RE: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7

Subject: RE: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7
From: Ben Davies <bdavies -at- imris -dot- com>
To: "Coe, David E" <David -dot- Coe -at- gdit -dot- com>, William Sherman <bsherman77 -at- embarqmail -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 8 May 2012 14:54:35 +0000

After defending Word 2010 for the last few days, I feel a little dirty and want to go on a rant about everything that is wrong with this software. I am by no means an advocate for Microsoft Word 2010. But I do get a little uppity when people start slagging the software because of issues like engineers destroying the formatting, or not being able to find a menu item. There are other REAL issues with this software that should be mentioned...

The out-of-the-box default Word 2010 is a complete joke that is geared towards new users. If you don't know anything about styles, you never will when using Word 2010, because Microsoft seems to have made every effort to bury styles even further down the rabbit hole. Now you need 3 or 4 clicks just to open the styles menu (the real one, not the quick parts one), and even the functionality of the styles menu has been changed (this drove me nuts for the first two months before I got over my old habits of pressing a letter on the keyboard to make the styles list jump to styles that started with the letter I pushed). And they don't even give you any list styles (numbers, bullets, etc.) by default in the quick styles menu. Instead they want you to use their bogus outline list buttons that are on the Home tab and are not associated to any styles. Apply numbering with the outline numbering button to a sentence that is Body Text, and the number will appear on the screen and the format of the sentence will change, but the underlying style remains Body Text. Oh sure, it looks pretty on the page. But behind the scenes you have just introduced style confusion that can cause document corruption. No idea why Word refuses to link any of their buttons to built-in styles like a NORMAL publishing tool would. Instead of giving users 37 ways to format text, they should make the task of formatting more robust, so that when you change the way something looks, it is actually associated to some type of built-in style. But forcing users to use styles instead of giving them bright shiny formatting buttons detracts from their obvious mandate to make this software easy for new users (and frustrate the heck out of the rest of us).

Another beauty in Word 2010 is how you can copy text from one section in a document, and paste it in another section, and not one of the paste buttons will paste what you have copied using the original formatting. Instead you have to press CTRL+V. Only stumbled on this one by accident, and it is not 100% repeatable. I could go on and on about the little weirdo issues with this software, but I digress.

The bottom line here, is the tool will do what you want if you understand it well enough. Simply writing it off as a bogus word processor that corrupts your documents without understanding why the corruption happens, or what you could do to prevent it, seems a little ignorant and biased IMO.




-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+bdavies=imris -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+bdavies=imris -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Coe, David E
Sent: May-08-12 8:53 AM
To: William Sherman; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7

I agree that many times newer software fail to work well on older machines for various reasons. Occasionally, there are exceptions.

For the past 2 years, I have been using Windows 7 Ultimate with Office 2010 Professional Plus on my 2005 "HP Livestrong 2000" laptop with only a memory upgrade to meet minimum hardware specs for the OS and it works just fine albeit slower than my other newer PCs.

I certainly agree the circle button with some form of MS logo is a very un-intuitive functioning button. There is no logic to it; it can possibly be justified as a space saver.


David Coe
Sr. Technical Editor

Documentation and Training
407.514.2332 office
407.508.9959 mobile
david -dot- coe -at- gdit -dot- com
www.gdit.com

General Dynamics Information Technology
National and Homeland Security Division
Integrated Security & Instrumentation Solutions - Live Training Ranges
12249 Science Drive, Suite 130
Orlando, Florida  32826



-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+david -dot- coe=gdit -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+david -dot- coe=gdit -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of William Sherman
Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2012 1:35 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7

Wow, what a bunch of emotions I've kicked up with this one.

I didn't say I didn't want to learn it, or to use it, or even that I didn't know how to use it. The 10 minute reference is an exaggeration, intended to reflect the big difference in doing things in Office 2003 where we have used the same basic menus since 1995 as opposed to the ribbon that rearranged everything so you have to hunt and has often added at least one more step (or click) to reaching the same function.

Intuitive? Who in their ever loving mind thought having a multicolored circle in the top was intuitive to click that for commands and functions when you have a ribbon full of them? If NOTHING was on the screen but the circle, yes, click it. But given that you have a dozen choices listed and one that has no indication that it does something, it sure isn't intuitive.
And this is from a guy who the first 5 to 8 years of personal software was usually on generic diskettes and no documentation to figure it out. I had to figure it all from intuition, and that circle is not intuitive unless if is common in some game software world.

Real world should I /shouldn't I isn't so much as to should I get the latest and greatest software, but rather is the advantages of the latest outweighing the disadvantages. Let's be real, Microsoft has been a hog.
Most of its software bloats and uses a tremendous amount of the PC resources. So if you install Application 2005 on a PC built in 2005 or later, you are usually ok. If you install it on a PC built before 2004 (before anyone designed for the announced new release), you are often hosed.

So installing Microsoft software newer than the machine has in the past frequently caused more problems than it was worth, unless you really and truly just had to have it. Look at those shining examples of Windows ME, Vista, and others. Office 2002 lasted a long time (sarcasm) before the next release (Office 2003) came out. Hmmm.

I've been through a presentation in 2009 on all the "benefits" that Office
2007 offered over Office 2003, but the reality was that nearly every "new"
feature mentioned other than the ribbon was in 2003. I can't remember how many real functions were truly new, but it was something like 5 in a list of
50 things they mention.

Word is constantly being heralded as publishing and documentation software but in reality, it is just good secretary software. It does some thing great. It flat sucks at a lot. Most know large documents can crash and burn with regularity. Turn an engineer with limited Word knowledge loose with changes for your 700 page software administrator manual and it will be so messed up in formatting, the only way out is to pray you still have an old copy or convert all to ASCII and reformat from scratch.

Real publishing involves real publishing software, and Word is not one. The video game ribbon, the random sorting of functions (yes, random, formatting used to be under "Format" menu and now it is in several tabs of the ribbon, depending on what you are trying to do), and added steps to do what was frequently always visible, and so on does not promote it as a professional tool. It is gearing itself to new users and to users with no previous documentation experience and is going away from being the professional tool.

An analogy some will understand is Word is like a point and shoot camera to take pictures versus a $1000 DSLR body and $1000 lens to take photographs.


Support. I saw this mentioned several times. Heck, I don't need support at home. And we don't get it anyway, since most of the Help (blue ?) really points to a 2010 version of help and not to the version we are using and seeking help from. I click help on 2003, I get online help for 2010. I click help on 2007, I get online help for 2010. That isn't support. That is forced obsolescence.


The results. First, I did put Windows 7 on an HP PC and I may put it on the ThinkPad. I can't see any reason to, as the 2003 Professional works fine.
Second, the Office 2007 offer turned out to not be as good as it seemed. The offer turned out to be a trial when I went to activate it. It was supposed to be a company license to all employees but the product key doesn't seem to reflect that. What may have been available to all employees has now been closed. So the Windows 7 with Office 2007 will go back to Office 2003 when I hit those 24 tries. Unless someone has a spare product key they aren't using to email me.

I can't see investing in Office 2007 from many of the comments. If anything, I would invest in Office 2010. But then, I may be hitting the Microsoft bloatware issues again on an older PC. After all, the ThinkPad has a sticker saying it is designed for Windows XP. They weren't designing it even for Vista (thankfully) and definitely not 7. So just what would Office 2010 end up acting like on a PC that was nearly 4 years old with 2010 came out?





"Said I never had much use for one ... never said I didn't know how to use it." Matthew Quigley http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eT33eT30Uc





----- Original Message -----
From: "William Sherman" <bsherman77 -at- embarqmail -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Sunday, May 06, 2012 6:32 PM
Subject: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7


> I've been using Office 2007 for over a year with work, on a Windows 7
> platform but at home, I still have Windows XP Professional and Office
> 2003. I have the opportunity to upgrade to Windows 7 and Office
> Professional 2007 but can't decide if I should. I like 2003. All the menus
> are where they are supposed to be. There is no hunting around for 10
> minutes to do tasks that are semi-instinctual motion right now. The main
> issue for most is receiving a 2007 or newer version file, but I have a
> add-on that converts these 2007 and newer files to 2003. So far, I have
> seen no issues with that.
>
> If I needed more experience with the 2007 products, I'd say the switch is
> reasonable to get more in tune with the newer applications, but I use the
> 2007 version on a daily basis.
>
> Anyone have any real solid reasons for leaving XP and 2003 for the world
> of 7 and 2007?
>
> BTW, the PC is a ThinkPad T61 which is a little over 4 years old and
> should be capable of handling the change.
>
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with
> Doc-To-Help. Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may
> need.
>


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Follow-Ups:

References:
Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7: From: William Sherman
Re: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7: From: William Sherman
RE: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7: From: Coe, David E

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