Microsoft Word

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1 A personal story

I (Daniel K. Schneider) rarely use Microsoft Word and when I have to I find it extremely difficult to produce moderately good looking text, e.g. of the kind that would be expected in a self-published textbook. In addition, Word does things to me I didn't ask for, e.g. create new styles, change language, indent captions to the left, renumber items.

With a program like Adobe FrameMaker I can quite easily achieve what I want (I also manage to do this with formatting software like Latex or DocBook). A real word processor does not try to do things it is not told to do. Also, I don't know anyone who even has a moderately good working knowledge to do things efficiently with these products. Therefore I sometimes will write down a few Word tricks I learn. I am particularly interested in:

  • Having word executing my orders without helping me
  • Creating larger text elements efficiently, e.g. vignettes with titles, paragraphs of various forms and appropriate numbering, or figures that include a title, automatic number of the caption...
  • Page Headings
  • Producing a document that is not too ugly (like most of the Word documents I must bear to look at).

Btw. I got the same problems with Open Office. Actually I like it even less, their double style management feature is utter crap. But their drawing program is great (and you can import these to either Word or FrameMaker).

2 How to use word articles

I started to write down a few tips for both Word version that I use:

3 Generic tools

  • Wordcleaner from Textism. Online form to get rid of word-specific stuff in HTML files generated by Word (save as html first).