Re: Producing Books

Subject: Re: Producing Books
From: "Stephen D. Martin" <smartin -at- STORM -dot- CA>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 18:06:33 -0500

I'm posting this to the list as well so everyone can get a chance to add
their two cents (minus taxes and adjusted for inflation)

Dave Koch wrote:

> I just upgraded from Word95 to Word97, and have heard many complaints
> about W97. I have also heard many good things about W97, and that for
> the most part, is very similar in function to W95 (execpt they moved a
> few things around, file structure is different, assuming SR-1 patch is
> installed, etc.). Specifically, what is it about W97 (compared to
> W95) that you found didn't work, didn't like, etc.??

Too be perfectly honest I've only used Office95 for less than a week, so
my recommendation of it is largely based on these two factors:

1) It seemed to be a lot better than Office 4.x (Word 6)
2) I can't recall having heard one complaint about it

I know that's not a lot to go on but it's also been awhile since I even
saw Office95.

My last two, rush job, contracts involved Word97 documents which meant
that I had to also use Word97. My main sources of frustration were:

1) Automatic paragraph numbering which would frequently renumber
Chapters (or paragraphs thereof) to 1.x. Imagine working on Chapter 3
when all of a sudden paragraphs 3.2.4 through 3.6.7 become paragraphs
1.2.4 through 1.6.7.

2) The header and footers were a major pain to place, but this may be
the same for all version of Word (or the problem may be with the
operator). I wanted to start page numbering with the ToC, but that
footer insisted on beginning on the preceeding page.

3) Automatic generation of captions for tables and lists all wanted to
number them as Table <chapter#>-1, or Figure <chapter#>-1, rather than
Figure <chapter#>-1, Figure <chapter#>-2, etc.

4) I had to share the data with a fellow using Word on a Mac. Saving to
an RTF only generated garbage on his system. When I tried opening the
RTF on my own system using WordPerfect 7 I also received garbage. I
retried the 'Save As' a number of times to no avail. Thankfully someone
posted to TECHWR-L that MickeySoft had introduced a new, non-backwards
compatible version of RTF along with Office 97 and that there was a kind
of 'fix' available.

Perhaps the SR-1 patch and the RTF fix may have fixed some/all of these
problems, perhaps not. As it was I was working in the middle of
IceStorm98 with frequent power losses, many people were without heat or
hydro for weeks, and I didn't have the seven hours it was going to take
to download the SR-1 patch to my system.

In any event, Microsloth should be ashamed for having released such a
bug ridden piece of software in the first place.

I hope this was of some help.

Stephen D. Martin
President, Stephen Martin Enterprises

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