Escape from Microsoft Word

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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.

Re: The state of LibreOffice (Score: 3, Interesting)

by zafiro17@pipedot.org on 2014-10-23 17:13 (#2TMR)

Believe it or not my best experience was with StarOffice 7 back in 2004 or so. OO.o has been iffy, and LO.o, while better in some ways, remains annoying in ways that matter to me. I love the stylist and navigator, but I sense the project lacks a vision. SO7 was still kind of a techie tool not afraid to expose some of its more complicated functionality. I'm afraid LO and OO.o are too obviously chasing Microsoft's tail. Pasting graphics into a written doc is one pain point: Mac Pages does it so much better and elegantly without having to dick around with "anchors" or having stuff jump all over the page. Just this week I had headaches trying to paste a properly-sized graphic into the header of a LibreOffice doc and I have no idea why.

I've tried a lot of other software: Mellel, Copywrite, Appleworks, Abiword, Softmaker Office (thumbs up on Linux/BSD), WordPerfect 2013, and a few others. I detest MS Word but honestly I found WP to be kind of a mess and missing important functionality. Too bad, because I really wanted to like it and really wanted it to be my alternative to Word on my Windows machine. No dice. Not only did they want like $300 for it but it was annoying and very obviously not-as-good as Word in important ways (can't remember which ones anymore, but I only gave it a week or so of free trial before deciding 'no way.')

I remember WP on DOS fondly, but systems have moved on. Word sucks, but there's practically no escaping it. Unemployment, maybe would help. And before I forget, the Ribbon sucks!
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