What I Hate About Word

I’ve started using Microsoft Word a lot more since starting my new position. This is mostly because a) all the templates for reports, letterhead, etc. were all made in Word, and b) I haven’t found a good LaTeX processor for Mac or another good alternative.

The past week has been particularly bad for Word annoyances. Here are just a few of my all-time cringe-worthy things about it (if anyone knows easy fixes, let me know):

1. Sometimes, when using the “justify” option for paragraph alignment, it will spread out the last few words to use the entire line so there are enormous spaces between each letter.

2. Bullet lists are never, ever, automatically done the same way. It takes forever to override the automatic(ally wrong) formatting; however, turning the auto-formatting off makes it a pain in the ass too.

3. Inserting figures and tables in a specific spot is pretty much impossible. This is made 1000x worse if two figures or tables need to be remotely near each other.

4. Figure and table caption numbers are never correct. Ever.

5. It will auto-correct some words, but not others.

6. Most recently, when I ctrl+z to undo something, it automatically goes to the first page of the document (WTF?).

If you use Word, what things annoy you the most?

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Comments on: "What I Hate About Word" (10)

  1. Word = shudder, won't go into that. But, I've installed latex on my mac and it works great! I use Texshop (http://pages.uoregon.edu/koch/texshop/), and granted, the installation process is slightly more convoluted than normal program installations on mac, but not that bad. Also, I find that I like apples own Pages (part of iWorks) way better (and it exports well and can read word documents). But, it costs, of course..

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  2. Anonymous said:

    No good LaTeX software for Mac!? MacTeX is the best thing since sliced bread (TeXShop is the editor, but it's all part of one big package). All my linux friends are jealous because of how nice LaTeX is on my Mac… Go get it!

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  3. Anonymous said:

    MacTeX (http://www.tug.org/mactex/2011/) is great for easily getting LaTeX installed on a Mac and TeXShop is very nice for small projects. For larger projects like a thesis, TextMate is easier to use.

    I also recommend Pages for the occasions when there are no equations to typeset.

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  4. For 1., add a line break at the end of the weirdly spaced line (press Enter) and it will go back to its original length.

    Funnily, I always have problem 3. with LaTeX, not with Word. 🙂

    For the other points, I completely sympathise and don't have a solution.

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  5. Anonymous said:

    I also use TeXShop (MacTex) and love it. I find it much better than several LaTeX processors I've used with windows.

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  6. Something that sometimes works for figures to put them in a spot where you want them and not having them dance too much around while you format/write your text, is inserting a table and putting the figure inside the table. This can work for figures that need to be nexto to/on top of each other too, just put them in different rows/columns of your table.
    I'm not saying it's a solution, but it makes it slightly less annoying …

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  7. Hmm…I'm definitely intrigued by this MacTex! Was it around 5 years ago? I remember scouring the internet for a good Mac LaTeX application, and the only decent one I found was TexShop (Theresa suggested this one also), but I'm not a huge fan (though I may have an old version?).

    Pika – that doesn't work for me!! Argh!!

    Nina – hmmm…I'll try that. Thanks!

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  8. Anonymous said:

    Hve you tried Open Office? (and it's compatible with a bunch of diferent programs)

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  9. Anonymous said:

    Everything!

    I'd just take the trouble to learn and use latex.

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  10. Anon @4:59pm: I have used OpenOffice, but found it doesn't have the functionality of the Microsoft products.

    Anon @8:01pm: Thankfully, I already know how to use LaTeX 🙂

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