Thursday, October 21, 2010

David Pogue reviews
Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac

“You knew about these bugs, but you’re selling this software anyway?”

Office for Mac Isn’t an Improvement (New York Times)

comments: 3

normann said...

Rather than simplify, simplify, simplify, Word (for Mac and Windows, take your pick) is apparently continuing to be a example of how the law of diminishing returns moves in mysterious ways, its wonders to perform. I learned word processing on Word 4.0 and 5.0 for the Mac, which Microsoft lovingly produced to develop expertise in WYSIWYG in preparation for the first Word for Windows. From 1998 to 2006 I worked exclusively in Windows environments, becoming very used to the look and feel (and setup!) of Word 1997-2003. Word 2004 for the Mac, which I bought in 2006, was an unpleasant surprise after all these years, but since I do not use Word on my Mac for anything but rudimentary text editing, it has not been much of a problem. At my old job, where our desktops are thin clients to a remote server, we continued to use Word 97-2003, with updates for handling docx etc. My local machine, however, ran xp, which I liked because it was easy for me to install exotic keyboard definitions (IPA) and inputs (pinyin, romaji), the thin client not being tweakable in that way. I did not use Word 2003 that was installed with it for more than opening documents from the web or typing phonetic transcriptions, Chinese or Japanese.
At my new job, my desktop PC runs xp (the folks at Norges Bank aren't dumb; i.e. they know where to stop), but Windows 2007. Not only is the most recent avatar more cartoony than the previous one, but the multitab toolbar is a pain to negotiate. My favorite toolbar tool appears no longer to be available, viz. the Language window, where I could tell at a glance what language a sentence was defined as, but also redefine it with a mouse click, without a time-consuming tab-and-menu egg hunt.
The irony is that while I am now being forced to learn Word 2007, I will have to become more proficient in Word 2008 for the Mac, now that my computer-illiterate s.o. has traded up from his Acer laptop running Vista to a MacBook Pro.

Michael Leddy said...

Back when I was using Windows XP, the ribbon made it easy for me to decide not to move to Office 2007. Now that I have a Mac, I use Bean and Pages (iWork) for word-processing. Pages even opens .docx files when necessary. No more Word!

Michael Leddy said...

Here are screenshots of Office 2011. Looking at Word reminds me of how happy I am using Pages.