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Word wins hands down in Styles

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on June 23, 2005 06:58 PM
In my opinion, both programs are badly broken in their handling of styles, since it is substantially more time consuming to use them than not to use them. There are shortcuts for all the basic formatting operations (to change spacing, underlining, alignment, etc.) but no shortcuts for styles. So you have the option of ditching styles and typing quickly, or keeping with styles and mousing around. In the case of long documents, of course, you set up key commands, etc., but this is a substantial time commitment and not something the programs are set up to encourage.
But Word's "Stylist" works around this feature by allowing you to treat all text as styles. In Word, you can easily say "Select all indented text and make it double spaced." The Stylist shows you a break down of all the different kidns of formatting you have in your document, regardless of how you created that formatting. This makes *much* more sense: make the program do the work of information about styling rather than the user.
And on the UI front, Word puts the stylist in a sidebar panel that can't obstruct your view of your main document. This is smart and inline with some of the good changes that have been coming to gedit. In wordprocessing, all main features -- search, formatting, etc. -- should happen in a way that doesn't obstruct your view of the document (this is the minibuffer concept from emacs, really...). Word is slowly getting there (though search and replace, for example, still requires a cumbersome dialog). There's nothing I've seen to indicate that OO is even headed in the right direction.


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