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Poll: Which word-processing software do you use?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / October 3, 2007 9:58 AM PDT

Which word-processing software do you use?

Apple iWork or AppleWorks (How do you like it?)
Corel WordPerfect (How do you like it?)
Google Docs (How do you like it?)
Lotus Symphony Documents (How do you like it?)
Microsoft Word (How do you like it?)
OpenOffice (How do you like it?)
Sun StarOffice (How do you like it?)
ThinkFree (How do you like it?)
Zoho (How do you like it?)
Other (What is it?)

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How I like MS Word isn't very relevant
by avanabs / October 3, 2007 11:57 AM PDT

With over 83% of the technical world using it (and far more than that of the consumer and office automation world), it's a MONOPOLY! I simply have to use what my customers and colleagues all over the world use.

So far, none of the alternatives I've tried even come close to "compatible"...and if they ever did, MS would simply change the rules...that's the privilege of a MONOPOLY vs a standard.

Even the likes of IBM hasn't been able to disrupt the MS MONOPOLY, nor the US government, nor the collective governments of Europe, so a few community projects have absolutely no chance.

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there's always a chance...
by austinjam76 / October 3, 2007 12:09 PM PDT

If everyone takes a defeatest attitude towards which programs they use, and do not explore and support other options, then yes, there is no chance for change. However, if users actually attempt to learn a new program (which I'm sorry, but most Americans will NOT do) then it is possible to provide feedback to a development community and assist in the building of compatible and superior software.

The cost of MS Office alone should be enough to have users attempt to switch to other alternatives. I've used Open/Neo Office, iWork '08, Zoho, and the Google alternatives, and each have their high points and low points. With a little support, testing and most importantly, feedback, it is possible for these applications to mature and flourish in a world where choice should be readily available.

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...maybe for some
by Charlie J / October 3, 2007 1:33 PM PDT

I don't find Microsoft or it's programs offensive but don't close my mind to open-source. I use some free software, but for the major stuff, I don't mind paying for the real thing. I tried to use openoffice and could never get it to work on my computer, which is new. Maybe it was Vista. I don't know. But I do know that I have never had any major problems that Microsoft wouldn't try to help me solve and, in most cases, solve. Plus, anyone who is paying retail for any of their stuff just isn't paying attention.

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Who the heck
by jsjag1990 / October 4, 2007 9:10 AM PDT
In reply to: ...maybe for some

Who the heck pays MS to solve anything? You must have some extra $$$ and you don't know what to do with it.

BTW.....I would lay my money down that it was Vista. I am looking at purchasing another computer but will not buy a box with Vista installed on it. I know all the programs I paid for have drivers that work with XP but Vista....who knows?

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Drivers with Vista, in reply to Who the Heck
by Viejito11 / October 4, 2007 10:41 AM PDT
In reply to: Who the heck

Don't be fooled. Your drivers will not work with Vista; it happened to me. Some of your peripherals will not have Vista drivers. The manufacturers of your cameras, MP3 players, external hard drives, ZIP drives, and whatever else you can think of, will say that they do not support your model any longer and that they are not planning to write drivers for them. If you want to use them with Vista, you will have to buy the new models. And if you have any old software that you would like to continue using, it will not work with Vista.

If you buy a machine with Vista and then want to get rid of your preinstalled Vista and install XP instead, you will not find the XP drivers for your components. The manufacturer of your computer will first tell you that if you buy XP on your own, you can download the drivers from their Web site, but after you buy XP they will say they have no XP drivers for your model, that your particular model was designed for Vista. Toshiba did this to me. The made me spend money in Windows XP and Nero, and then they told me they could not help me, that this machine was not made for XP and they had no drivers for it.

I am waiting for the new OS-X (10.5) to get a Mac.

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Drivers with Vista
by mglatfelter / October 5, 2007 6:20 PM PDT

It is obvious that you do not like Microsoft, which is your right. However, you should not come in here pretending to be a PC user having trouble with Vista. I use Vista on my machine. All the drivers work fine. I had to update drivers from legacy peripherals, but they work. Every that is new has bugs that need to be worked out. Even Macs have their problems. The school where I work has switched 100% to PC because they are less expensive and have fewer problems. Even the teachers who have used Macs for years have had to admit the advantages of the PC. That does not mean that Mac is not good. There are certain programs and peripherals which are far superior. For me, Microsoft Word runs circles around Appleworks and is easier to use. This is an honest assessment since I used Appleworks for years even when Appleworks was being made for PC's as well as Macs. The two programs are simply not completely compatible.

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Drivers with Vista
by Viejito11 / October 11, 2007 3:44 PM PDT
In reply to: Drivers with Vista

I am sorry to have given you the wrong impression. It is not that I don't like Microsoft. I like Windows XP and use it every day, and I like it very much, and Windows XP is also Microsoft.

The problem with Vista is that it is so incompatible with everything that used to work with XP. Here are the concrete examples:

1) My digital camera Nikon Coolpix 8700 does not have a driver for Vista. Nikon says they are not going to write a driver for that camera. If I want to use a camera with my Vista, I have to buy a new model.

2) My Zip drive does not have a driver for Vista. The manufacturer will not write a driver for this model. If I want to use a Zip drive, I have to buy a new one. I don't even know if the Zip drives still exist. Probably I will have to transfer all my Zip disks to flash drives.

3) My card readers have no drivers for Vista. The manufacturers don't have drivers for these models. If I want to use a card reader, I will have to buy a new one.

4) My MP3 player, a 40 GB Zen Nomad Creative, which is a wonderful MP3 player and works perfectly, does not have a driver for Vista. The manufacturer will not write a driver for this model. If I want to use an MP3 player and synchronize it with Vista, i need to buy a new model.

5) My Atomic Clock cannot install correctly in Vista. The ActiveX controls don't register, even though the files are in the Windows System32 directory.

6) My QuickVerse Bible program cannot install correctly in Vista. The ActiveX controls don't register, even though the files are there.

7) My font editor does not register, even though the files are there.

Cool The flash drives I bought recently, that had the inscription "Works with Vista", don't work properly with Vista. Some of the capabilities are there, but not all.

And I could list four or five other programs that don't work with Vista.

Nothing like this happened with Windows XP: yes, Microsoft Windows XP. Everything worked perfectly. I did not complain about XP, even though it was Microsoft, and that is because I have nothing particular against Microsoft.

I also use Microsoft Office because it is the one that works better with Unicode for foreign languages. I used to work exclusively with WordPerfect, but it never caught up with Unicode, even though Corel claims that the new WordPerfect X3 works with Unicode; a lot of people in the users' forums say it still cannot handle Unicode. This is why I have not gone back to WordPerfect. I am staying with MS Word and I am very happy with it. Open Office works well with Unicode, but it is not as agile as MS Word. I have both installed on my computer and sometimes play with one and then the other, but I have not been convinced enough to change yet.

I don't have shares in any of these companies. If Microsoft gives me a good product, I use it. I have nothing against it. The proof is that I have been using a lot of Microsoft programs in the past and present. If they have a lion share of the market, it is OK with me, because they did not get there by putting a gun on anybody's head. They are good, hard-working businessmen that know how to market their product. It is not a sin to earn money: let them earn as much as they want and as much as they can. But give me a product that works.

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Vista, Toshiba and Closed standards
by norbiy / October 8, 2007 3:43 AM PDT

These messages convince me all the more that my next machine is most likely going to be Linux in some flavor. Since I have only used Word sporadically, and the driver issues with Vista have pretty much convinced me never to touch another MS product for as long as I can manage to avoid it, I have found my initial experience with OpenOffice fairly painless. Then again, I've somehow managed to convince those I work with to stick to formats and standards that keep them away from the proprietary and rapacious mindset that seems to have infected MS beyond redemption. The only thing worse that I've found on this score are Toshiba DVD players, which leave me with Toshiba also crossed off my list for any future acquisitions of hardware.

There are alternatives. I used WordPerfect for years before this, largely because I found it less painful to use than Word or Office, it rarely gave me trouble and to my knowledge never created any huge security holes in my system. Then again, I started using WordPerfect somewhere around the time that AT-clones were considered bleeding edge.

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Spot on, I want choice
by Dango517 / October 3, 2007 5:05 PM PDT

and a better price but to bad Windows didn't become the "standard". If it had the compatibility issues would have went away. On the other hand, is it too soon for standardization? Will they restrict innovation on a believe it or not, new technology. We are still only in the dawn of the computer age. Despite our progress we are still in the Model T phase of computing.

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by mediagt / October 3, 2007 12:12 PM PDT

I think Microsoft office is more functional and more better that their competitor Open Office and Star Office by SUN. Especially the latest Microsoft Office 2007 Pro.

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ms off vs op
by jimg1474a / October 5, 2007 4:39 PM PDT
In reply to: MS Off VS OP

I use open office on xp, and I love it.

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On the contrary
by Canuck1988 / October 3, 2007 12:15 PM PDT

I use Open Office and I find it quite compatible with MS Office, Writer can save files in .doc, Impress in .ppt etc. The only real drawback I've found is that Writer doesn't have a grammar check but that's nothing more than a minor annoyance.

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Spelling Checker
by jedirock / October 3, 2007 12:17 PM PDT
In reply to: On the contrary

Actually, it does. Just not for every language. For example, English (Canada) does not have spell checking, while English (USA) and English (UK) do.

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Office only pretends
by redking44 / October 3, 2007 6:55 PM PDT
In reply to: On the contrary

to have a grammar check, and has no clue about subtle phraseology. Its only advantage is the green squiggly lines are more restful than the red spellcheck lines.

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Grammar choice
by irdac / October 5, 2007 6:16 PM PDT
In reply to: On the contrary

You are not missing anything as Word's grammar is purely American and it continually highlights as faulty good British English usage especially if you are preparing academic documents.

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Grammar and the 'correct' language.
by graememacfothaidh / October 5, 2007 9:48 PM PDT
In reply to: Grammar choice

I am amused by the discussion. During the war our English Master told us that Americans spoke 'Americanese' and slang; English they did not speak'. So, when America did eventually join in the war and their troops were deployed to the Uk I was amazed that I could roughly follow their drawled Englishand slang words like 'Buddy', although that word still presents a problem to me. I assumed that they must all have been given English lessons in the US before arriving here, although I was puzzled that American cowboy films we did see here showed Americans speaking fairly good English. The language then is ENGLISH for us in the UK. If you live in the Americas then you should call it American, for that is what it is; English it is not!! Ha ha. Now that should start a further discussion as there is no such thing as 'British English' If it were so what do other subjects of the UK speak who are not in Britain speak? Graeme.

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by jonah jones / October 5, 2007 9:58 PM PDT

would the lack of colour make everything grey?


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Some folks are so helpless!
by SW Detroit / October 3, 2007 12:16 PM PDT

Open Office can do just about everything that MSO does and can do other functions that MSO cannot.

So, complaining about Microsoft being a monopoly is merely whining on the part of somebody who is content with his not adapting and is crying about it.

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I Concur--It's Microsoft Word
by 2dogday / October 3, 2007 1:00 PM PDT

I've been using Microsoft Word since Word-Perfect--Remember that oldie with DOS?

Word 2000 is great! I like it because I do a lot of writing--like novels and such. The punctuation help alone is a godsend. I can insert pictures wherever I choose, change sentence structure for the better (hopefully,) and even write in a foreign language--which I've done on a few occasions. Hey,who could ask for more? It's a winner in MY book--pun intended.

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MS Office user looking for alternative
by john3347 / October 3, 2007 2:32 PM PDT

Anybody remember Edlin? It was the word processor that came with dos 3.xx and through 5.xx. That's how long I have been using Microsoft supplied office applications. Just recently upgraded (?) to Office 2007. I have been using OO.o for two or three years now and it just is not as intuitive as Office and, contrary to distributor's claims, is just not fully compatible with Office. Until a standard protocol, format, or whatever becomes a reality, I expect MS Office to reign as leader. I wish a true alternative were available.

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Edlin is NOT a comparable word processor :-)
by airwhale / October 3, 2007 5:44 PM PDT

Hey - I used edlin as well - and quite liked it, as a matter of fact. However, edlin is a minimalistic text file editor, more akin to early versions of vi or possibly emacs. The successor to edlin, that full screen editor (was it called "edit"?), does not compare either.

I do concur that Word is 1) a great product and 2) the defacto standard in business.


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Word Perfect
by dena1936 / October 5, 2007 12:56 AM PDT

I also used Word Perfect since MSDos & it still doesn't disappoint. Right now I am using the Office XP version which I bought from bargain software for a decent price. I also have MS Office for Access and Excel. I liked dBase better, but unfortunately it can't be found at a bargain price and it costs several hundred dollars to upgrade my old version 3.5 for windows which will not work with Win XP. I have successfully saved all my dBase files to Access so until I find something that I can afford I am stuck with Access.

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Office & productivity software
by Research87 / October 5, 2007 2:07 AM PDT
In reply to: Word Perfect

Unfortunately, MS Word is bundled with new computers. Yes, you are paying for the MS Word on those computers. If you think they are free, think again. As you must know, that is MicroSoft's way of trying to put their competition out of business. Why purchase another word processing program when you already have one on your computer. However, Corel Word Perfect is a much, much cheaper program to purchase and is a better program.

One of the writers to this posting told about the hidden codes in MS Word and no easy way to find them and either replace with another or delete them. That is absolutely no problem with WP.

I havw wrote three very long books and 53 articles for journals magazines and newspapers all on WP. I use my WP to pull up MS Word documents, read them and make changes to them and then save them as a MS Word document to send back to the original writers. No problems at all with WP X-3. I have never had X-3 freeze up on me.

Those who swear by MS Word have never tried another program. Its like those who have only used just the KJV of the Bible. It is NOT the word of God if it is NOT a KJV. They just don't know that the KJV was written just for the Church of England and contains all of their doctrines as instructed by the King of England.

One can download a trial X-3 for free and use all of its features to see if one likes it or not and if so can then purchase it. I would recommend trying it. To be able to use all of the functions and toolbar correctly does take sometime to learn and if successful will never go back to MS Word.

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I still miss Paradox
by norbiy / October 8, 2007 3:55 AM PDT
In reply to: Word Perfect

But since I don't have a lot of call for heavyduty dBase manipulation, I tend to find that Quattro (or if I must, anything that looks like Excel) will serve in a pinch.

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I still miss Paradox
by robert7440 / October 8, 2007 6:11 AM PDT
In reply to: I still miss Paradox

Paradox is available in the X3 Professional edition. I haven't used it much, I'm currently using Access for databases, but will always swear by WordPerfect, Presentations, and QuattroPro. I HATE to admit this, but the Access databases seem to offer me more options I need than Paradox. When I can take the time to play with Paradox more, maybe I'll learn how to use it better than Access.

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I still use the 'oldie' Word Perfect
by softwarecritic / October 8, 2007 1:17 AM PDT

I have been using it since Win95 and consider it a great word processor. It can convert Word Documents but I doubt of Word can convert WP documents. The Quattro Pro Spreadsheet tool which harks back to the Borland days is also one of my favorites

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Microsoft Word
by wkenney / October 3, 2007 9:12 PM PDT

I have written three books with both Word and Corel Word Perfect on my computer. The latter was clearly superior but, as your last respondent so well puts it, we have no choice about Word as Microsoft not only bundles it in with the computer but also insterts "Hidden Codes" should one wish to convert a document in process from Word to Corel Word Perfect The hideous HCs are devilishly difficult to remove, taking hours and hours of time whilst changing all kinds of defaults like margins, indentations, page numbers, capitalizations, bullets and so on. The Codes are Hidden in the sense that one cannot seem to get to them and when one does get to them they will not change.

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Word vs WordPerfect
by Maggie Miller / October 3, 2007 11:18 PM PDT
In reply to: Microsoft Word

I've been a WordPerfect user since 4.2 for DOS and have only recently been forced to use Word. WP handles graphics easier and better as far as placement with the ability to drag anywhere on the page, as opposed to left/right/center in Word. My favorite function, however, is Reveal Codes. Being able to find *exactly* where a code has been inserted and change it without affecting anything else within the document is one of the reasons I only resort to Word only when I have to. Usually I just Save As from WP and open Word documents in WP as well. If our University ever mandates the switch to only Word I guess I'll just have to purchase a personal copy of WP and carry on!

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Word vs WP et al
by Doug_Iford / October 4, 2007 2:18 AM PDT
In reply to: Word vs WordPerfect

I, too, used WP for DOS (from 4.5+ through 6.2), and WP Win through Ver. 9. I had also used PC-Write for DOS before it got more or less overrun by the Windows systems. For me, too, a primary reason for liking WP was the "reveal codes" feature, which MS Word still hasn't caught up with in its "show formatting marks" feature, although it is much better than it used to be. Word still seems to want to do strange and wondrous things with formatting from time to time. However, as has been pointed out by several persons, you sort of have to go with what your employer has made their standard, and that is invariably MS Office. Since I had to use Word at work, I finally broke down and installed it at home as well, and have been pretty much tied to it ever since. I have tried OpenOffice (which is what my church uses), and still have a copy of WP Office 9 at home, but I have given up on using them as other than oddities as I have become quite skilled in Word and Excel and see no particular point in getting equally up to speed in the other products. Perhaps some day, when I "really" retire (I am "retired" ... several times, but still work on contract), I will give one of the freebies another chance as MS Office is definitely a tad pricey when you have to pay for it yourself.

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Word vs WordPerfect
by SoCADesertRat / October 4, 2007 3:16 AM PDT
In reply to: Word vs WordPerfect

Maggie is spot on about WordPerfect. Reveal Codes is almost addictive because it is so helpful. Also, WordPerfect is much more intuitive and user manageable than Word. Word makes you do specific things in a certain way, while WP allows you to be more selective in how you do them. This is another example of how the best packaged and marketed product wins in market share - not necessarily the best product.

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