Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Word 2010?

Word 2007 is way better than Word 2003. If nothing else it’s prettier.  And, I have my word 2007 ideally set up for distraction free writing - minimize the taskbar, minimize the ribbon (yay windows!), write in draft view and it’s pretty much just me and the screen.  The thing is, I’m fiending all my student’s 2010. It looks basically the same (but prettier!). Customizing the ribbon doesn’t seem that helpful since I already customize by quick access toolbar up top. I don’t need to immediately upload/email/blog what I write (and dropbox/gmail/blogger seem to be taking care of me if I do). Word’s stupid freakin’ reference manager will never reach the point of being helpful – that’d alone be worth the upgrade. So basically I can’t come up with any good reason to get it. But, I want it. For teacher’s/student’s it’s $100.

Anyone know a good reason to drop the cash?

-- Second Suitor


Anonymous said...

Your institution may have licensed copies of this software for free. Check with your IT department.

Eric said...

I bought it for the same reason-just because I wanted it. I like it better, although I can't specifically point out why. It seems to run faster for me, and with fewer hiccups, and it works with EndNote and my PDF converter (Nuance PDF Professional) better than 2007. The new Ribbon is way less distracting than the 2007 ribbon, too. It's also easier to share documents and work on them in a group with 2010, if you co-author much.

Anonymous said...

If you do anything formal, the newer equation editor is comparatively well behaved. I think the only thing I've found frustrating so far are corner quotes, but that's likely just my incompetence.

Anonymous said...

Don't. For an extra $14, you can get a Kindle.

Word verification: whica, as in "Whica gonna use more, Word 2010 or a Kindle?"

Anonymous said...

Why not use LaTeX? It's free.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

"Anyone know a good reason to drop the cash?"



Michael Falgoust said...

Honestly, I can't see reason to shell out any cash on word processing software. I used OpenOffice (now LibreOffice) throughout my PhD coursework. I'm writing my dissertation in Lyx (http://www.lyx.org/) because it gives me formatting control and lets me handle my references with bibxtext.

I understand you may be used to Word, but Microsoft seems to always want too much money for appearance alone, especially given that you can get the same features elsewhere for free.

Anonymous said...

LaTex is free and makes WAY better looking documents.

Drop Word.

Anonymous said...

Yes, LaTeX FTW.
Until you submit your paper to a journal, and the editorial staff tells you to take your PDF submission and shove it far up where the sun don't shine and come back with a DOC file they can copyedit.
Don't get started with TeX. You'll regret it.

Anonymous said...

I've started using LaTeX (and LyX) for my own writing, but I still use Word for some co-authored stuff and for student papers, etc. I like Word's reviewer functions, and when I ask for electronic documents, almost all of my students turn things in as .doc and .docx files. I'd never liked converting back and forth between OpenOffice and Word.

None of this, of course, provides a strong reason for upgrading from Word 2007 to 2010. I'd say wait until a newer version that makes your 2007 incompatible with the newest documents/features/etc. In the meantime, spend your $100 on something more useful.

Anonymous said...

re Anonymous 1:56pm

Latex to RTF, RTF to .doc

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain why it's important that LaTex documents "look way better"? I honestly don't care about that at all. My Open Office docs look pretty good. They don't look incredo-professional, but so what?

Anonymous said...

They believe in objective aesthetic value?

Mr. Zero said...

Can someone explain why it's important that LaTex documents "look way better"?

Some people don't care about how things look, but obviously not everyone is like that. If it matters what any of those people think, it matters what the documents look like.

Additionally, most people who think they don't care about how things look actually do care about how things look in a way they are not consciously aware of. I read a while back about some study where the same answer to a blue-book exam question would consistently get higher marks if it was written in neat handwriting. Not because the graders thought was intrinsically important, but because they (mistakenly) judged the answer to be better in ways that are intrinsically important when it was printed more neatly. The graders did not think they were giving higher marks to the students with better handwriting.

Some combination of these two probably explains why you haven't been sending out (photocopies of) your CV and other job-application materials handwritten on lined notebook paper.

But whatever. There are plenty of ways to get documents to look nice enough without using LaTeX. Open Office is probably fine. As I see it, the principal advantages of LaTeX are these:

1. It does your bibliography for you in whatever style you want. (It is not the only program that does this, though.)

2. It is not MS Word. (But neither are the other free ones.)

3. It does produce really nice-looking documents. (Probably more so than the other free ones.)

4. I know how to use it (now).

I did have a problem similar to the one 1:56 warns of once. Nobody told me to shove anything up my ass, though. I asked whether they'd like me to submit the .tex file to the copyeditor; they apologetically let me know that they couldn't use it, and would need a .doc file.

It was somewhat of a pain in the ass, but not as bad as 1:56 makes it sound. I didn't use a fancy conversion program; I just copied the text in the PDF, pasted it into a word document, and then went through it to fix the formatting and stuff. The footnotes did not automatically add themselves, and adding them & getting them into the right spots was moderately annoying. But I caught some typos in the conversion process, too, so it wasn't a total waste.

Anonymous said...

pandoc FTW.



Readable plain text format.

Everything you need for academic writing. This is as close to distraction free writing with sufficient semantic formatting possible: headers, footnotes, citations, blockquotes, running lists, definitions...

Easily produce LaTeX (or ConTexT) files for the nerds. Easily produce beautiful PDF files (via LaTeX) to impress those with unconscious biases.

Easily produce ODT (and so DOC) and RTF files for the journals.

Easily produce ePUBs just because you can.

Easily produce HTML based slideshows...

And its written by a philosopher.