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Old 07-28-2020, 10:33 AM   #91
Kay Hemlock Brown
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Wordperfect for DOS was a better program then Word for DOS and when Wordperfect for Windows came out, it too was better then Word for Windows. If it wasn't for Microsoft bundling in trail versions of Word, I think Wordperfect would be the top word processor.
I believe that, from a data structure point of view, it would be easier for a user to create problems with a WordPerfect data structure than with a Word data structure, because of all the searching involved.

I'm not absolutely sure, because I see how Blogger keeps checking begin-end pairing in real time, and I presume WordPress does the same. But that was probably the big handicap that WordPerfect had to deal with: matching things like Begin Italics, and End Italics, etc.

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Old 07-28-2020, 12:28 PM   #92
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There is a famous interview of GRRM with Patrick O'Brien where he describes his DOS computer running wordstar. And the interview isn't *that* old.

Some authors have very peculiar choices regarding the system of writing. Rowling writes in pen on paper. Jonathan Franzen famously typed blindfolded in a completely dark, almost empty room he rented for just that purpose, so he could concentrate better on his characters.
This is precisely the sort of thing that sounds so utterly charming and eccentric and just soooo endearing to the people who read Famous Writer X, and is so exhausting, trite, privileged and vexing to the people who have to then take his priceless mutterings and make them into ACTUAL (*&^%$#@ books.

Lord, I would not be running around, in public, saying that MY mind is so vapid, so shallow, that if I had to learn to use newer software that all my creative ability would suddenly evaporate.

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Once you are famous enough, you can get away with almost anything [as long as you keep producing manuscripts].

When I become a very famous writer I will be bragging that I write in Vim ;-).
Yes, well, when you do, say anything you want, but please deliver the manuscript to the poor slobs who work on it in a usable format.


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Old 07-28-2020, 12:45 PM   #93
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This is precisely the sort of thing that sounds so utterly charming and eccentric and just soooo endearing to the people who read Famous Writer X, and is so exhausting, trite, privileged and vexing to the people who have to then take his priceless mutterings and make them into ACTUAL (*&^%$#@ books.

Lord, I would not be running around, in public, saying that MY mind is so vapid, so shallow, that if I had to learn to use newer software that all my creative ability would suddenly evaporate.
If it works for them, more power to them. I know I write better without a GUI word processor because formatting gets in the way of my when putting words together. Whether it's "charming," or "eccentric" or an odd quirk, I don't care. It's what works for me. And, I'm guessing, what these successful writers you mentioned use what works for them. Why would you consider it "vapid" or "shallow" to choose what they like? Why this need for conformity? I would consider it more vapid and shallow to use the popular word processor just because it's popular.

For example I hate Word, always have. As far as I'm concerned it's clumsy crap – and no amount of peer pressure would ever induce me to use what I despise.
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Old 07-28-2020, 02:29 PM   #94
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If it works for them, more power to them. I know I write better without a GUI word processor because formatting gets in the way of my when putting words together. Whether it's "charming," or "eccentric" or an odd quirk, I don't care. It's what works for me. And, I'm guessing, what these successful writers you mentioned use what works for them. Why would you consider it "vapid" or "shallow" to choose what they like? Why this need for conformity? I would consider it more vapid and shallow to use the popular word processor just because it's popular.

For example I hate Word, always have. As far as I'm concerned it's clumsy crap – and no amount of peer pressure would ever induce me to use what I despise.
If you are the person that works with those manuscripts, to bring them to the public, after you're done, good for you. Doesn't matter. But for those of us that have to work on these types of files, yes, it makes it far more work. I don't give two s**ts about conformity for the sake of it. And popularity? Who said anything about that?

(I wrote a big long reply to this and then realized that there was no polite way for me to discuss what I see daily, over the last decade and the >8,000 manuscripts we've received and reviewed, so I'm going to drop it.)

(BTW, I too, in the 80's and early 90's, loathed Word. Oh, it was so terrible! it was clumsy crap! It didn't do this and it didn't do that, and it couldn't compare to Wordstar and Wordperfect and all that. It got everything "wrong" and yadda. Oh, silly girl. I struggled along with it for several years, as I had clients that insisted on using it, lecturing them all the while about how this other product or WP was better, etc. And then, one day, I had this massive project--crafting some materials for a half-billion-dollar project I was managing--and I did something SHOCKING!!! I actually took a short tutorial in it. Took me a whopping 3 hours to realize that Word had all these fantastic functions--if you bothered to learn how to use it. Functions that made pretty much EVERYTHING better. Styles, headings, outline mode, the Document Map...man. THAT was eye-opening and what really sucked was the mea culpa. Realizing that I could reorganize a 150K-word file, with thousands of paragraphs and headings with a click? Yowza. Not having to manually redo all that, b/c Word did it easily? Lovely. Yup and all my preconceived notions about it were completely and totally wrong--by refusing to bother to actually learn it, for 3 years, I simply reinforced my incorrect beliefs. I'm sure that this doesn't apply to you, rcentros, but for any other people reading this, that may have done what I did; tried Word and never bothered to learn it--if this is you, Gentle Reader, you may want to try learning it. Makes a world of difference.)

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Old 07-28-2020, 02:34 PM   #95
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This is precisely the sort of thing that sounds so utterly charming and eccentric and just soooo endearing to the people who read Famous Writer X, and is so exhausting, trite, privileged and vexing to the people who have to then take his priceless mutterings and make them into ACTUAL (*&^%$#@ books.

Lord, I would not be running around, in public, saying that MY mind is so vapid, so shallow, that if I had to learn to use newer software that all my creative ability would suddenly evaporate.



Yes, well, when you do, say anything you want, but please deliver the manuscript to the poor slobs who work on it in a usable format.


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What? And sacrifice the blessed creativity of the Author whose words come directly from the primeval core of their mind? You should be grateful that they deign to allow you to look at their manuscript, it being the unsullied Truth of Existence and all. They must be free to work without the hindrance of mundane, earthly considerations like readability. I mean, really.
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Old 07-28-2020, 04:36 PM   #96
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(BTW, I too, in the 80's and early 90's, loathed Word. Oh, it was so terrible! it was clumsy crap! It didn't do this and it didn't do that, and it couldn't compare to Wordstar and Wordperfect and all that. It got everything "wrong" and yadda. Oh, silly girl. I struggled along with it for several years, as I had clients that insisted on using it, lecturing them all the while about how this other product or WP was better, etc. And then, one day, I had this massive project--crafting some materials for a half-billion-dollar project I was managing--and I did something SHOCKING!!! I actually took a short tutorial in it. Took me a whopping 3 hours to realize that Word had all these fantastic functions--if you bothered to learn how to use it. Functions that made pretty much EVERYTHING better. Styles, headings, outline mode, the Document Map...man. THAT was eye-opening and what really sucked was the mea culpa.
With me, the development was quite different.
I was introduced to Word for Windows 2.0 by my geek friend when I finished my master thesis and he helped me to do a lay-out before printing (at that time some people here still used typewriters). He showed me all the goodies - hierarchical (object oriented) paragraph styles with features like guarding against orphans and widows, headers that keep with text and insert pagebreak before the header ... all the wonderful and advanced stuff. I was instantly in love. A bit later, at work, I got training in MS Office by my geeky colleagues programmers, IT specialists, network specialists.
Later I taught MSOffice at work (also numerous other products, including other text processors and spreadsheets).
I became the guy that other experts and geeks (and numerous laypeople) consulted when they had problems with MSOffice (and other products, especially AutoCAD).

Then in 2007 a catastrophe struck. Microsoft introduced the bloody Ribbon interface. I hated, HATED that stuff. And I still do with a deep passion.
I still have to google up stuff I used to be able to do in older Word versions without hesitation. Mind you, I am still that person that people in the company go to when they have problem with software (not just office software). But I never again achieved the mastery of MSOffice I had before 2007. And I did take time to learn that new crap.

I am aware that they tried to optimize the UI so that it is better discover-able by total newbies, but they screwed it up for advanced users IMHO.
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Old 07-28-2020, 06:54 PM   #97
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If you are the person that works with those manuscripts, to bring them to the public, after you're done, good for you. Doesn't matter. But for those of us that have to work on these types of files, yes, it makes it far more work. I don't give two s**ts about conformity for the sake of it. And popularity? Who said anything about that?
Are you saying that people send their manuscripts in with varying formats? I'm sorry, I missed that. That's makes a big difference. I should have said that I start with a text editor, but if I sent a manuscript to a publisher, it would be in Word format (via LibreOffice, which I also hardly ever use). I guess I stepped into this discussion a little late.

One of my issues with Word is that, when I worked at a print shop, and we often had to flow a Word document into a Desktop Publishing application (like Ventura Publisher or Page Maker), and there always seemed to be some kind of hidden formatting that was nearly impossible to remove. But this was back around 2005, so I guess a lot has changed since then.

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(I wrote a big long reply to this and then realized that there was no polite way for me to discuss what I see daily, over the last decade and the >8,000 manuscripts we've received and reviewed, so I'm going to drop it.)
Sorry for putting you in that position. I should have made it clear I was talking about the creative (first draft) part of writing. I didn't realize people sent manuscripts in... in whatever format they liked. Even though I like to experiment with different processes when writing screenplays (unsuccessfully) I realize that, when I'm done, the final script has to be in standard screenplay format. I just assumed everyone realized that with anything they sent in.

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(BTW, I too, in the 80's and early 90's, loathed Word. Oh, it was so terrible! it was clumsy crap! It didn't do this and it didn't do that, and it couldn't compare to Wordstar and Wordperfect and all that. It got everything "wrong" and yadda. Oh, silly girl. I struggled along with it for several years, as I had clients that insisted on using it, lecturing them all the while about how this other product or WP was better, etc. And then, one day, I had this massive project--crafting some materials for a half-billion-dollar project I was managing--and I did something SHOCKING!!! I actually took a short tutorial in it. Took me a whopping 3 hours to realize that Word had all these fantastic functions--if you bothered to learn how to use it. Functions that made pretty much EVERYTHING better. Styles, headings, outline mode, the Document Map...man. THAT was eye-opening and what really sucked was the mea culpa. Realizing that I could reorganize a 150K-word file, with thousands of paragraphs and headings with a click? Yowza. Not having to manually redo all that, b/c Word did it easily? Lovely. Yup and all my preconceived notions about it were completely and totally wrong--by refusing to bother to actually learn it, for 3 years, I simply reinforced my incorrect beliefs. I'm sure that this doesn't apply to you, rcentros, but for any other people reading this, that may have done what I did; tried Word and never bothered to learn it--if this is you, Gentle Reader, you may want to try learning it. Makes a world of difference.)
I guess, as mentioned above, I come from a world where the Word document was intermediate and — from my experience — Word did not "play well" with other applications. My main (personal) issue with it is that it wanted to think for me. Maybe there was a way to shut all that control-freak crap off but I didn't care enough to find out. I just know that reformatting a document was a royal pain in the... rear. I used Word only when I had to do so at work and even there (if I was allowed) I would install some other application for what little word processing I did at work. (Lotus Word Pro was my favorite Windows word processor, it seemed small, simple and clean.)

At this point I have absolutely no need (or desire) to learn Word. My wife has Microsoft Office Pro (whatever version came out about 2014 or so) but she mostly uses it for Power Point presentations. She still does most of her writing in WordPerfect or (more and more) Google Docs (I don't like Google Docs either, but I sometimes edit her stuff using it and it's convenient for collaboration).

At any rate... that's the way I see it. If I was sending something to you and you needed Word format, I would send it in Word format (though it wouldn't be via Word).

Last edited by rcentros; 07-28-2020 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 07-29-2020, 01:58 PM   #98
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Why would anyone use WordPerfect in 2020? It seems so obsolete.
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Old 07-29-2020, 07:36 PM   #99
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Why would anyone use WordPerfect in 2020? It seems so obsolete.
Because it's familiar and they like it. Choice is good. Fortunately we don't live in a homogenized world.

That said, I (personally) never really liked WordPerfect either. I liked WordStar for DOS. I used it the entire time I used DR-DOS/MSDOS/OS/2 and Windows. When I went to Linux (13 years ago) I moved to its work-alike, Jstar (WordStar flavor of the JOE editor), because my fingers are hard-wired for WordStar keystrokes and it's faster for me.
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Old 07-29-2020, 07:44 PM   #100
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Back in the day I liked WordPerfect, especially the "reveal codes" feature. It made it easy to see what was really going on with the internal coding of documents.

Once it became clear that MS Word was becoming the new standard for businesses I switched and never looked back.
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Old 07-29-2020, 08:16 PM   #101
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Back in the day I liked WordPerfect, especially the "reveal codes" feature. It made it easy to see what was really going on with the internal coding of documents.

Once it became clear that MS Word was becoming the new standard for businesses I switched and never looked back.
My work never really required much word processing. I built mailing databases for regional printer and was also PBX phone tech. In both jobs, my contact with Microsoft Office was almost exclusively with Excel spreadsheets. When working for the regional printer my job was to take customer's mailing lists (they used Excel spreadsheets for "databases") and convert them for into dBase (for DOS) to databases to run through our various mailing applications. This printing company decided to save money on Microsoft Office licenses, so the last year I was there I used OpenOffice Calc to do the same job. It worked just as well.

In phone work (my main occupation) Excel spreadsheets were used for "Cut Sheets" and and wiring records. I mostly used Lotus Word Pro for word processing when on company computers (very little word processing required, most communication was via email).
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Old 07-30-2020, 09:34 AM   #102
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Why would anyone use WordPerfect in 2020? It seems so obsolete.
Ironically, I actually have it, but, the reality is, that's solely because I need to. (That being said, somewhere in time, my particular version refuses to export to docx, so...I probably won't bother to upgrade it [so to speak] anytime soon.) I loved it, way back. Once you saw the codes, man, there was no going back.

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Because it's familiar and they like it. Choice is good. Fortunately we don't live in a homogenized world.

That said, I (personally) never really liked WordPerfect either. I liked WordStar for DOS. I used it the entire time I used DR-DOS/MSDOS/OS/2 and Windows. When I went to Linux (13 years ago) I moved to its work-alike, Jstar (WordStar flavor of the JOE editor), because my fingers are hard-wired for WordStar keystrokes and it's faster for me.
Various word-processors still have and support those keyboard commands, but...we all get used to what we get used to.

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Back in the day I liked WordPerfect, especially the "reveal codes" feature. It made it easy to see what was really going on with the internal coding of documents.

Once it became clear that MS Word was becoming the new standard for businesses I switched and never looked back.
All my then-customers had Word. As I mentioned earlier, God, I fought against it and hated and loathed it for...hell, IDK how many years. But, when I had to create a very, very large document for development I was getting ready to build, I was at wits' end and bothered to go to the then-available tutorials on MSFT's website, for outline view, headings, styles...and Moses on a Pony, that was eye-opening for me. I mean, sure, Word still does stuff that I don't love; but once I realized that MS had made it viable and the things I hated were due to my own stupidity in not learning it, well...yup, never looked back. That was in the 90's...how time flies when you're aging!

To be fair, though, that early grounding in Wordperfect made it easy-peasy for me to swing into HTML, though. :-) Conceptually, I mean.

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Old 07-31-2020, 11:09 AM   #103
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Why would anyone use WordPerfect in 2020? It seems so obsolete.
Because it's much better than Word? Seriously, WordPerfect does not suffer from many of the ongoing problems that plague Word, in particular with regard to formatting of paragraphs. The ability to use Reveal Codes to understand precisely why WordPerfect is showing text in a particular way and to then be able to very narrowly fine-tune the formatting is much better than Word (and don't even get me started on Word's automatic paragraph numbering and the issues that can cause). That being said, I almost never use WordPerfect because everyone that I deal with expects to receive documents from me in Word.
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Old 07-31-2020, 01:18 PM   #104
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Because it's much better than Word? Seriously, WordPerfect does not suffer from many of the ongoing problems that plague Word, in particular with regard to formatting of paragraphs. The ability to use Reveal Codes to understand precisely why WordPerfect is showing text in a particular way and to then be able to very narrowly fine-tune the formatting is much better than Word (and don't even get me started on Word's automatic paragraph numbering and the issues that can cause). That being said, I almost never use WordPerfect because everyone that I deal with expects to receive documents from me in Word.
Why don't you use WordPerfect and export to Word format, or import the WordPerfect into Word (I assume there is an export/import)?
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Old 07-31-2020, 03:08 PM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John F View Post
Why don't you use WordPerfect and export to Word format, or import the WordPerfect into Word (I assume there is an export/import)?
The file formats are very different; thus, an export or import from either Word or WordPerfect to the other is never clean and almost always requires a fair bit of cleanup, especially if the document is longer and/or complicated. Thus, the advantages to using WordPerfect are negated by the effort to clean the document and get Word to display it properly (or vice versa). By way of one very simple example, WordPerfect uses an alternate font to handle curly quotes (an older, wonkier method, for sure). If the computer has those fonts, Word displays the curly quotes fine. But when you send that file to someone else, if they don't have WordPerfect they won't have those fonts and things get ... ugly.
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