The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #67222   Message #1127130
Posted By: JohnInKansas
01-Mar-04 - 01:45 PM
Thread Name: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
Penny S - Unless you have the newest Microsoft Works, please don't mistake the wordprocessor you have for Word. You've already noted that the spreadsheet "isn't quite Excel," and in earlier versions of Works, the wordprocessor, while a little more of a "look-alike," isn't really Word. They have stated that the newest Works will actually include Word, and possibly "a version of Excel," depending on how you interpret their "sales-speak;" but I haven't seen it yet to know how "stripped down" either of them is.

And I just noticed again a comment by SRS - "It's a good idea to have a printer that understands what Word is trying to send." In earlier versions of Word, the fonts available (shown in the dropdown font list) depend on what you have set as your default printer. Regardless of how many fonts you had installed "on your machine" you would only see the ones your "default printer" could handle. If you were working for eventual printing elsewhere, on a printer that had fuller font capabilities than your own, you often had to install the driver for the printer you intended to use for the actual printing, with a "dummy" printer that didn't exist on your setup, and select the "dummy" as default - in order to get the font selections that would be available when you took the files to your print shop.

It's still considered a "best practice" to do critical setup with the intended print driver installed and selected, but the full set of "installed fonts" will usually be shown if you're using TrueType fonts, regardless of what printer you have selected as long as it's a "TrueType capable" one. If you actually print to a printer with limited font handling features, the print drivers now most often used may "alias" to something other than the specific font(s) you think you've set up to use, and it's not always obvious they're doing it. It can still cause problems if you're dealing with a high-speed high-volume print shop, so it's still a good idea to be "really fussy" about having a "clean" font installation in any such case.

The "font aliasing" is not specifically a Word thing. It can happen with any program that prints from Windows. The most "sensitive" program I've seen is probably Pagemaker, where using a "wrong" font in a Word document can corrupt the whole Pagemaker setup when the document is imported to Pagemaker for page layout. (And downloading a web document with an "embedded" font that has a name the same as, or very similar to, your good one can mess up your whole setup.) This is not a problem that most people should worry about, but is something to talk to your printer about if you're working something like large projects with book publishers.