[Techie Question] - Word Processing Programs better than MS Word?

Melvil

Guest
Esp. For formatting very large documents with complicated structures? I'm having a bit of a headache with Word (2003) at the moment and wondered if there's anything out there that's better?

Any advice much appreciated!

Mel.
 

Danny

Legendary Member
Location
York
Word is a pain to use with large documents, but so is every other WP package I've used.

My suggestion would be to break your large documents down into a series of manageable sections or chapters each of which is stored as a separate Word document. If necessary you can then bring them together via a Word master document, but you will need to experiment a bit to get this working how you want.

Also, for large documents you need to make heavy use of the Styles features in Word to keep the formatting consistent.

And turn off the option which automatically creates new styles as you type as you will end up with a zillion similar styles. If you go to Tools->AutoCorrect Options->AutoFormatAsYouType there should be a tick box which says Define Styles Based On Your Formatting. Make sure this is unticked.
 

barq

Senior Member
Location
Birmingham, UK
It depends on the type of document you are trying to create. I think Word is one of Microsoft's better products (and I don't honestly think the alternatives like Open Office have quite matched it).

One radically different way of preparing documents is to use LaTeX. Wikipedia describes it better than I could. However it is free so you haven't got much to lose. Very different but it does handle large documents very well.
 
OP
M

Melvil

Guest
domtyler said:
Are you sure the problem is with the software? ;)
Indeed...:biggrin:

Word isn't one of my best programs but to do this kind of thing in Quark or Indesign with the current revision structures I am working with would be an absolute chore so I have to rely on a WP program instead of a DTP program.
 
OP
M

Melvil

Guest
barq said:
It depends on the type of document you are trying to create. I think Word is one of Microsoft's better products (and I don't honestly think the alternatives like Open Office have quite matched it).

One radically different way of preparing documents is to use LaTeX. Wikipedia describes it better than I could. However it is free so you haven't got much to lose. Very different but it does handle large documents very well.
I will look into this...thanks
 
OP
M

Melvil

Guest
Dannyg said:
Word is a pain to use with large documents, but so is every other WP package I've used.

My suggestion would be to break your large documents down into a series of manageable sections or chapters each of which is stored as a separate Word document. If necessary you can then bring them together via a Word master document, but you will need to experiment a bit to get this working how you want.

Also, for large documents you need to make heavy use of the Styles features in Word to keep the formatting consistent.

And turn off the option which automatically creates new styles as you type as you will end up with a zillion similar styles. If you go to Tools->AutoCorrect Options->AutoFormatAsYouType there should be a tick box which says Define Styles Based On Your Formatting. Make sure this is unticked.
Unfortunately no-can-do due to revision structures as said above - shame as you're right it would be much easier!
 
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