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post #121 of 126
I've read every post in all the current board topics about the mysterious iOffice (of whatever it's going to be called), and read with some surprise that virtually everyone considered the word processing aspect of the suite to need only a handful of features (those found, astonishingly enough, in Appleworks 6) and can be summed up as:

1. Ability to open and save .doc format (by default)
2. simple text and graphic manipulation
3. Search and Replace

I'm a writer both by vocation and avocation, and therefore nearly destitute, so buying Office X is not even a consideration for me at the present time. I can't justify the expense.

I spent virtually all of my workday editing 100 page Word docs, preparing complex project management tables, and process reports.

In all these cases Office offers the two features I use most of all that are not supported in Appleworks, or as far as I can tell, in any other alternative word processing product. What I need, and what I will beg, borrow, and steal enough cash to buy is an Office alternative that offers:

The track changes editing feature
Intuitive table manipulation
A useful on-the-fly spell/type-o checker
The Header-type/Table of Contents tool

Word processing is much more than simply hammering out a letter/memo and printing. Any professional writer needs these four features and uses them constantly.

I can't understand why Mail has a workable real-time spell/type-o checker and Appleworks 6 does not. I've used Nisus and it simply didn't offer the stability or functionality I needed to replace, or pair with Word. OpenOffice X is vaporware, and ThinkFree Office X is devoid of a useful features list and online review so I have no idea what features it has other than "Writes to and opens .doc format".

If Apple wants to compete in the business marketplace, and get their foot firmly planted in the door, they need to offer a better productivity suite that does the complex tasks I rely on MS Office for, otherwise their products will forever remain the kings of the 3% market share.

I want to use Mac products for my professional career, and to do that I have to convince my bosses that Apple really offers a less expensive toolset that does not hamper productivity. Until one is available we are married to the MS Platform.

As for critique of Appleworks, short of a useful professional feature set, the only complaint I have is with the horrific UI. Just using Appleworks for anything more than simple typing is an exercise in stupidity. The toolbars appear to have been organized by a schizophrenic.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents. Add a buck of your own and you can get a small coffee at 7-11.
One of the fork and spoon operators from Sector 7-G
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post #122 of 126
dupe... whoops
One of the fork and spoon operators from Sector 7-G
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One of the fork and spoon operators from Sector 7-G
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post #123 of 126
From your list:

The track changes editing feature
- is THE reason to keep using Word if you are on a multi-editor project. Otherwise, its one of the things that make Word files HUGE.

Intuitive table manipulation
- shouldn't be that hard to do.

A useful on-the-fly spell/type-o checker
- is already built into Mac OS X, but is not yet on par with the one in Office (but not as irritating either)..

The Header-type/Table of Contents tool
Weheee, I haven't succeeded using table of contents in Word yet, because of the constant crashes... Header-types or Styles is essential for any Wordprocessor.

Might I add:

- end/footnotes as another essential feature for academic documents..
- some sort of reference/internet library look-up function, a la the one in Endnote, would be gold..
post #124 of 126
Quote:
Originally posted by BigMcLargehuge
As for critique of Appleworks, short of a useful professional feature set, the only complaint I have is with the horrific UI. Just using Appleworks for anything more than simple typing is an exercise in stupidity. The toolbars appear to have been organized by a schizophrenic.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents. Add a buck of your own and you can get a small coffee at 7-11.

Nice l'il rant there, BigMcLargehuge.

I do a good deal of writing, but not on a professional level, so it's interesting to hear what a professional writer needs out of a WP.

AppleWorks 6, never a serious competitor to Office to begin with, sure is increasingly dated -- a mediocre Carbon port to OS X, and it shows. I think part of the persistence of rumors for the mysterious "iOffice" (besides the steady stream of oxygen from rumors sites, and the existence of Keynote) is the paradox that Apple, so meticulous about the user experience, has allowed AppleWorks to exist for two years now w/o being seriously updated. There's an entire category of applications (the "Works", or mini-Office, suite) that's missing for the Mac. Something (so the logic goes) has to be up. I suspect we'll see that something quite soon.
post #125 of 126
Oh, BTW, OpenOffice isn't vaporware. The Aqua version is just going be a long, long time in the making.

OpenOffice for X11 exists, in the meantime -- if you're willing it put up with using X11 (and OpenOffice) for WP. Not that you should.
post #126 of 126
Just a note on the Open Office port. I first met Ed Peterlin at the O'Reilly OSX conference last year, and met Dan Williams at WWDC this year. These guys are the only two people working on this enormous project, and are incredibly good natured geeks giving a huge chunck of their life over to something that will benefit all of us. They are very dedicated and have taken on an enormous task, one that people constantly bitch about, but have no idea the amount of work that is involved. If you really want OO sooner, I suggest volunteering some time or resources to the cause. When I first met Ed, I told him that I wanted to help, but was more of web programmer and didn't know C+. I asked him if there was anything I could do, and he said they needed a development server. So I bought the project a xServe and it sits here in my rack at the office. Just by looking at it you can see when the nightly builds are being done by the processor monitor lights. Let me tell you, they are constantly working on this project, slamming the xServe for all its worth. This is not a commercial project, and gets no support from Sun. So if you want to see an Office alternative, I suggest doing whatever is within your means to make that hppen.
"I'm learning how to meditate, so far so good."
Donald Fagen and Walter Becker
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"I'm learning how to meditate, so far so good."
Donald Fagen and Walter Becker
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