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Why Change What Works!

brokenI used to be a true power user when it comes to Word. Heck, long long ago I was a power user of what I still consider the best word processing software ever, WordStar. MicroPro, WordStar’s  developer went out of business. I did learn a bit of WordPerfect, which wasn’t as far as I’m concerned and quickly began to learn to use Word.

Now I’m almost a rank beginner again because a computer upgrade has given me the newer version of Word… what is it, Word 2007 – I can’t even find the version number. In fact, even using help I can’t find the version number.

Nor can I easily add page numbers. I’ve finally figured out how to capitalize every word, but what happened to Title Case?

What I don’t understand is why MicroSoft felt the change would benefit anyone. I’m sure I’m not the only blogger who has talked about this, but it does make me crazy.

Of course, a lot of programmers got paid which is probably a good thing.

I may have to change my billing to hourly while I come up to speed.

And you know what, literally as I was writing this, a writer friend of mine called to see if I could help her with Word 7!

We laughed, cried and sorted each other out.

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Image from http://www.sxc.hu

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Yes, Anne, I’ve abandoned a lot of files, mostly by having a virus attack my hard drive. (A “friend” offered to fix my a:drive problem. She accidentally uploaded a virus onto my system and never did fix the a:drive. She lost my check, luckily, so I got my hard drive erased for free. Woo-hoo!)

    Somewhere, I still have a hard drive where I archived my last 5-1/4’s. Some rainy day, I’ll go exploring and see if there is anything exciting…
    .-= jorgekafkazar´s last blog ..Tenirax, Ch V =-.

  • Anne, I just checked to make sure I was telling you the truth, and yup, there are at least a half dozen WordStar files still on my C:drive–mostly poems my eldest son wrote in college, dated 1994. My oldest file is dated 1987, but it’s in a shareware WP format, can’t even remember the name. MindReader? No. Ah, the glorious days of the last century.
    .-= jorgekafkazar´s last blog ..Tenirax, Ch V =-.

    • Anne

      Jorge, I was trying to remember why I don’t have any and I think it’s because the wordstar files were on a kaypro 10 – first hard drive and before ibm pcs. I seem to remember carrying around 5-1/4 floppys through several computer changes and finally realizing it was going to be more trouble to convert them to what, some other format than to just let the files go… don’t remember what I lost so I guess it wasn’t important.

  • Oh, yeah, Anne, I remember WordStar. Micropro once sent out a demo disk that emulated the keystroke requirements of Word, Wordstar, IBM, the Borland thingie, and another word processor. Oh, yeah, WordPervert. You could type a bit of text in each one and see what your net wpm were. WordStar won, hands down. Your fingers never left the asdf jkl; row to reach for a mouse or way-yonder function keys. I’m still finding wordstar files on my system.

    And yes, the new Word interface is positively a pain in the dumpadeedus. I hate, loathe, detest, abhor, despise, and abominate the video “helps”.
    .-= jorgekafkazar´s last blog ..Tenirax, Ch V =-.

    • Anne

      Jorge, we agree on many things…. everything in this comment could have been made by me except all my wordstar files are gone.

  • Brian – both of those actions can be accomplished in Word 2002 as well. Alt f a is the same, but to insert a comment just change to Alt I M.

  • Brian

    Press the Alt key (tap it, don’t hold it down) and letters beside each action in the ribbon will appear. Hit one of them and you’ll get keys for for the actions under it.

    For instance “Alt r c” adds a comment. “Alt f a” saves as a new file name. Inserting page numbers would take a few more “Alt n nu t” (if you wanted them on the top), but your hands never have to leave the keyboard.

    All the old Ctrl shortcuts that I use still work, but there’s a lot more of them available through the Alt key.

  • I’m one of those people who never moves on to a new product until they absolutely have to. Hence my continued use of Word 2003. I have tried the 2007 suite but it also confused the hell out of me – where are all the menus? Just how the heck do I save this cursed document? I also got the compatability pack so I can save in docx and pptx format for clients. Everybody wins. (Until I get forced to ‘upgrade’ the software!)

    • Anne

      Yeah, I’ve been avoiding the upgrade forever… still holding out in xp for windoz 7

  • carol

    Please do take the time to find the features (Page numbers are in the insert tab, for example) The sophistication and additional features make this one of the best word processing programs ever created. There are help files and blogs all over the internet. Many new formatting and reference features are an incredible advantage to writers. It just takes a bit of getting used to and when you figure out where some of the old features reside, you’ll see why it makes total sense that they were placed in those tabs and grouped with other similar features

    • Anne

      Carol, I’ll get there, but it sure is annoying, particularly since I’m on a deadline.

  • Anne: I made the ‘big leap’ when I was still in Corporate America and boy, did that cause problems…clients without the download to even open the documents, which meant trying to remember to save it under an older version. I also used PowerPoint and Excel so it was a triple whammy. Now that I am used to it, it’s okay. PowerPoint was a HUGE improvement. I always had on my backburner to write a “Transition from 2003 to 2007” for PowerPoint.

    Anyway, if you have questions, I would be glad to help! Good luck.

    • Anne

      Thanks, by all means, write the transition piece… we all need it or will.

  • Brian

    They changed it because it’s a much better product (especially if you prefer the keyboard to the mouse). Sure there’s a learning curve, but once you figure out the codes for things, you’ll be amazed at how much faster you can do things that required the mouse before. They were even smart enough to put the code next to the clickable objects, which makes the learning curve less steep. Just hit Alt and start playing.

    • Anne

      Brian, if, as you suggest I can use the mouse less I’m for it, but I haven’t yet found that to be true… where are the codes you’re talking about. Another thing that drives me nuts is help so often presents a video first… I do not want a video to learn how to insert page numbers for god’s sake 😉

  • Anne – I agree with Joyce, moving back to an older version of Word is probably the best way to go. I use an older version that lets me save in newer file formats thanks to a few simple patches from Microsoft. Might be worth considering.

    • Anne

      Benjamin, I’ll probably stick with the new version now… and remember to save in older version for many.

  • Precisely why I’m still using Word 2000!

    • Anne

      yep… sort of trapped myself.

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