RE: Creating a Master Doc in Word

Subject: RE: Creating a Master Doc in Word
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2003 13:57:18 -0700

Quoting Maggie Pierce Secara <maggiros -at- yahoo -dot- com>:

> Steve isn't really the only person, but he is ALMOST the
> only person who uses these without probnlems.

That's only true if not using the features as they are documented and avoiding
most of the features counts as "without problems."

Steve is very careful to preface his guidelines with the remark that his
guidelines will "minimize" problems, not eliminate them altogether. He also
tosses off the remark that all Word documents are close to corruption anyway.

Looking at his guidelines, I find that they could be summarized, with
reasonable fairness as:

- Don't use most of the features
- Don't use the Master Document feature except to publish
- Be careful

I can understand the pleasure that someone might get from wrestling with a
program until he or she can get the desired results, or from going against the
received opinions on the topic. However, to me,the intricacy of Steve Hudson's
guidelines only emphasis just how broken MS Word's Master Document feature
really is.

If this was just my reaction, then people would be justified in trotting out
the old cliche about a good worker not blaming his tools. However, when the
overwhelming majority of users have the same problems, then I feel perfectly
justified in concluding that the problem is the tool. Loyalty may be an
admirable trait, but when it's misplaced, then it becomes highly questionable.

Personally, I avoid using MS Word whenever possible. FrameMaker and OpenOffice
are my choices of tools these days (with OpenOffice in the lead because it's
open source). They may not have every feature that I'd like, but at least the
features they do have actually work - and, on the rare occasions that they
don't, a fix is usually no more than a few weeks away.

Bruce Byfield bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com 604-421.7177

"Come a nightmare,you can always stay awake,
Come depression, you could get another break,
Come love, nothing can be done."


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RE: Creating a Master Doc in Word: From: Maggie Pierce Secara

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