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Microsoft Word’s missing feature

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

As a journalist, I use it every day in my work, but it is frustrating that Word can't 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. And it’s fine for emailed documents.

Word’s new fonts are gorgeous. Calibri works particularly well on-screen.

However, fonts are part of the problem, you never know which fonts Word will use when you send a document to another computer. Things can go badly 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 for cracking layout nuts.