Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Marshmellow

Alternatives To Microsoft Word

Recommended Posts

Word is completely terrible for anything other than single column text

Anything else and it just annoys me so much, especially large documents with photos, graphs, tables, and double column

Does anyone have any better alternatives

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Word is completely terrible for anything other than single column text

Anything else and it just annoys me so much, especially large documents with photos, graphs, tables, and double column

Does anyone have any better alternatives

Word is actually pretty awesome, its just that most people don't take the time to learn it and understand why some of the stuff they're doing is going wrong. Word Tables are very powerful when you know what you're doing.

My advice (having written a number of lengthy docs in word) don't worry about replacing it and find an online tutorial that shows you how to use it properly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No idea TBH as I hate word processing stuff - have a look at Libre/Open Office though, could be worth a shot being open source.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I moved over to Libre Office and Open Office from Microsoft word last year because, on buying a new computer, I begrudged microsoft the money for yet another copy of MS orifice.

The combination of thunderbird and libre office does well enough, but even as a freeware fan I have to admit that Word is a more powerful and better documented program than its freeware equivalents. As frozen_out has said, If yiou already have MS Word I'd get a book or google some web tutorials to improve your Word skills rather than retraining on another less powerful program.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I moved over to Libre Office and Open Office from Microsoft word last year because, on buying a new computer, I begrudged microsoft the money for yet another copy of MS orifice.

The combination of thunderbird and libre office does well enough, but even as a freeware fan I have to admit that Word is a more powerful and better documented program than its freeware equivalents. As frozen_out has said, If yiou already have MS Word I'd get a book or google some web tutorials to improve your Word skills rather than retraining on another less powerful program.

I have used Libre. When you open a .doc or .docx, it puts the formatting all over the shop...you've then got to go back and reformat the document. Now mainly use Google Docs with my Chromebook.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quark express?

Publisher?

Felt tips?

Yes, it sounds like the OP is wanting something more akin to Pagemaker than a text editing tool?

I would go for Open Office or Libre Office over Word - and only buy a 12 month Word subscription for under £50.

I see Apple are going after Word by incorporating Pages in new ipads.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Word is completely terrible for anything other than single column text

Anything else and it just annoys me so much, especially large documents with photos, graphs, tables, and double column

Does anyone have any better alternatives

What exactly are you finding so terrible?

"documents with a mix of photos, graphs, tables, and double columns" are exactly the use case where Word tends to excel compared with the alternatives.

One thing I do find makes a big difference is your choice of printer, or more specifically printer driver. Word works by placing its layout onto a grid driven by the paper size and margins of the printer. Many times I have found that buggy behaviour goes away as soon as you set the default printer to something different (and using default Microsoft drivers).

To really learn Word properly would need about 4 or 5 days of full time training rather than the 10 minutes which most people get.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Echoing the comments above: most people don't like Word because most people don't know how to use Word. Excel is fairly intuitive so you can pick it up a bit of a time; learn graphs when you need to use graphs. With Word however most people don't get beyond the typewriter stage because it is hard to pick up individual things when all you want it to do is just look right.

Modesty aside I am superb at Excel but I am merely adequate when it comes to Word.

I am however regarded as just very good at Excel because most people are pretty good but an absolute genius at Word because most people's ability with Word is on the floor.

Go on an Intermediate Word course and you too could become an absolute genius!

Don't bother with Advanced Word unless you have a desire to do a mailmerge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Libre Office for me but with a nod to the previous comment about formatting. .doc and.xls are mostly fine - it's just tables in Word that seem to go wrong.

.xlsx and .docx though, just don't bother - ask the person who created them to File->Save As Type->Older format.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is more that the layout goes wrong

When your document is 60 pages and you replace 1 figure and then you have to check every other page incase its ****** it up

I have read that LaTeX is good, and in fact a course was advertised saying that Word is obsolete for scientific reports and it was reading this advertisement that made me consider whether there are easier alternatives than word

I.E in word I spend most of my time trying to get the format right - I just want to write and have all the format neatly done for me or at least with minimal fuss

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Echoing the comments above: most people don't like Word because most people don't know how to use Word. Excel is fairly intuitive so you can pick it up a bit of a time; learn graphs when you need to use graphs. With Word however most people don't get beyond the typewriter stage because it is hard to pick up individual things when all you want it to do is just look right.

Modesty aside I am superb at Excel but I am merely adequate when it comes to Word.

I am however regarded as just very good at Excel because most people are pretty good but an absolute genius at Word because most people's ability with Word is on the floor.

Go on an Intermediate Word course and you too could become an absolute genius!

Don't bother with Advanced Word unless you have a desire to do a mailmerge.

I did the ECDL (Electronic Computer Driving Licence) a few years ago...I got into mail merge, margins, etc. It took about 6 months to complete at my local college. Prob better on Word than I am than Excel.

http://www.ecdl.org/programmes/index.jsp?p=108&n=2929

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What exactly are you finding so terrible?

"documents with a mix of photos, graphs, tables, and double columns" are exactly the use case where Word tends to excel compared with the alternatives.

One thing I do find makes a big difference is your choice of printer, or more specifically printer driver. Word works by placing its layout onto a grid driven by the paper size and margins of the printer. Many times I have found that buggy behaviour goes away as soon as you set the default printer to something different (and using default Microsoft drivers).

To really learn Word properly would need about 4 or 5 days of full time training rather than the 10 minutes which most people get.

And this actually

I have many times printed something to PDF and a title go missing and I haven't noticed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use LibreOffice. Then, when I need to share a doc with someone, I copy and paste it into a Google Docs document.

Great idea, that way you can be sure that it will be safely backed up in the NSA data warehouse too.

Should you lose the document you could then ask the NSA to provide you a copy... ;):P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is more that the layout goes wrong

When your document is 60 pages and you replace 1 figure and then you have to check every other page incase its ****** it up

How many sections do you have?, for a 60 page document you want to have plenty of page breaks and section breaks so that changes to one page don't affect very many others.

My bugbear with word processing is that so often people spend a lot of time formatting things to fit into A4 pages, and then they never get printed - just emailed around and read on screen. So why are you bothering? Instead of scrolling down through 60 paper sized pages you could have tabs within each document like web browser tabs and sections of text which expand and collapse at the click of a button. A much faster & easier way to work. This already exists, and is called an outliner but hardly anyone uses them because we are still so wedded to the idea of printing documents on paper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • The Prime Minister stated that there were three Brexit options available to the UK:   205 members have voted

    1. 1. Which of the Prime Minister's options would you choose?


      • Leave with the negotiated deal
      • Remain
      • Leave with no deal

    Please sign in or register to vote in this poll. View topic


×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.