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Microsoft continues to develop Word and add features. The software is mature and stable.

I use it every day in work as a writer, but I’m frustrated I can’t use it to create professional, high-end output.

You couldn’t produce a great-looking printed book with Word. There’s little point sending Word manuscripts to professional book printers. And Word is not much better when it comes to top-flight on-line layouts or creating classy PDFs.

Word does basic page layout well enough. It seems designed for people who still print documents using laser printers and ink-jets. It is fine for emailed documents.

Word’s new fonts are gorgeous. Calibri works particularly well on-screen. The problem is you never know which fonts Word will use when you send a document to another computer. Things can go wrong when you send Word documents to commercial printers or pre-press companies.

Colour is also a Word danger-zone. You never know what colour you’ll see at the other end.

I’ve found if I’m just doing low-resolution work, Word is good enough.

When I’m creating high-end documents or working with professional printers, I still have to use Adobe InDesign. At around NZ$1,500 that’s an expensive sledgehammer cracking my layout nuts.

2 thoughts on “Microsoft Word’s missing feature

  1. Have you considered Publisher 2010? It’s come a long away from the early days.

    Sure it’s no InDesign, but it has a lot of powerful page flow options, imports Word documents natively, and can produce press ready documents, including colour proofing.

    • Hi Dave, that’s a smart and intelligent observation – I’ve tried earlier versions of Publisher and I’ve not been impressed, but the new version could be the answer.

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