Escape from Microsoft Word

in microsoft on (#2TKJ)
Edward Mendelson over at the NYT writes:
Auden’s contrast between mediocrity that gets things right and genius that is always wrong is useful in thinking about many fields other than politics. Take, for example, the instruments used for writing. The word processor that most of the world uses every day, Microsoft Word, is a work of genius that’s almost always wrong as an instrument for writing prose. Almost-forgotten WordPerfect—once the most popular word-processing program, still used in a few law offices and government agencies, and here and there by some writers who remain loyal to it—is a mediocrity that’s almost always right.
Good look at the quirks of the modern office's favorite bit of software from a more philosophical point of view. It starts with a quote from Plato, for starters.

In summary (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-10-22 21:30 (#2TKM)

That's a lot of words just to say:
I know Wordperfect better, and have a hard time switching to Word.
I can't say I like either one, and find Word very nearly unusable since the switch to the "ribbon" interface, but his claims are ridiculous. You can change the tab-stops at any line of a document, and go right back as soon as you want to. Don't know how to set tab stops just how you'd like? You can middle-click anywhere in a document, and start typing. Don't like how some Word feature decides to auto-format your text? You certainly don't have to ever use it again. I am sadly well acquainted with just how deeply buried in obscurity commonly used features are in both of them (eg. header & footers, with first page different from the rest, and including page number, for MLA), but both are still infinitely better than a typewriter, word processor, or similar methods which don't allow you to quickly reformat your entire document from portrait to landscape, or letter to A4, without needing to go through it to manually fix layout and formatting.
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