Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Go Novell! All praise to the Wordperfect!

WordPerfect antitrust case greenlighted by the Supreme Court

Good Lord. Wordperfect gets a mention in the news, as its old owner gets the right to continue an anti-trust case against Microsoft.

Actually, I didn't know that Wordperfect's downfall was partly blamed on Microsoft making it harder for it to work on Windows 95. Here I thought it was just crushing deals with government which forced it out. (I'm pretty sure Microsoft did deals with Australian Defence Department, at least, which required them to convert to Office and then run nothing but Office.)

Anyway, this a good excuse for me to sing the praises of Wordperfect again.

(And no, I don't mean DOS based 5.1. Wordperfect is now up to version 13, and a new version comes out from current owner Corel every 2 or so years.)

Unfortunately, increasingly government departments which publish forms are only supplying Word or .pdf documents, and I am forced to use Word more and more. (Wordperfect will open and convert them, but it's still not a perfect process, and trying to edit the documents makes the formatting issues worse.)

So, I have to use Word 2000 from time to time. Yeah, it's getting to be an old version now, but I find it hard to believe that newer versions have changed the basic problems I have with it.

You see, I consider it an absolute objective fact, that formatting a Wordperfect document is much, much easier than formatting anything in Word.

And you know what really annoys me: even when I ask for help from young employees who have only ever used Word, they usually still do not know how to fix a formatting problem. They just end up shrugging and suggesting some complicated work around, rather than a simple fix.

The attachment to Word is only because they know nothing better.

Here is my quick list of the ways in which Wordperfect is better:

1. it opens and saves in more formats than Word (in fact, I heard that this is the reason why some law firms keep it as an option, since you can open nearly everything from every year on it;)
2. it starts faster; it saves documents faster;
3. it saves to smaller sized files;
4. it has had built in conversion to .pdf for years (an extremely handy feature when you have to email documents);
5. it is not a heavy drain on the processor;
6. it's nicer to look at;
7. it has never been targeted for viruses in the same way Microsoft products have;
8. it does headers and footers, justification, indenting paragraphs, absolutely every formatting thing in a simpler, easier and more transparent way than Word. (As far as I know, with Word you still can't do "reveal codes" to work out a formatting error.)

Yes I know, the war is lost already. But I love Wordperfect nonetheless.

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