Dirty Word (Microsoft Word that is, you sicko!)

This is a discussion on Dirty Word (Microsoft Word that is, you sicko!) within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; I have some software I have been writing, a fair amount of code, and I have been documenting it along ...

  1. #1
    Banned nickname_changed's Avatar
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    Dirty Word (Microsoft Word that is, you sicko!)

    I have some software I have been writing, a fair amount of code, and I have been documenting it along the way. It's all written in MS Word (the documents that is, not the code ). But I hate Word! Everytime I use it I feel dirty, using images in documents is hard, it plays around with my formatting and it always tells me I've spelt my own name wrong (and only in very few cases is it correct)! It just feels sleazy.

    So I wanted an alternative. I thought perhaps Publisher would be good, but I found it hard to apply different stylings or have text that ran on more than one page. So I went back to plain old HTML files, but because I wanted good CSS'ing and wanted the pages to look nice, I had a tonne of images and stylesheets floating around. I'm thinking something like FogCreeks CityDesk might be good - it'll create all my HTML but I only need the one template... but again, theres the images problem, and the fact that I have to publish everything to read it properly.

    What other good alternative software/file formats do people use?

    Whatever I use, I would prefer every page was published as a single file (ie images embedded) but to also use a centralised 'master page' for all the styles and to make all the pages look the same.

    I would like it to be easily editable but look good, and for it to work locally (ie not rely on a web server).

    Each document should also be seperately stored, so I can put it all in my SourceGear Vault database to rollback older files.

    My next attempt might be making a custom editor that saves everything as XML, and use a single XSLT template to make it look good, but that's really a last resort.

    Do any of the open source alternatives fit this description?

  2. #2
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    You might consider using pdf format for your output. Lots of options to create pdf files (both commercially and freely available). And readers (eg acrobat reader) are available free.

    I personally often use the MikTeX suite, which is a comprehensive typesetting package (available free). There are a number of variants of TeX, as it is technically a macro based programming language, but the primary purpose of TeX is quality typesetting (i.e. output to printers of professional qualities). LaTeX is a set of macros designed for document publication, and much better quality output is possible than with word. The catch is that there is a learning curve to use TeX (or LateX) systems, but to create input files for the typesetter all you really need is a basic text editor. You can also get WYSIWYG editors, but I personally don't need them. The MikTex suite includes a number of programs that will produce pdf output (eg pdfTex converts a "raw TeX" directly to pdf, pdfLateX converts a LaTeX source file to pdf, etc).

  3. #3
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Word sucks.

    It tries to be too much, do too much, and know too much - all of which it fails miserably at.

    I like stupid word processors that don't automatically change your formatting because it thinks you couldn't possibly have really wanted ten spaces between those two words, or wanted your outline to look a certain way.

    Word is a mess. Even when you turn off the auto-crapola, it still messes with your document against your wishes.

    And when is Microsoft going to fix the bug in their text box class for Windows?

    The bug is this:

    When you type on one line continuously and it word wraps your text to the next line, it does NOT insert a carriage return or end of line break on the previous line. So when you attempt to use the backspace key on the second line, it actually backspaces on the previous line. Also when you attemp to go to the start of the second line and hit the spacebar to move it over, it adds the spaces immediately following the last word in the previous line.
    To fix this you have to go to the previous line, hit the end key, get rid of the spaces it stuck there (if you attempted to space the second line over), hit the ENTER key on that line, and then proceed to format your next line of text. So you must manually hit ENTER when the text wraps to the next line, or it treats it as one full line of continous text.


    Try it. This has to be a bug.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 06-21-2005 at 03:37 PM.

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    Stop posting online about how you hate Word and get back to work.

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    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    edit: ignore me

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    Frequently Quite Prolix dwks's Avatar
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    You can delete posts too . . . .

  7. #7
    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    Haha, oh, that's embarassing.

    Nah, I think I'll leave it so people can laugh at me.

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    Haha govt....ok im done.

    Anyways...I like word. Mostly because just about every comp has it, and on top of that you can make word rap. I love to find some rap lyrics, paste it into word and have it speak it all and walk away. Pretty funny stuff when the teacher thinks its a student.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by stovellp
    I have some software I have been writing, a fair amount of code, and I have been documenting it along the way.

    What other good alternative software/file formats do people use?


    Do any of the open source alternatives fit this description?
    For a comprehensive documentation system based on the text processing system TeX: Doxygen home page

    Licensed under Gnu Public License

    Professional typeset-quality output in pdf; also output in html, etc.

    Unbelievably powerful --- so there's a learning curve--- but if you want output to look good and be a permanent part of your source, you might want to check it out.

    Developed under Linux; Windows executables are also available.


    Regards,

    Dave

  10. #10
    #include<xErath.h> xErath's Avatar
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    never eared of star office or Open office ?!? strange !

    http://www.openoffice.org/
    http://www.sun.com/software/star/staroffice/index.xml

  11. #11
    Registered User major_small's Avatar
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    they can both be as annoying as word in this case... I'd say go with a PDF.
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    uh... open office is just GREAT!
    its free
    its powerful
    it supports pdf output
    did i mention its free?

    maybe you want to get FEDORA CORE 4. then the only thing you need windows for is for playing games
    (since i installed linux the i only use windows for playing games (and that just because im a noob in linux myself and im too lazy to configure wine (the windows emulator))

    edit:
    of course fedora core 4 is free
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  13. #13
    ... kermit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raven Arkadon
    uh... open office is just GREAT!
    its free
    its powerful
    it supports pdf output
    did i mention its free?

    maybe you want to get FEDORA CORE 4. then the only thing you need windows for is for playing games
    (since i installed linux the i only use windows for playing games (and that just because im a noob in linux myself and im too lazy to configure wine (the windows emulator))

    edit:
    of course fedora core 4 is free
    Open Office is pretty nice - I use it myself.

    As far as using Wine - you may as well just keep dual booting - I can never understand emulators - Linux trying to be Windows? Windows trying to be UNIX? ugh -

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