Escape from Microsoft Word

by
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.

The state of LibreOffice (Score: 2, Interesting)

by engblom@pipedot.org on 2014-10-23 06:06 (#2TM6)

The author is talking about escaping from Word to WP. However, the route most take will be to Libreoffice. This is giving me really mixed feelings:
1. Libreoffice is open source and free. It is good people notice there are alternatives to the highly priced commercial products.
2. However they might get a bad taste of how open source programs are. Libreoffice is extremely unstable. Openoffice had its unstabilities too, but not nearly as many as Libreoffice is having. This is the cost of a speeded up development.

If you copy a picture from the web, you actually copy both the HTML-tag and the picture. Libreoffice decides to use the HTML tag as default. This is causing more hangs and locks than should ever be allowed and it prevents the document from getting opened unless that picture is accessable online at the moment you open the document. Sure, you can go to Edit/Paste Special (Ctrl-Shift-V) and pick Bitmap, but despite how many times you tell a user to do this, they will just right click and paste as they would do with Word.

If you handle a lot of pictures in a document, you almost should expect a crash at some point and you need to remember to all the time press ctrl-s. This is about properly inserted pictures and not pasted HTML.

If you make a presentation with Impact you should save every time before adding an "animation" (even if it is just a simple "appear" because you want something hidden on the slide until later).

If you add a table but forgot to add an empty line under the table, you have big trouble to continue the text.

Sometimes documents get so messed up that there is no other way to correct them than pasting to a plain text editor and then again apply all the styles.

One minor update fixes often some problems but adds serveal other. For example 4.2.5 had problems with animations, 4.26 fixed some problems with animations but added instead some problems with pictures.

OpenOffice always had some problems but not nearly as many and as frequently as LibreOffice. While most people cheerish Libreoffice, I do not do it. I know a fork was necessary as Oracle almost stopped development of OpenOffice but the fork should have continued in a slow and stable pace adding the features and not rushing like now.

Libreoffice works well as a "Word Viewer" (for opening Word documents and printing them), but to actually work with Libreoffice might sometimes really annoy.
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