* Posts by Henry Dorsett

1 post • joined 27 Aug 2014

Brit Sci-Fi author Alastair Reynolds says MS Word 'drives me to distraction'

Henry Dorsett

I realize that I'm in the minority here, but I actually enjoy using Word for writing. I've been using it for the better part of my life, and no other piece of software covers as many things as well as Word does. Sure, I could go caveman use vi (actually, I'd rather shoot myself in the head than use vi ever again, but I could use nano), or I could break free of the tyranny of Microsoft and use LibreOffice or AbiWord, but I find the lack of ability to format things in a way that pleases my eye while I'm writing, a major reason that people are citing as a BONUS to using a basic text editor like nano or Notepad++ (which is what I use on Windows), to be more distracting than any amount of feature bloat on Word. And finding any features in LibreOffice that aren't the absolute most basic, commonly-used ones means having to look things up, which is REALLY distracting, because then not only am I not writing, but I'm also pissed off that I'm not using Word, where I already know how to do damn near everything that I'd ever want to do while writing a novel or short story.

If you're talking about distraction, it's important to remember that while Word may not be the best program for every single job at every single moment, the way so many of you seem to expect it to be, it is able to do almost any word processing job reasonably well. The trick, I've found, is to use an older version, one from before they started screwing with the UI. Personally, I like Word 2003. Microsoft even has patches to support their new document formats.

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