New Navigation Pane boosts MS Word utility for writers

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Laxaria
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Fri Oct 29, 2010 4:28 pm Post

Still.. all in all.. Word 2010 is now an excellent option.


For its cost? That's the one most off-putting thing for me. $260 local for one MS Office Mac license is definitely beyond what I am willing to pay for, when I rarely need the most extensive and extreme applications in the rest of the suite.

Cost still remains a huge factor for me when I choose software... Unfortunately.

kd
kdbertel
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Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:12 pm Post

Rayz wrote: I still think that Word and a lot of these other programs are missing the ability to reformat entire documents before printing them.


:?:

I've been doing that to documents since Word 2000, which is the version I first started actually using for school and the like. All you need to do is use styles, and you can do whatever you want formatting-wise to the whole document (assuming you were consistent in style usage throughout) in a very, very short time.

I actually think styles were included in Word 97 or earlier, but I can't particularly speak to that. They've grown in prominence since then, admittedly: Word 2003's style browser got a lot better, and Word 2007 put the styles on the Home tab, along with making it easier to pick full font styles and color themes...

Word is, in my opinion, a fascinatingly powerful piece of software. Yes, it is a bit of a jack of all trades--but I consider that one of its strengths. In college, I could easily go from editing fliers, to doing a full academic paper with automatically-tracked references, to typing up math proofs, to fiddling with the manuscript of the book I was writing, to making up my own custom character sheets for Dungeons & Dragons. All in one program, with a minimum of fuss, and a minimum of re-learning software.

Two things to keep in mind: prior to the 2007 UI revamp, 9 of the top 10 feature requests for Word had been in the program since Word 97. People just didn't know about them, or where to find them in the menus. The other is that 80% of people only use 20% of the features of any program--but that 20% changes from person to person.

So yes, Scrivener is absolutely astounding at what it's designed for. It fits a definite niche in writing, along with some other things, and is an excellent product. But doesn't mean Word can't also be an excellent product, just for a different set of use cases.

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xiamenese
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Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:33 am Post

kdbertel wrote:I actually think styles were included in Word 97 or earlier, but I can't particularly speak to that. They've grown in prominence since then, admittedly: Word 2003's style browser got a lot better, and Word 2007 put the styles on the Home tab, along with making it easier to pick full font styles and color themes...

I don't know about colour themes, as that has never interested me, but to my knowledge, Word 5.1a for Mac had properly implemented styles. And you could already write separate chapter files and pull them together by means of a master file at print/publication time. It was small, it was fast ... no infernal paper-clip ... That was a great program, and for me Word has been downhill all the way from then on.
I think the time when it really sunk in how good 5.1a really was, was when a student came into my office in tears. She had written her dissertation in Claris Works. She only had one copy of her dissertation, on a floppy that had got corrupted, and not even a print-out ... and the deadline was the beginning of the following week.
Our IT support-guru had done all he could, used every file-recovery tool at his disposal, including those for Mac as we had a lab of LCIIs — though without Claris Works ... we provided Nisus Classic — but nothing doing. Because it was a Mac disk, he advised her to come and see me.
No, Claris Works wouldn't open it; Nisus wouldn't open it; disk recovery software wouldn't touch it ...
I thought, "Word 5.1 will open any file as a text file if necessary; let me try that." Sure enough, the message came up saying "Did I want this opened as a text file?" Yes please! Whirr whirr whirr ... "This disk has a bad sector, do you want me to continue?" Yes please! ... The file opened; there were 512 bytes missing in the middle — the bad sector — I saved it out onto a brand-new floppy for her and told her to make sure she kept back-ups in future. All she had to do was retype the contents of those 512 bytes. She thanked me warmly ... but she didn't send me a box of chocolates :(
I've never since met a program that'll open a file from any word-processor as text if it's not in a supported format, nor one which will x-out data from a bad sector and continue loading. If I could have a copy of Word 5.1a for Mac running natively in OS-X, I'd be using it still. As it is ... I'm a Microsoft-free zone.
But even if I had it, it would be an option against NWP, not against Scrivener.
Mark
The Scrivenato sometimes known as Mr X.
iMac 27" (late 2015) 10.15.7, 24GB RAM, 512GB SSID
2017 iPad, iPadOS 14.3, 128GB, Apple Pencil
Scrivener, Scapple, Nisus Writer Pro, Bookends …

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Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:59 am Post

> I actually think styles were included in Word 97 or earlier, but I can't particularly speak to that.

In fact, Word for DOS had styles as early as 1988 (maybe even 1987). In 1988, styles were introduced in Starwriter, the precursor of OpenOffice Writer. And Wordperfect got styles in vs5 which was published in 1989 in Germany.

Franz

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AmberV
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Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:16 am Post

And Apple still hasn't coded them into their RTF engine. Not surprising though, since they still haven't got around to images or footnotes.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
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KB
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Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:29 am Post

Lion? Yeah, right...
"You can't waltz in here, use my toaster, and start spouting universal truths without qualification."

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AmberV
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Sat Nov 06, 2010 5:58 pm Post

In Lion, all we'll get is more "Click to make ToDo" type junk in the editor, text typing speeds will take another 30% performance hit, and fiddling too much with your lists will still drop you to Lucida Grande.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
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exegete77
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Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:02 am Post

xiamenese wrote: but to my knowledge, Word 5.1a for Mac had properly implemented styles. And you could already write separate chapter files and pull them together by means of a master file at print/publication time. It was small, it was fast ... no infernal paper-clip ... That was a great program, and for me Word has been downhill all the way from then on.


Couldn't agree more, Mark. My first Mac was a Classic and I used Word 5.1, and learned it inside and out. What a great program!

I had compared every other program to it for many years,trying to find one as good. Yes, Nisus and Mellel have filled most of the void. But for its time, Word 5.1 was it.

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AmberV
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Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:13 am Post

I'd go with WordPerfect 5.1 DOS, but I always preferred keeping final presentation out of the screen, and keeping documents clean by not acquiring "codes phobia". :)

Hell, that's probably why I still use MMD. It's WP5.1 for the modern lifestyle.
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

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exegete77
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Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:39 pm Post

Hmmm. I had four years of college and nine years of post graduate education. All but the last two classes were done a portable Royal manual typewriter. Talk about style! :oops: :mrgreen:

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rebecca
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Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:01 pm Post

i ordered the new ms office from macmall and got it about a week before the official release.

it loads faster.

i use excel and word for my real job and for my part-time job teaching adjunct at one of our local universities. in those environments, ms office rules.

i would never, ever, ever, EVER write a long document in word. been there. done that. it's the closest i ever came to picking up my expensive desktop computer and chunking it into the yard. there's not enough booze in the world to make me go back to word for serious writing.

thank god for scrivener and mellel.