In my never-ending quest to spend way more time thinking about software than using it, I have once again started to consider my choice of Word Processor…
Now, I’m a Mac User, and I have been using them as my primary computing platform since the days of System 6.0.3 on my fun little Mac SE.
Let me start by saying, I just don’t like Microsoft Word. I didn’t even like it back in the days of Word 5.1 (many mac users would say that 5.1 was the best version of Word ever written). Back then, I opted for Write Now v4. It was small, fast, and simple. It did everything I wanted, and that was all.
Now, my world is a bit more complicated. My software choices are not only influenced by what I like to use, but they are also influenced by the choices of people that I work with. Left to my own devices, I would be using Create, GIMP, NVU, and Pages (or Abiword).
Instead, I find myself using PhotoShop, Dreamweaver, Flash, and MS Word. Since I often have to edit files made by others, I often need to open files made in these programs or I need to help someone troubleshoot why something in one of these programs doesn’t work the way it should.
I would be sooo much happier (and productive) if I could use my prefered tools, but since every application makes it’s own unique files, I can’t. Pages does a pretty good job opening Word files (it’s not perfect, but it may be good enough for me to switch). But, unless Adobe decides to open its file formats (can you say cold day in Hades?), I don’t think I will be able to do design work in Create for a long time to come.
Actually, one thing that keeps me from just dumping Word is the templates provided by the BBC. Unfortunately, they only work in Word. I can’t even get them to work in NeoOffice (the MacOSX native port of OpenOffice). So, even if I could open and save .DOC files perfectly in Pages, I still would have to rebuild all of the BBC’s Templates for Pages.
Wait! I like that idea! More on this later…