caught on.  WP, parachute pants, and those skinny knit ties....


Edited by nixie - 08 Aug 2017 at 9:40am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Aug 2017 at 10:30am
Nixie

While you have stated quite a few reasons to embrace Word, I still don't like it.  There are so many things you just can't do with it - try changing the spacing between letters.  Despite the fact that they have managed over the years to make it so that other programs were not able to advance because of MS withholding code until it did not matter any more and such things.  Being world leader with an inferior product means nothing, sort of like a sole internet provider never upgrading the lines for faster traffic because why should they bother.  Wordperfect is easier to work in once you understand it and what you want to do.  Word?  Well, it will write letters.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Archon1995 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Aug 2017 at 2:22pm
Word lets you expand the spacing between all characters in a selected text area (Home > Font > Advanced > Spacing), kern between characters of specific sizes (Home > Font > Advanced > Kerning for fonts > Points and above), or stretch/scale text by adjusting character size (Home > Font > Advanced > Scale).

There's nothing wrong with preferring one program over another. But, it's your preference. WP is better for you than Word? Bully for you! Someone else feels just as strongly that Word>WP. It's all about what you're comfortable with.

There is no one perfect solution that suits everyone, just as there is no one perfect way to go about writing a story. Heck, GRRM still uses a DOS-based interface.  Smile

The dominance of Word for submitting the children of our imagination to markets is driven by, well, the market. Not much we can do about that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nixie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Aug 2017 at 4:35pm
Wasnt trying to convince you to "embrace" anything Suave. :)  Software is a personal experience, and that's about what is comfortable for you.

That said - complaining about the market leader - well, we can do that, but we have to work within the market.

I mostly responded because - so much of what you said does not match the facts I know.  Archon already addressed the difference between "it can't" and "it can but I haven't pressed F1 and learned how to do it" ;) - my point was just that several of the points you asserted as facts are beliefs which are not, in fact, supported by the facts.   

*use whatever makes you comfortable - but do it because it makes you comfortable, not because someone's made-up 'facts' convinced you.

Like I said - I loathed Word in the beginning. Its philosophy was so different than WP that I was unable to adjust, unable to find commands, etc. When I took the time to *learn* the app (and that, too, was against my will) I actually came to consider it far superior to WP - both as a standalone product and as a suite element with a shared code base and the ability to cross-program macros for inter-operative functions between it and other office products. My opinion - because the things I am measuring for 'inferior' and 'superior' are clearly different than the ones you are looking at.:)

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