Tuesday, June 16, 2015


I have not been a fan of Microsoft Word since version 1, way back in 1983. I always preferred either WordPerfect or WordStar (or more specialized word processors, such as WatchWord). But the version of Word I'm using now is driving me crazy (Word for Mac 2011)! It reformats at the drop of a hat, silently! Especially Hebrew or Syriac (or any other R-L language). The words will suddenly be backwards, or the letters will. Frustrating! This was especially a problem with the HBCE Proverbs. In fact, for that, I worked off of PDF generated hard-copy to prevent it.

But in the book I'm editing now, a book on the wisdom tradition, Word has started doing something even more devious. It will reformat a sentence by moving words to the next line, but then not rewrite the preceding line. The result is that it looks like there is a double occurrence of the word, but there isn't! Arghh!

So, if you happen to read a book on the wisdom tradition and find a missing word in a sentence, it isn't the editor! It's MS Word!

And I still hate it, 30+ years later! But I have to use it, because it has functions that the open source alternatives don't do properly...Arghh indeed!


John Cook said...

What does Word do that open source cannot? Or at least what is so crucial that it does that out-weighs everything else the open source programs do so well?

jps said...


In my experience, it doesn't do track changes properly. And that is a killer in my business. : (


Tim Bulkeley said...

I have not had problems with track changes in Libre Office, even when back and forth to MS Word (though this is on PC not Mac, and I don't use the feature all that much). It could be worth a try?