Posted by: Bruce Byfield
on June 27, 2005 10:25 AM
I've followed your instructions, and I admit that my flat statement was wrong: MS Word does allow the setting up of conditional text.
That said, I'd have to add that I would still consider Word far behind Writer in this area. I don't consider the tools in Writer 1.x to be very practical for heavy use of conditional text, but even those are better than Word's. As for the new Hidden text feature in Writer 2.0, it is so much easier to use that there is no comparision.
Word's are buried away, most suitable for a few small pieces of multiple text, and would be harder to maintain in a document that was going to pass through multiple revisions. Moreover, I find that the instructions you gave will hide text, but not paragraph markers, although I concede it might be possible to figure out a kludge to overcome this limitation. Similarly, you could probably write a macro to make this feature more convenient to use in general, but my main concern is default functionality.
In other words, while I'm always glad to learn something new, even at the cost of saying I was wrong, this detail doesn't change the big picture.
As for how widely known the technique is, do a search for "MS Word" and "conditional text" instead of relying on your opinion (which, although supposedly humble, doesn't stop you from the arrogance of slinging the word "liar" around, I notice), and you'll see how exactly how little it's known. If it was better known, you wouldn't find evidence of so many professional writers asking about it and looking around for plug-ins and other ways to get conditional text functionality.
In the same way, if you compare Writer's and Word's styles side by side, you'll see that Writer does, in fact, have more options in the areas that I indicated.
That's all I have to say in response. I do my articles with clean hands, and that includes admitting when I've made a mistake. I've done that, and I thank you for the correction, but my obligation ends at this point. If you feel like berating me, you can continue without my participation.