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Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word

MudGuard 25 Feb 04 - 03:53 PM
Stilly River Sage 25 Feb 04 - 03:52 PM
JohnInKansas 25 Feb 04 - 03:21 PM
Bev and Jerry 25 Feb 04 - 02:12 PM
EBarnacle 25 Feb 04 - 10:35 AM
Fibula Mattock 25 Feb 04 - 05:44 AM
JohnInKansas 25 Feb 04 - 03:48 AM
katlaughing 25 Feb 04 - 01:45 AM
The Villan 25 Feb 04 - 01:32 AM
JohnInKansas 24 Feb 04 - 04:20 PM
Stilly River Sage 24 Feb 04 - 03:26 PM
Bill D 24 Feb 04 - 03:21 PM
Peter T. 24 Feb 04 - 02:25 PM
The Villan 24 Feb 04 - 02:23 PM
JohnInKansas 24 Feb 04 - 02:16 PM
KateG 24 Feb 04 - 01:46 PM
Stilly River Sage 24 Feb 04 - 10:47 AM
katlaughing 24 Feb 04 - 10:27 AM
The Fooles Troupe 24 Feb 04 - 09:07 AM
mack/misophist 24 Feb 04 - 08:46 AM
Fibula Mattock 24 Feb 04 - 04:25 AM
Gurney 24 Feb 04 - 04:05 AM
The Villan 24 Feb 04 - 03:14 AM
Bev and Jerry 23 Feb 04 - 11:50 PM
Stilly River Sage 23 Feb 04 - 10:41 PM
Stilly River Sage 23 Feb 04 - 10:36 PM
mack/misophist 23 Feb 04 - 09:16 PM
Bill D 23 Feb 04 - 09:11 PM
Bill D 23 Feb 04 - 08:31 PM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 23 Feb 04 - 05:29 PM
katlaughing 23 Feb 04 - 05:28 PM
Stilly River Sage 23 Feb 04 - 04:54 PM
MudGuard 23 Feb 04 - 04:54 PM
Joybell 23 Feb 04 - 04:43 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 23 Feb 04 - 04:36 PM
The Villan 23 Feb 04 - 04:21 PM
katlaughing 23 Feb 04 - 04:18 PM
katlaughing 23 Feb 04 - 04:12 PM
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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: MudGuard
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 03:53 PM

To create pdf files, you can also use open office...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 03:52 PM

Villan, great web site! Thanks!

Bev and Jerry, John pretty much covered it. Word is a "what you see is what you get program," so if you use TrueText fonts and go through your text and highlight what you want to change then go to the menu above and choose the font and size and whether it is bold, italic, or underline (and if you go to the Format menu and to Font you can find all sorts of stuff for strike-through, superscript, subscript, etc) you'll get that in your printout. It's a good idea to have a printer that understands what Word is trying to send.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 03:21 PM

Bev and Jerry -

The conflict you're having here is that in WP you have to fix the code in order to get what you want. In Word, you don't need to go to any code, you just fix the document to get what you want.

In Word, when you select some text, the font name is displayed for you in a small window on the tool bar. If you have not selected anything, the font to be used at the current cursor position is displayed in the window. The font size is also displayed. If the font is Bold, the "Bold-switch" button is highlighted. If the font is Italic, the "Italic-switch" button is highlighted.

Essentially, for all the common character formats, the "code" is always displayed. It's just displayed on the tool bar instead of in "code" in the document that you have to turn on and off.

If you want character formatting that's something more exotic, you select the text you want it to apply to, and click "Format, Font" and the "code" is displayed in an input window where you can select (1) the font name, (2) whether you want "regular, italic, bold, or bold italic" (3) whether you want underline, and if you do, what underline style you want - usually 16 kinds available, (4) and any of 11 additional "effects" including strikethrough, double strike, superscript, subscript, shadow, outline, emboss, engrave, small caps, all caps, or hidden. In later versions of Word, the format window will show you a sample of text so you can see what it will look like with the "changes" you choose - before you "ok" and close the window.

In the same toolbar where the "code" (i.e. the plaintext name) for the font is always displayed, you also have a separate box that displays the paragraph style in use. Probably many people have never seen anything but "Normal" in this box, but if you choose to define "Paragraph Styles" you can create any style you want, usually in language like "Based on Normal, font Arial, 14 point, All Caps, Indent 0.5, Margin 1.2, 6 point before, 12 point after ..." and you can apply all of this to any paragraph simply by clicking on the "Style" box and choosing a paragraph style from the dropdown list. You don't need codes or have to remember how to "spell" a style description. You just open a "create style" window, and apply the formatting you want once, give the style a name, and then "select it" from the style box to apply it when you want it.

In Word, you don't write a code to change a format. You simply "format" the text you want changed. In WP, a common cause of "code break" is editing with codes not revealed. You accidentally delete a "start" or "end" tag, and the "code" is broken. In Word, you can get a similar effect if you delete the carriage return that separates text of two different styles, but the essential "code" is always displayed, as the font, size, and style in the toolbar. You just put it back to what you want.

(For those Word users who haven't figured it out, the "format" moves with the cursor. If you are in paragraph 1, and delete the end of paragraph marker, the format of paragraph 1 "carries with the cursor" into what was paragraph 2. You've added par 2 to par 1, with par 1 format. If you're in paragraph 2 and backspace over the preceding paragraph marker, the format of paragraph 2 "goes with the cursor into the original paragraph 1. You've added par 1 to par 2, with par 2 format.)

In Word, the essential "codes" are always displayed on the toolbar. They're just in plain text, in the form of descriptions of the formats in use.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 02:12 PM

The Villan and SRS:

Thanks for the advice. We have tried it and are now able to see some of the codes.

We have not been able to see the codes for font size, font, or font color. These are things we use frequently in Word Perfect and sometimes we get them screwed up so that text appears different than we intended. This usually happens when we are editing a document that already has a number of font sizes, types and colors in it. In Word Perfect we activate reveal codes and the problem becomes obvious and is easily fixed. How can we do that in Word?

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: EBarnacle
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 10:35 AM

The only problem I have been having with WordPerfect lately is that I have been getting resistance from MS XP when I want to copy to documents to CD. Dya think that Bill's gnomes might be going out of their way to make life difficult for users of other word processors? Nah, couldn't be.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Fibula Mattock
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 05:44 AM

JohnInKansas - an attached Word doc is also a nice and easy way of picking up a Macro virus...
You don't need Adobe distiller to make PDFs. You can use ps2pdf - and you can even do it online, Windows users included.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 03:48 AM

The Alt-numpad entry works for input of ASCII values, and in the later Windows versions/Office for Unicode too, if you get sufficient of the "Internationalization" accessories, and if you're using a Unicode font. Of course, when you use a "strange" character, the reader has to have an installed font that is able to "draw" it. We've had quite a lot of discussion in some other threads about "why can't I see that character."

The tough part, for the editor, is looking at a strange character on screen or in print, and trying to figure out what the "author" intended it to be, so that you can get the correct character (i.e. the right ANSI number) in the font family that the book "designer" says you have to use. The problem with the "insert symbol" thing in Word is that you can't change what it inserts to another font, because it isn't a character.

I do have an accessory program that lets me highlight a few characters on screen, and will tell me what the ANSI numbers are for each of them. Unfortunately it only works for the low character (ANSI) set, and the really strange ones are often from the high Unicode character numbers.

Most publishers, especially book publishers, prefer to have a straight wordprocessor input from authors. By the time it goes through proofing, editing, possibly technical editing, layout, layout proof, page proofs, etc., there are plenty of opportunities for the "publisher" to convert, at the appropriate time, to whatever system is needed. A few journals, particularly those associated with academia, insist that the author must submit in TeX. A very few want word processor but with SGML tags. If you're going through a small publisher, or self-publishing, the requirements of the printer may dictate that you'll have to get stuff into Pagemaker or Framemaker, but usually that's the job of a layout person and the editing crew; and the less "layout" the author has done, the easier it is for them to get it right.

It is very important that you talk to your publisher about what his requirements are before you go too far with something.
We once helped a "friend(?)" with his 395 page book that the he had typed in text files, which was appropriate, but all in UPPER CASE "because he thought it would be easier for his reviewers to read." The problem is, he didn't call us until his publisher rejected it as "unsalvageable," so we got it two days before it was supposed to go to the printer. (And that was in the days of DOS Word 2.)

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 01:45 AM

Wow, as always, tremendous info here. Thanks VERY much for continuing our education!

The publishers to whom I've submitted my books, mostly want them in Word.doc format; though there have been a few who wanted it in plain text. I'd prefer doing it all in a simple wp program, but I also like learning the ins and outs of manipulating my own publications, so...here I am, learning once again thanks to you folks.

PeterT...agreed, unless one wants to self-publish.:-)

kat


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Villan
Date: 25 Feb 04 - 01:32 AM

I have always retained this website in my favourites. Its all the ASCII Codes, and when I am in Word and I need a special character, I hold the ALT key down and type the ASCII code using the numeric keypad. Then when you release the ALT key you get the character you want. For example ALT + 163 gives you this character. ú . It works when you are making posts in this forum and with any text based application.

http://www.asciitable.com/


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 24 Feb 04 - 04:20 PM

Almost any program has features that few people use, and in many cases they can be quite helpful. Many programs also have features that people do use that can be a real problem to others with whom they work - without ever realizing that there are better ways.

An example of one of the latter in Word is the "Insert Symbol" piece of $#@%^. Authors like to get fancy and put special characters in their stuff. No problem if they select a font that contains the character they want, so that the document contains the ASCII/ANSI (or UNICODE) character number. The editors and proofers can get it right. If you use the "Insert Symbol" utility in Word, it looks like the character you want, but it's actually a "special graphic," non-ASCII, known only to Word, that CANNOT be converted to anything that the printers/publishers can get into your book, except by using incredibly arcane methods.

I personally find it helpful to turn off the "Formula Editor," since I find it easier and more accurate to format equations with the suitable fields. It gives me better control - much like doing it in LaTeX, and with most of the capabilities you'll find there. Unfortunately, if Equation Editor is not removed, any accidental double-click in the field converts it automatically and instantly to Mickey'$ idea of how you should lay it out, and you can't "unconvert" it.

I can remember when I created much of my simpler text in DOS with "copy con filename.txt" type the text and Ctl-Z to end it, and you get a perfectly good "document." Edit with edlin - it's still on my machine. Let's NOT go back to there.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Feb 04 - 03:26 PM

John,

I didn't describe those four little switches in the bottom left corner of a Word document. I usually work in either the Normal View or the Print Layout View, never the Web View or the Outline view.

If you work in the Print Layout View then you see all of that formatting stuff and your headers and footers are ghosted into the page you're working on.

I haven't bothered to tell the program to leave all of those icons in place because I'm more likely to add things with keystrokes as I am to stop what I'm typing and use the mouse to highlight something then click on the icon. (If you're typing and want bold face, at the beginning of the segment type "control-B" and add what will be bold and at the end type "control-B" and it turns off the Bold feature).

I always forget about that "paste as unformatted text" bit you've spoken of before, but I should check it out. First thing I do when I am using a new instalation of Word (on a computer that won't mess up someone else, of course!) is to go into the preferences and turn off a whole bunch of shit that Microsoft sets as default in the program.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Feb 04 - 03:21 PM

"Interesting that those programs are in existence, Bill, despite the tsunami of Microsoft through the marketplace."

interesting, yes...suprising, no,...not to me. I do the math and realize that there must be millions of users who hate M$, and lots of programmers who just enjoy the challenge of creating programs-- and you end up with dozens of WP programs, 'some' of which are gonna be good: at least good enough for those, like me, who simply do NOT need all the features of Word. Some of them start out trying to make a few bucks, but give up and go free (or simply abandoned). Others find a 'niche' because of speed, special features, or small size, like the "Yeah, Write" program kat mentioned.

There are programs called "CryptEdit", "PolyEdit" "TextShield Fusion", NoteXpad (a beefed up NotePad)
and even NoteTab, in 3 versions, which is a 'different' text and HTML editor which enjoys wide support in some circles.

All of these are good..none have all the tricks of Word, but many can open and edit Word files (.doc).

It can be fun just to play with them, and now & then one can be VERY useful, like NoteTab was when I wanted to do text file numbering in a list of songs....or TextShield Fusion, which will do 3-D tricks with fonts in ways I have not seen anywhere else.

The worst thing about collecting all these toys is remembering where they are and what each is good for..*grin*...not a hobby for everyone!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Peter T.
Date: 24 Feb 04 - 02:25 PM

Wordperfect is for writers; Word is for publishers.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Villan
Date: 24 Feb 04 - 02:23 PM

John Excellent post. I endorse what you say.
Les


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 24 Feb 04 - 02:16 PM

Bev and Jerry, The Villan, Stilly River Sage, et.al.

The "show all" button, that has the "paragraph" character "¶"for its icon, selects a setting that toggles whether formatting things like paragraphs, hidden text, blank spaces at the end of a line, and a few other thing, are displayed. It essentially toggles, on or off, a checkmark in one of the setup choices in Tools – Options, on the View tab.

It is essentially a "reveal formatting" switch, and corresponds – as best I can remember – the "reveal codes" switch in WP.

I almost never use this switch, because I always view all formatting, in page layout view, in documents I'm working on. As with quite a few things in Word, the result of this switch depends somewhat on what other choices you have made in the Tools – Options setup.

A Word document can also contain REAL coding, as opposed to a few format switches like WP, in the form of "field codes" that can be viewed as "code" or as "result" using the switch "Shift-F9" for a specific single field, or Alt-F9 to show/hide code for all fields in a document. Few people use this form, since there are "dummy" methods of doing most things by clicking choices somewhere in Word; but it is a method with immense power and grace for those few things that need it. In addition to the code/result toggle, you can set up Word so that it shows field results with a "grayed" background in the normal view, or as normal text.

SRS – If your dropdown menus only show the most recent, and you really want to see everything, you can change the setting to show long menus by clicking on Tools – Customize, and on the Options Tab, put a click in "Always show full menus."

You can also "paste as unformatted text," or as several other special formats, directly into Word, using the Edit – Paste Special command, and selecting the format you want. (Quick keys – Alt-E, S, and usually one "arrow up," although the choices available – how many arrow steps - depend on the content of what's in the clipboard.) You thus have the choice, without leaving Word, of pasting, as an example, just the text or pasting directly so that you can extract links and such from a web selection.

If you have pasted something with a lot of "formatting" in it, after you've pasted it into Word, you can convert it to plain text by highlighting/selecting what you want to convert and hitting Ctl-Shift-F9 – the "unlink fields" switch. (Ctl-A, Ctl-Sh-F9 converts the whole document to "text." You do have to "save as text" to prevent it all being converted back to a word .doc, if you really want one of the several flavors of .txt file to use elsewhere.)

People have their own favorites, but often forget the "learning curve" they faced with the one they're now familiar with. Most "My program does this and Your program doesn't" are really "I know how to do this in My program and I don't know how to do this in Your program."

Word, and Office programs in general, are typically set up with "defaults" that make it easy to do simple stuff without learning anything. It can be ridiculously difficult to turn off all the "features" in Word to make it useful at a "professional level" of work (you also need to turn on some features that are "defaulted off") but experienced users I've known who have been proficient at both WP and Word would kill to avoid using WP. If it works for you, and if you don't need to conform to anyone's office practices, then it doesn't make much difference what program you use.

****

Fibula Matlock – Sometimes format and layout are important, and an attached Word .doc is one of the easier ways to getting something to other users. Few people who don't have an IP department to buy it for them have a distiller version of Acrobat, or the ability and interest to assemble and learn to use one of the freeware substitutes. (We do have some notable exceptions here.) This post, down to the "****" above is 23 KB in Word, but is 47 KB as a .pdf. If you include any graphics, or moderately complex layout, a .pdf file can often be 6 times as large as the Word document from which it's made. And contrary to what Adobe tells you, even with Acrobat and a good set of plug-ins, editing a .pdf is BITCH.

It's common courtesy to send stuff in a format that the recipient can use, but the attitude that "nobody needs anything I don't like" is one of the reasons a lot of IP departments are intensely hated (or scrupulously ignored) in large organizations, by the people who have to use the systems to do their own work. Your job in IP is to keep your users happy, not just to make your own life easy. End of rant.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: KateG
Date: 24 Feb 04 - 01:46 PM

I'll second the endorsement for WordPerfect. Have been using it for eons (since the days of DOS) and really enjoy the reveal codes feature.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Feb 04 - 10:47 AM

That symbol in word to let you see the page formatting is the paragraph symbol. If you can't see all of your choices in Word, it's because it only displays those you've used recently. Look for those little double arrows over the down arrow symbols on your toolbar and it will show you the others.

I wrote my thesis in Word--an earlier version that didn't keep trying to change my formatting all over the place. I dislike how Word keeps adopting the formatting of any text you cut and paste it. My remedy for that is to paste everything into Notepad first, then select and copy it into Word. It strips out the formatting (except for hard returns).

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Feb 04 - 10:27 AM

I loved Eudora for email, but it has some quirks with XP which I haven't ironed out, so I am trying out Mozilla's new email program,Thunderbird,
and so far I like it just fine, easy to use, all the bells and whistle one might need, imo, and it prefers to send in plain text.

I am looking over programs, some of the ones you all have mentioned. Thanks, again,

kat


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 24 Feb 04 - 09:07 AM

I rarely want to pay for s/w but registered EditPlus - I gavbe some info in another thread - so you can search for it if you are really interested - I prefer it for text & HTML - it will also edit any computing language that you load in the profiles for...

I have taked to printing my song words by formatting them in HTML & using my browser to print them - less hassle - smaller size files than Word etc - all the formatting you need for printing a song!

Robin


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: mack/misophist
Date: 24 Feb 04 - 08:46 AM

Dear Fibula Mattock:

EMACS????? It is to laugh. If you need a text editor, use one, not a bloated monster like emacs. Vim forever! Or even pico. Word is for people without choices.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Fibula Mattock
Date: 24 Feb 04 - 04:25 AM

Emacs, emacs, eeeeee-maaaaacs, to use LaTeX. But then you wouldn't be using Windows! :) I'm writing my thesis in LaTeX - there's just no way Word could handle it.
I will, on occasion, use OpenOffice, but it's a bit unwieldy too.
Pine for my e-mail - no viruses ever get through totally text-based mail software...

Seriously though, I've been working in this Computer Science department for over 3 years, and although some people use Windows (the rest of us are on Linux or Unix) everyone knows better than to send anyone a Word Doc. I cannot for the life of me understand why people would want to attach one to an e-mail. either it goes in plain text, or you send a PDF. Rant ends!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Gurney
Date: 24 Feb 04 - 04:05 AM

Can't say too much about WP, I use it as a stand-alone and it makes not much difference in that case,-I'm not a typist who needs short-cuts or speed.
Peter from Essex and Stilly River Sage mentioned Pegasus Mail, and I did use that for a while, trying to stay away from MS products and virus writers. It was irritating on my old P2 machine, drifting all over the screen, and I must have had something turned off, because when I reverted back to Outlook I received over 300 eMails, dating back up to 3 months. A trap for young players. Mostly spam, fortunately.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Villan
Date: 24 Feb 04 - 03:14 AM

Bev and Jerry
To see the coding behind the text in Word, look at the standard toolbar and look for the icon that looks like a musical note. Its called Show/Hide. Its an on off icon. I use it all the time.
You also need to work and understand the following menu options, Tools - Auto Correct and Tools Options.
With the knowledge of how the above three work, you should never really have too many problems. I used to teach at advanced level for Word.
I used to teach the reveal codes in WP a long time ago. I used to be really hot on the reveal codes, which at the time I used to think were the bees knees. Probably forgotten most of it now.
Hope this is of some help.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 11:50 PM

We've used Word Perfect since about 1492 and only convert our text documents to Word if we have to share them with someone else. Otherwise, we never use Word. If we had to cite one reason it would be the "reveal codes" function in Word Perfect which (you guessed it) shows all of the codes, not just the characters. So, when something goes wrong you just look at the codes and remove the offender (or maybe add what's missing). Everyone says you can do that in Word but no one has ever been able to show us how.

For spread sheets we were brought up on Lotue 1-2-3 and now use Quattro Pro which comes with the Word Perfect office suite. Corel bought up Lotus a long time ago so Quattro Pro is just an advanced version of Lotus 1-2-3. It's way more sophisticated than Excel. One example is that you can do a mail merge directly from a Quattro Pro spread sheet. Try that with Excel.

On the negative side, Corel support really sucks. Microsoft tells you something that is totally irrelevant to your question but, while Corel's answers are relevant, they're usually a lie.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 10:41 PM

P.S.--my word processing program is fine, but my keyboard was a problem for a while. I use it so much that I'd worn down the little nubs on the F and J keys, and most of the lettering had worn off. I'm a touch typist, so had no problem once I was centered over the right keys, but visitors and my son who doesn't type yet didn't like it. It feels like I have a whole new computer, to have this nice keyboard.

But what did I find when I went keyboard shopping? Every single one that had anything more than the standard 104 keys is loaded with symbols for Microsoft programs. They also have three extra keys there just for starting Microsoft. Think it's a consipracy?

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 10:36 PM

Peter, I agree with you. I also use Pegasus, for one of my email addresses. I tried using it in it's Multi-pop format, though, and that got really confusing, so I use Pegasus for one account, Eudora for another, and the old Netscape Mail 4.73 (I didn't bother to convert to the new Netscape--and I think our friend Bill D was the one who helped me make that decision!)

Interesting that those programs are in existence, Bill, despite the tsunami of Microsoft through the marketplace. I'll have to go take a look at them. I probably won't switch, but you never know when another way to do a task won't be just what you need!

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: mack/misophist
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 09:16 PM

Open Office is better than my copy of Word 97. Be sure to read the help files and how-tos, though. Did I mention that it's free. Libranet linux is about $50 and very easy to use.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 09:11 PM

(note...a lot of the pay features of 602 Suite have to do with photo editing and text-to-speech)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 08:31 PM

some of the better alternatives can open & edit Word files....I guess it depends on just how much of the fancy tricks you 'really' use.

602 suite does a LOT of stuff, and Open Office does at least as much. But unless you really, truly need those, you might look at Atlantis word processor which has a freeware version called Nova, and a paid version called "Ocean Mind". This is, in either version, a good, powerful application.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 05:29 PM

I use both Wordpro (Netscape) and MSWord. The only problem with Wordpro is that I get sometimes get MSWord documents that are a later release than it can cope with.

Word format is a de facto standard so any alternative product that you use must be able to both read and save in that format.

The one MS product that I won't touch is Outlook. I use Pegasus for email and, although it has some bad points, it it far easier to manage.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 05:28 PM

Thanks, everyone. I really appreciate your comments.

SRS, I can save to word.doc, now regardless, and can also convert plain text to it on the old computer which is networked, so no problem there.

Les, thanks for your kind offer and forgive me in being a little late in saying, "Welcome to the Mudcat."

Joybell, Mudguard, thanks. I will definitely look into those.

I do have a wonderful little wp program which I learned about, right here, called "Yeah, Write" which is terrific for just wp.

I've got MSWorks, but it seems so ltd. after working in Word.

Thanks, again,

kat

Les, welcome to the Mudcat and thanks for the offer.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 04:54 PM

Kat,

The trouble with bucking the trend of using Word is that you or others have to convert the text over to Word or Word-friendly software somewhere down the line. I was a happy user of WordStar, but they lost market share when they tried developing a "lite" program, and never caught up to Word and WordPerfect.

WordPerfect is still around and I know people who like it, but if you want to use text from there in print projects, you need to take it--you guessed it--into Word first, where the TrueText fonts are supported in a way that programs like Adobe Pagemaker can use.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: MudGuard
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 04:54 PM

I use OpenOffice, and documents produced with it can be used in Word as well - no problem with incompatibilities so far...

I also never had problems reading .doc or .xls (or even .pps) with OpenOffice.

The GUI is a bit different, but did not take too long to get used to...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: Joybell
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 04:43 PM

I've been using Lotus Smart Suite since I bought a computer three years ago. (I'd never used one before) Lotus came free with it. I also have Word (**##@%**!!)so that I can convert text into something other people can read but I never use it by choice. I can't believe how user-friendly Lotus is compared to Word. Pictures go where you want them, the text stays where you want it and moves where you want it to. I came in as a beginner and was using Lotus without help right from the start. Joy


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 04:36 PM

I have tried some of the alternatives such as Ability and 602. They're not bad, but there ARE some incompatibilities. You do have to be careful.

I haven't tried Open Office for about 3 years though. Long time, so it might be much better.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: The Villan
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 04:21 PM

Kat
In my honest opinion, I would think twice about changing unless you have a very very good reason. I am a qualified tutor in Adult Education and have been teaching for many years, although I am in a semi retirement situation now.
The standard is Microsoft Word and most companies use that.
It is possible that one day, just like Lotus, Microsoft may head for a fall. At this moment in time that is not the case.
Please explain why you would want to use anything different and I will try to help you.
You can PM me if you prefer.
Cheers
Les


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Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 04:18 PM

Sorry, should have said, most of those are commercial, not shareware, and some not any less that M$Office.:-)


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Subject: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 04:12 PM

Have any of you tried any of the programs from The Microsoft Boycott Campaign, specifically any of the alternatives listed for Office/Word?

Thanks,

kat


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