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Office software shootout: Writer vs. Microsoft Word, round three

Posted by: Anonymous [ip:] on September 12, 2007 01:30 AM
Every user has their own "deal breaker" when it comes to word processors. For some folks, it's a grammar checker, and they can only use Word for that reason. For me, it's Styles. Microsoft Word is the worst possible choice for creating large structured documents that require every paragraph, heading, list, etc. to have uniform layout properties. People usually learn to use Word to create short memos and reports. It's easy, Want more space between those two paragraphs? Just hit the "Enter" key again. Want a more artsy font for the second word in that heading? Just click on one. But this ad hoc approach does not scale to large, structured documents that require a uniform look and feel throughout. Sure, Word has Styles, but the interface soon become cluttered with every little variation that the user introduces. Italicize a single word, and a new paragraph format appears in the Styles side bar. It is absolutely awful and unmanageable.

For large, structured documents Open Office Writer is far, far superior to Word. Sure, there are better approaches. Lyx is great, but not for the average Joe who doesn't want to deal with writing his own Latex code into a document preface. Interface was great, but they are out of business. If you really need to create a large document with various page styles, tables of contents in each chapter, and uniform paragraph styles throughout, choose Writer!!


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