Thursday, January 18, 2007

Microsoft Word

Have I ever mentioned this? How much I detest Micro$oft Word? My dislike is not based on who makes the program, either. It's based soley on poor interface and poor document handling, etc. I seriously have no idea how the masses put up with Word — well, no, I take that back. The masses who all blindly suffer daily from using Microsoft software are obviously used to torturing themselves - no, they actually LIKE it.

Word is so cumbersome to navigate and get anything built properly. There was a time when I knew how to use Word but that was several years ago. I do recall knowing how to use it well enough to create fancy little newsletters for a class project in highschool. I can compare what I felt learning Word with what I felt learning, say, QuarkXPress – industry standard software for page layout. XPress (often called "Quark", though that's like calling Photoshop "Adobe") is to Word what graphing calculators are to simple, basic calculators, at least in terms of what the two programs can do and are used for.

But Learning Quark was WAY easier. Hmm. Shouldn't that say something? Shouldn't learning to ride a tricycle be more simple than learning to drive an 18-wheeler? Apparently this isn't how things go in the software world.

Anyway, my gripe with Word is that everyone USES this vile software to transport text around the globe. And it SUCKS. It REFUSES to give up its vile formatting when imported into a more dependable and versatile program. It drives me NUTS when I get text from a client that I have to lay out in Quark and I must first "de-Word" it, much like picking the ticks out of a newly adopted dog from the pound (or one would imagine). I go through the little song and dance of resaving the file as plain text so that when I put the text into Quark, I don't have to go through weeding out the bizarre residual glyphs from Word formatting. GAH! Sure the process takes only a minute to re-save but when working at a fast pace, minutes count. And the longer the document and the heavier the formatting, the longer the weeding.

Every flipping book, magazine, newspaper, and most newsletters you read were designed in something like Quark or InDesign. Not Microsoft fucking WORD. And yet Word refuses to be functionally helpful to those who are *actually* IN the business of dealing with WORDS. Does anyone else see the irony here?

Seriously, if i have to open Word again one more time today I am going to throw something heavy.

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