Re: Any suggestions for replacing Word

Subject: Re: Any suggestions for replacing Word
From: Jean Hollis Weber <jean05 -at- jeanweber -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2006 17:38:11 +1000

Beth Sargent wrote,

Does anyone have any suggestions for replacing Word for a more
dependable text editor. I find that in writing large documents
Word crashes and saves (recovers) frequently. I also find
controlling the formatting challenging. That said, suggestions
for either a guide to using Word for large documents or a
better editor would be appreciated.

Define "large document" -- large number of pages? Large file
size? (Not necessarily related, of course.)

You find controlling the formatting challenging. What
complexities of formatting are causing problems?

Which version of Word are you using?

I notice someone recommended one of my books on Word. I'm not
sure it covers enough about large documents, but it does have a
lot about formatting... though not terribly complex formatting.

I wrote a similar book about Writer, my word
processor of choice these days. Compared to Word, Writer is both
better and worse... it just depends on what you are trying to do
and whether your needs conflict with some of the more persistent
bugs in an otherwise excellent (IMO) program. I find OOo Writer
easier to use than Word to accomplish many of my frequent tasks,
but some of its features are just sufficiently different from
Word's that you would need to spend some time getting used to
Writer's way of doing things.

BTW, my book on Writer (mentioned above) has been superceded by a
book produced by a group of OOo enthusiasts called OOoAuthors. 2.0 Writer Guide_ can be downloaded as a free PDF
from the OOo website, and I strongly recommend that if you want
to try out OOo, you at least read the chapters on setting up
(choosing options), styles, templates, tocs & indexes, fields,
and master documents.

Bruce Byfield has written several articles on replacing Word
and/or FrameMaker with for technical writing. Two
of them are on the Techwr-l webiste, in the Magazine section.

Regards, Jean
Jean Hollis Weber


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