Tag Archives | Word Processing

Microsoft Loses Word Court Case

Microsoft has lost the court case brought by a small Canadian software company over the custom XML feature in Word, and must remove it from Word by January 11th. According to Mary-Jo Foley at ZDNet, Microsoft’s got a strategy for removing the offending functionality from Word 2007 via a patch. I wonder how many companies depend on Word’s custom XML–and how they’ll feel about it disappearing?


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Five Killer Microsoft Word Tricks

Steve Bass's TechBiteMicrosoft Word: I can’t think of another application I’d like to have re-written to meet my needs. I’ll kvetch some more another time. Today, I have five tricks to fire up the way you use Word.

Tabs for Word. Cool!

You know how quickly you got used to opening multiple tabs in browsers? It’s a smart way to quickly move among Web pages; without it, browsing is lots like running applications in DOS.

Office Tab is a freebie that works in 2003 and older versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Double-click on the tab bar to open a new a document in a new tab; double-click a tab to close it. A right-click brings up a useful menu where you can save or close all your documents; the Options menu lets you change the look and color of the tabs.

You can save or close all your docs with one click, or right-click the tab to close

Have multiple tabs any way you’d like in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access

The program is from a Chinese developer (his name might be wangminbai) and the Baidu.com site is confusing even using Google’s translation. The program, however, is entirely in English. Read the product description, browse through the FAQ, and download the Zipped Word tool.

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Word Processing Circa 1968

computerworldIf you’re as fascinated by the prehistory of personal computing as I am, the early issues of Computerworld at Google News are hugely entertaining. They date from a time before there were such things as personal computers, but there are hints of what was to come everywhere in their pages. I wrote about a 1968 story on a 75-pound pseudolaptop recently. And after the jump, I’m reprinting a story from the November 13th, 1968 issue on Astrotype, an extremely early multi-user word-processing system with 4KB of memory which stored documents on magnetic tape. Its creators said that by permitting the correction of text documents, it would be a boon to…would-be secretaries whose typing was too lousy for them to find work. Little did they know that word processing wouldn’t help more people become secretaries, but would instead dramatically thin the secretarial herds in corporate America over the next four decades…

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Zoho Writer Gets a New Look

Zoho LogoAdventNet, the company behind the bulging Zoho suite of productivity services, was one of the first to build Web apps that looked and behaved like traditional software–and it’s gone on to play an industrious, intrepid David to Google’s Goliath in the world of online office suites. Today, it’s given its flagship Zoho Writer word processor a major makeover, with a new interface that combines aspects of Microsoft Office 2007’s “Ribbon” interface and the more familiar menus of older Office versions into something that’s distinctive in its own way.

Zoho calls this MenuTabs, and simply put, it lets you get access to a set of commands–such as tools for inserting various elements into a document–either as a menu:

zoho-menu

Or as a tabbed toolbar of icons:

Zoho Tab

Me, I’d go for the menu every time: Unlike Office 2007’s ribbon, which sports sizable, reasonably easy to decipher buttons, the Zoho toolbars have tiny icons that require a moment’s thought to decipher. The menus, on the other hand, explain functions in plain English. But it’s cool that Zoho lets you choose between the two approaches. (When Microsoft introduced the Ribbon, it did away with menus in their old form.)

Zoho has also upgraded Writer’s sidebar, which gives you access to files you’ve created and lets you perform tasks such as renaming them, moving them to the Trash, and sharing them–including bulk actions on multiple files in one swoop. It’s a nicely done, highly convenient feature, and I wouldn’t mind it a bit if both Google and Microsoft swiped it.

I’m currently trying out the new Zoho Writer in the only fashion that really matters: by using it to do some real work. More thoughts as I have them, but for now, I’m enjoying reacquainting myself with it.


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