Microsoft Word :: A huge endorsement

by Volker Weber

When the world's most successful writer uses Microsoft Word, then that's quite an endorsement. This is how Microsoft Word looks like when I write. The typeface is 12 pt Cousine, line spacing is 1.15. All toolbars are hidden.



I write everything in Microsoft Word. I don't strip it down as much as you do, Volker, but I have never felt the need for more specialized writing software. I must admit, I've been a little irked that Word's grammar-checking is a bit wonky these days (no idea why), but mostly I want my word processing software to stay out of the way and let me do my job.

Ben Langhinrichs, 2018-01-30

I need maximum readability and minimal distraction.

Volker Weber, 2018-01-30

After many years on Google Suite I am back on Office. While I am not sure, if cloudy abilities are a priority for an author, I can now firmly say, that MS Cloud aka Office 365, is compared to Google Suite a piece of crap for me as a daily creator/editor/reviewer of many business documents.
I thought MS would have had enough time the last five years to catch up. But obviously this didn’t happened. I cannot describe how disappointed I am. And it seems that it doesn’t change on MS’ end because some fundamental architectural (and commercial) issues seem to be involved. They still seem to live in their scrappy SharePoint world, but now hosted in their thousands and they call it cloud.
Working with Word in such an environment is pain in the *ss.
Ok, enough. Sorry for plain language.

P.S.: not to talk about their stitched-together business communication aka Skype... feels like back in the nineties.

Bodo Menke, 2018-01-31

For what it is worth, I use Google Docs when I collaborate with someone, but most of the time I am quietly writing away about giants and dragons and trolls with the Internet off, so Microsoft Word works just fine. Actually, a typewriter would work just fine if I could see a full screen at a time and make fixes. I care little for the cloud or other office capabilities with my writing, whether I am working on software related documents or my novels. I should probably emulate Volker and turn off the ribbon, but I am not that prone to distraction, so I don't worry about it.

Ben Langhinrichs, 2018-01-31

My use cases are like working with five or more co-workers contract document with 100+ pages. Annotate, suggest changes, reject/accept changes, insert new sections. This all at the same time or at least same time window in parallel online- and partly offline mode.
A quite technical way of „writing“, while accurate tracking and joining changes from various users on different devices at different locations is key. Seamless change of devices: Starting on the laptop, continuing on the iPad, even quickly review/accept a change on the iPhone, editing on iPad during the flight offline and going afterwards back to the PC. No-brainer with Google Docs - impossible with Word.

Bodo Menke, 2018-01-31

It looks like the kids know.

Volker Weber, 2018-01-31

Yes, they now for sure. :)

Bodo Menke, 2018-01-31

Es wird besser.

Volker Weber, 2018-01-31

I tend not to agree to the "quite an endorsement" thing. Being a great writer does not automatically make a person good at choosing the best tooling for his/her needs. Having lived in the UK for several years I have seen how IT over there is pretty much an MS monoculture. Lots of people simply don't know about possibly better alternatives because they've never seen any.

I gave up on Word in the 1990s because of never-ending stability problems. Now I am confronted with it again at work when it comes to customer-documents. I must say I haven't missed it, and its Ribbon-interface has become the most-hated part of it.

Apart from that I agree to what Volker wrote: minimum distraction. While personally preferring a vi, there's of course lots of good editors or minimalistic word processors out there to choose from. Making it look good comes later. Premature formatting is the root of all evil (and the end of productiveness in creative writing). Hugh.

Martin Dietze, 2018-01-31

JK Rowling is not IT. And her endorsement weighs more then yours. Or mine.

Volker Weber, 2018-01-31

Bodo - not sure what problems you have with your use case. This is our reality in O365 with documents in OneDrive or SharePoint Online with collaboration across sites, countries, geographies and companies. Works with people also simultaneous editing inside a document. but as always, YMMV ;-)

Armin Auth, 2018-01-31

iPhone and iPad are just getting this capability.

Volker Weber, 2018-01-31

@Martin Dietze: assuming you're from Germany you might want to be careful throwing stones in the glasshouse. If these stats are reasonably accurate the UK actually has a lower Windows share than Germany:

Armin Grewe, 2018-01-31

Ok. Let’s see when it lands. At least good news. Thx.

Bodo Menke, 2018-02-01

@Armin Grewe: it depends. Overall market shares don't help here.

Martin Dietze, 2018-02-01

@Volker Weber: "And her endorsement weighs more then yours. Or mine."
Sadly yes ;)

Martin Dietze, 2018-02-01

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