RE: Any suggestions for replacing Word

Subject: RE: Any suggestions for replacing Word
From: "Jonathan West" <jwest -at- mvps -dot- org>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 15:16:24 +0100

> > I strongly support this notion. If you learn how to use it
> properly, and if
> > you have a sufficiently well-specified PC, Word is perfectly capable of
> > running stably allowing you to produce a structured 2000 page
> document in a
> > single file, and larger documents can be accommodated by splitting into
> > chapters.
> If I may ask, have you had such good results with all the versions of
> Word you've used, or is there some minimum or preferred version of
> Office that you find the best? I regularly use Word 2000, and have
> tried 2003 - but didn't see any particular improvement in its
> behaviour. (Note the "I didn't see" part, please! :-)

Hi Edgar

In my current work (creating custom templates for companies) I tend mainly
to use Office 2000. That is because very few of my customers are still on
Office 97, but a decent proportion (about half) still use 2000 at least on
some of their PCs. It is a whole lot easier to develop in 2000 and test on
newer versions than to develop on the latest and test on older versions.

Word 97 lacks several useful features which Word 2000 has. These include

- Full palette of text colors and backgrounds
- Nested tables
- Digital signatures for VBA code
- An HTML export function that gives you HTML file that actually bears a
passing resemblance to the original Word document when you open it in a

Even creating templates for complex report-type documents, it is only very
rarely that I get a feature request that requires the use of a more recent
version of Word than 2000.

In my opinion, if Word is your primary application, Office XP contains very
little that would justify an upgrade from Office 2000. It might be that
other other Office XP apps have had a significant upgrade, but I'm not an
authoritative source for information on the other Office apps.

Word 2003 does have some features that might be useful in a techwriting
environment. Ones I have used include the following:

- The ability to limit the styles and formatting in a document, preventing
users from applying manual formatting

- The ability to selectively display revision marks only from certain
reviewers of the document

Much as I know about Word, there may well be other features people might
find useful that I haven't come across or whose significance I haven't
recognised. I've just described key features from my own use and experience.

Jonathan West


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Re: Any suggestions for replacing Word: From: Edgar D' Souza

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