Microsoft Word May Lead But Still is Flawed

I am a professional educator, which means I use my computer to write articles, classes, and computer code. I am an Apple computer user and have Microsoft Word for MAC 2008 and Apple’s word processor Pages, which is part of their iWork product. As I have stated in other articles, I was a PC person since my first 8088 computer in 1988 that had no hard drive and only had dual 5 ¼ floppy disc drives. It was a combination of Windows Vista and the PC version of Office 2007 that made me frustrated enough to try an Apple laptop. I was tired of dealing with Word crashes or Vista crashes tens of times everyday.

It is the frustration with Word that I am writing this article. As I am developing a new dynamically-generated employee handbook to be part of my new employee education website (hhtrain.com), my Word crashed. I was prompted that I had to pick to leave Word closed, or relaunch Word and recover my document. Word was polite; it did say it was sorry. I picked the recover and relaunch option. Word opened back up and opened the document and adds the (Recovered) title to the document. I scrolled down to where I was working and my current text was not there. This didn’t make me happy.

My past experiences with Word have left me gun shy, so I save my documents manually after every paragraph and I have the “save” settings to auto save every 5 minutes. With these settings in place, I ask, why did Word not have my content saved correctly? Because I save frequently, I decided to open up the non-recovered document and compare it to the “Recovered” document. My saved version had my current content and the “Recovered” version did not. To me this is a flaw. Any time a document is saved to the hard drive, it should replaced any cached version of the document that is used for auto saving.

I have used many word processors over the years like AmiPro, WordPerfect, Word, and Pages, and Word wins on ease of use and features. However, it is the crashing that drives me nuts. I have lost so much productivity because of Word crashing. I have even had Word documents that crash every time they were opened and I had to open them in Pages and export them into Word again in order for them to work in Word.

I realize that word processors are complex programs but why does Word have to crash so often? I’m not doing anything tricky, I’m just writing text, maybe adding a different font color and inserting comments.

Are there any readers out there with similar Word frustrations?

Article Written By,

Robert Thompson
President, Avant-Garde Education
www.hhtrain.com