Fun with Word

  • #1
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Is anyone else out there becoming as frustrated with MS Word as I am? Once, I thought this was a great package, but with each new version, they seem to come out with a few new "hidden features" and other annoyances. (It is understood that they need to keep coming out with new "updates", so that older software can be made incompatible, and thus force us to keep buying [twenty-first century planned obsolescence]), but does it have to get progressively more unfriendly?

As example, now if attempt is made to open or initiate a new file, and if there are other Word files that have been minimized on the desktop, one of those minimized files is brought up first, - - - enabling something that wasn't asked for, and forcing the user to re-minimize it before whatever was on the desktop can be re-accessed.

Or, when you do close a file, a message somewhat like "This information has been changed - - - would you like to save it?" often comes up. The user, often knows that this is not so, especially when the file was only brought up to make a brief check - - - and must then tell Microsoft that that is nonsense. Earlier versions knew when a file had actually been changed. Why can't the later?

Also, sometimes when you try to close a file (that hasn't been changed), you get this message, but the dialog box is behind everything else and you can't get at it; and to top this off, the window won't go away or minimize easily. When it finally is minimized the remainder sits there winking at you, blinking until it is finally eliminated.

Then there is the nonsense that springs from this of recovered files, when there's nothing needing recovery. These simply wreak havoc.

When will the world stop letting itself be jerked around, with such things as improvements that improve nothing except Microsoft's bottom line?

KM
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
dduardo
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OpenOffice 2.0?
 
  • #3
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LaTeX. better layout,professional look, built in Bibliography management, plain text file, Free.

windows users get MiKTeX and Texnicenter(linked from MiKTeX page)

Mac Users get i-Package installer and TeXShop.

Linux users apt-get it.... sources, slaptget, rpm what ever you need to do.
 
  • #4
Math Is Hard
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Every time MS ships a new OS or Office applications suite, I have to present a training class about it for our building. What do I teach? How to TURN OFF all the annoying new little bells and whistles that MS has thrown in. Seriously, 90% of what I cover is the disabling of doo-dads! (Die! Die! Smart Tags!!) :devil: :mad: Apologies, Smart Tags fans, but I think they suck.

Every once in awhile MS tries to include something that might actually be useful, but that's always the thing that never works correctly or only works correctly under certain situations which usually are situations that have absolutely nothing to do with our business. To try and teach these features would be suicide- death by drowning in help desk calls from frustrated users. :yuck:
 
  • #5
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I take offense to your name :-)
 
  • #6
JamesU
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Apologies, Smart Tags fans, but I think they suck.
you are insane. Those things help SO much
 
  • #7
Math Is Hard
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ComputerGeek said:
I take offense to your name :-)
You're just too young to get the joke. :wink:

bahama yomamma said:
you are insane. Those things help SO much
You obviously have a bright future ahead of you at Microsoft. :smile:
 
  • #8
dduardo
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Word 12:

http://www.neowin.net/staff/creamhackered/office12/word12.jpg [Broken]

Powerpoint 12:

http://www.neowin.net/staff/creamhackered/office12/powerpoint12.jpg [Broken]

Excel 12:

http://www.neowin.net/staff/creamhackered/office12/excel12.jpg [Broken]

Access 12:

http://www.neowin.net/staff/creamhackered/office12/access12.jpg [Broken]

--------------------------

Microsoft has really taken the tab paradigm to heart, but I don't think it quite works with Office. It just takes up too much darn room.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #9
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I am forbidden to look at those links dduardo :cry:
 
  • #10
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Math Is Hard said:
You're just too young to get the joke. :wink:

You obviously have a bright future ahead of you at Microsoft. :smile:


I was joking. Im a math major going into education. I get the joke, a picture of barbie (blond bimbo) and the name "math is hard".
 
  • #11
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yomamma said:
you are insane. Those things help SO much

smart tags? what are those? I only use word for reading word docs.
 
  • #12
dduardo
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mattmns said:
I am forbidden to look at those links dduardo :cry:

Why? Are you under some NDA or do you just refuse to click on the link
 
  • #13
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dduardo said:
Why? Are you under some NDA or do you just refuse to click on the link

If you just click on them, they don't work. They work if you copy and paste the links.
 
  • #14
dduardo
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Must be a referer issue.
 
  • #15
Math Is Hard
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ComputerGeek said:
I was joking. Im a math major going into education. I get the joke, a picture of barbie (blond bimbo) and the name "math is hard".
Actually, it's based on one of the greatest culture jamming sprees (and practical jokes) of all time, which resulted from the feminist backlash against Mattel's release of Teen Talk Barbie. The story is here: http://www.sniggle.net/barbie.php

But I am delighted to hear you are going into education. Heaven knows this world needs good math teachers!! :smile:

ComputerGeek said:
smart tags?
Smart Tags, if enabled, show up as annoying little dotted purple lines that show up underneath text (not the same as the spelling or grammar checking squiggly lines) when it recognizes certain data, like a name from your contact list, or a phone number. When you mouse over you will see a little i in a circle,and hovering over it will produce a pull down menu of options. It's MS being overly helpful trying to anticipate your every need. For instance, if I type "Joe Macaroni" in a document, Smart Tags recognizes this name from my contacts and immediately flags it giving me options to schedule a meeting with Joe, send an email to Joe, etc. Some people may like it, but for me, it's just absolute overkill.

The main reason I find them so annoying is that when Word 2003 came out no one here could understand what the little purple lines were or why they were coming up, and they couldn't figure out what they were called so they couldn't look up how to turn them off. We go a lot of phone calls.
 
  • #16
Evo
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Kenneth Mann said:
Is anyone else out there becoming as frustrated with MS Word as I am? Once, I thought this was a great package, but with each new version, they seem to come out with a few new "hidden features" and other annoyances. (It is understood that they need to keep coming out with new "updates", so that older software can be made incompatible, and thus force us to keep buying [twenty-first century planned obsolescence]), but does it have to get progressively more unfriendly? <snip>
Except for sometimes being asked if I want to save changes on a documnet I opened as a link from a website, I don't have those issues. Most sound like you need to correct your settings to behave the way you want them to.

MIH, I agree with disabling all the crap. Every time I get a new computer at work, I spend half a day disabling all the "great stuff". :grumpy:
 
  • #17
JamesU
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Math Is Hard said:
Actually, it's based on one of the greatest culture jamming sprees (and practical jokes) of all time, which resulted from the feminist backlash against Mattel's release of Teen Talk Barbie. The story is here: http://www.sniggle.net/barbie.php

But I am delighted to hear you are going into education. Heaven knows this world needs good math teachers!! :smile:


Smart Tags, if enabled, show up as annoying little dotted purple lines that show up underneath text (not the same as the spelling or grammar checking squiggly lines) when it recognizes certain data, like a name from your contact list, or a phone number. When you mouse over you will see a little i in a circle,and hovering over it will produce a pull down menu of options. It's MS being overly helpful trying to anticipate your every need. For instance, if I type "Joe Macaroni" in a document, Smart Tags recognizes this name from my contacts and immediately flags it giving me options to schedule a meeting with Joe, send an email to Joe, etc. Some people may like it, but for me, it's just absolute overkill.

The main reason I find them so annoying is that when Word 2003 came out no one here could understand what the little purple lines were or why they were coming up, and they couldn't figure out what they were called so they couldn't look up how to turn them off. We go a lot of phone calls.
I've never seen these. What I thought you meant is when word guesses what you're typing next. How do I enable Smart Tags?
 
  • #18
JamesU
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dduardo said:
Word 12:

http://www.neowin.net/staff/creamhackered/office12/word12.jpg [Broken]

Powerpoint 12:

http://www.neowin.net/staff/creamhackered/office12/powerpoint12.jpg [Broken]

Excel 12:

http://www.neowin.net/staff/creamhackered/office12/excel12.jpg [Broken]

Access 12:

http://www.neowin.net/staff/creamhackered/office12/access12.jpg [Broken]

--------------------------

Microsoft has really taken the tab paradigm to heart, but I don't think it quite works with Office. It just takes up too much darn room.
ooo...VISTA :tongue2:
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #20
1,090
6
Minesweeper looks like crap on there :cry: I just hope they make it much larger on the custom boards.
 
  • #21
379
0
Math Is Hard said:
But I am delighted to hear you are going into education. Heaven knows this world needs good math teachers!! :smile:


Smart Tags, if enabled, show up as annoying little dotted purple lines that show up underneath text (not the same as the spelling or grammar checking squiggly lines) when it recognizes certain data, like a name from your contact list, or a phone number. When you mouse over you will see a little i in a circle,and hovering over it will produce a pull down menu of options. It's MS being overly helpful trying to anticipate your every need. For instance, if I type "Joe Macaroni" in a document, Smart Tags recognizes this name from my contacts and immediately flags it giving me options to schedule a meeting with Joe, send an email to Joe, etc. Some people may like it, but for me, it's just absolute overkill.

The main reason I find them so annoying is that when Word 2003 came out no one here could understand what the little purple lines were or why they were coming up, and they couldn't figure out what they were called so they couldn't look up how to turn them off. We go a lot of phone calls.


gag....

yeah, that sounds quite annoying. If I wanted to send an e-mail to some one I would be working in my e-mail client, not word.
 
  • #22
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0
yomamma said:
ooo...VISTA :tongue2:


Meh... Vista will be a pile of poo. 7 "versions". Requirement for a special monitor in order to watch certain content. a huge beefy GFX card and a lot of system memory to get any good performance out of it.

sorry, but I would rather run OS X, or Linux (with the cool Luminocity extensions to GNOME which do all the cool hardware accelerated UI stuff vista does but can do it on an integrated Intel GFX chip)
 
  • #23
loseyourname
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Running open office in X11 works fine for me, but honestly, I prefer to just use a plain text editor whenever possible. If it needs to be in .doc or .pdf format, then I'll just cut and paste, then export it. The only features I require when writing are indentation, alignment, and double spacing.
 
  • #25
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dduardo said:
99% of the work I do in school is technical writing, so I mostly use Texmacs. Not only is it a nice Latex editor, but it acts as a command-line frontend to Matlab and Maple.

If you want to do publishing under Linux/Mac I suggest Scribus:

http://www.scribus.org.uk/

You can do some very professional layouts all for free:

http://scribus.sourceforge.net/gallery/images/aqua2.jpg

looks great for developing rich documents with images such as sales pamphlets, etc, but for paper writing, LaTeX is the best I think.
 
  • #26
Moonbear
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Math Is Hard said:
Smart Tags, if enabled, show up as annoying little dotted purple lines that show up underneath text (not the same as the spelling or grammar checking squiggly lines) when it recognizes certain data,
Is that what those damned things are?! I installed Office 2004 on my previous work computer, and along with those things, I got these little red boxes that would show up near some words. I didn't know what they were, they didn't seem to do anything useful, and I didn't know how to get rid of them. My solution: revert back to Office X. (I'm on a mac, not a PC, so have slightly different versions.)

And, yes, the first thing I do when I upgrade is try to turn off all the extra crap (I remember when one version tried to automatically guess when you wanted a bulleted list, which was never when I wanted one...I hate having to backspace to keep undoing things Word decides to do automatically...if I wanted a letter capitalized, I'd press "shift" while typing, I don't need Word to think it's smarter than me and start capitalizing letters in the middle of abbreviations that aren't supposed to be capitalized).

I would be happy if they didn't keep upgrading.

I checked out the Open Office site a while ago. They didn't have a version available for Macs yet. I have a question on that though...if I were to install it, say on a work computer, or if they ever come out with a Mac version I can use at home, would the computer illiterates who use only Word on Windows be able to open the documents without losing formatting? And would I be able to open Word documents on it? How compatible is it with Word?
 
  • #27
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ARGH!!!!! I HATE THOSE TABS!!! I was using Excel the other day and those little tags kept popping up. I had a column of data and a second column with an equation to manipulate the data. I did the little grab the square box and drag trick to fill my second column with the equation manipulating the corresponding data and every row of the equation column had a green tag in the corner and a box with a + asking if I wanted to copy the cell format. I didn't change the cell format to begin with Excel!!! Stupid!!!
 
  • #28
Math Is Hard
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hmmm..faust, the "little green tag" part sounds like a "triangle indicator" used to flag a formula or data format error. If you want to get rid of that, you may be able to go into tools --> options --> error checking tab and uncheck "Enable background error checking". I noticed that they give you the option to change the color of the triangle in here in my version of Excel (Excel 2003 for Windows) - are these programmers bored or what!?? ok, well, maybe that could be slightly handy if you were working in a green spreadsheet. :tongue2:

That plus sign sounds like your Auto Fill options. If you want to disable this you can go into Tools -> Options --> Edit tab and uncheck the Show Paste Options box.

Another thing you might want to 86 if you like your Excel plain jane -- you can also turn off the Insert Options in that Edit tab. If you try to insert new rows into your spreadsheet this option will nag you unless disabled.

Moonbear and yomamma, if you still have any interest, the Smart Tag options are in kind of a weird place. They are in Tools --> Auto Correct Options, and here there is a Smart Tags tab inside of which you can enable or disable the little suckers. (i am just guessing they are in the same place on the Mac version).
 
  • #29
dduardo
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The issue with MS Office is that it was good enough back in the year 1997. Then they started adding junk to justify the high price. Their next big move is the subscription model.
 
  • #30
loseyourname
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Moonbear said:
I checked out the Open Office site a while ago. They didn't have a version available for Macs yet. I have a question on that though...if I were to install it, say on a work computer, or if they ever come out with a Mac version I can use at home, would the computer illiterates who use only Word on Windows be able to open the documents without losing formatting? And would I be able to open Word documents on it? How compatible is it with Word?

You can open a .doc file on Open Office. I'm pretty sure the open document format won't open in MS Word, and you cannot export as a .doc, but you can export as a .pdf, so that Windows users can read your files using Acrobat Reader. You can run Open Office on a Mac, too (which I do), but you need to have X11 installed and run it in that environment, not on Mac OS. X11 comes with OS X Tiger, but is not part of the default installation package; you have to select it from the custom install menu. I don't know if it comes automatically with previous versions of Mac OS, but you can get it free from the Apple website.
 

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