annoyatron replied to your link: Reduce visual clutter in Microsoft Word [TUAW.com]
Why did you HAVE to use it? I mean, there’s plenty of free alternatives out there like OpenOffice and LibreOffice. Not that they’re any prettier, but still… At least that way you don’t have to PAY for the crap.
The world of academics (and plenty of publishing companies and others) still require Microsoft Word, usually because they rely on the “Track Changes” feature.
And when you are dealing with a lot of footnotes and some very specific (some might say “nitpicky”) expectations for how things will be formatted, it is just easier to use Word.
Ttttttttrust me, it’s my preference. I would have written the entire thing in MultiMarkdown if I could have.
I also need it for work where I often get documents which have to be exchanged between several different people, and “.doc” is the easiest “least common denominator” format to use for anything beyond plain text.
Actually, when I am expecting the final product to be a “Word file” I create the initial version in Apple’s Pages to be a lot easier to use, especially when dealing with “Styles” and then save it to .doc at the end.
But with my thesis (which I have been writing, submitting and rewriting for over a year now), I have enough other things to worry about without worrying about formatting screwups between Pages/OpenOffice/LibreOffice/etc and Word. (In fact, I’m still concerned about screwups between Mac vs Windows versions of Word, but so far that doesn’t seem to have been a major issue.)
Getting back to the original point, Ron had asked about editors which weren’t bad to look at. My article was meant to help those who have MSWord, especially those who “have to” use MSWord, make it more visually appealing, which turns out to be quite do-able.
OpenOffice and/or LibreOffice are far uglier and worse to use than MSWord. Yes, they’re free, but the $100 you’ll pay for Microsoft office is the price of doing business if you write for a living where that “living” comes from submitting what you have written to other people (unless you’re writing strictly for the web).
I’m not advocating that as a good thing, just a reality. When you’re under deadline and trying to get something finished, being able to get Word into full-screen mode (especially the white-on-blue, which I especially like in full-screen) is a nice option to have.