Friends Don’t Let Friends Use MS Word

I feel this guy’s pain; Microsoft Word bullet alignment the way you want it = next to impossible.

Without boring you with the details, I’ve recently been experiencing the joys of being a Mac Pages lover when certain factions of the outside world seem hell-bent on making everyone use Microsoft Word. According to them, Word is the only word processing program in existence, and that’s just how it’s going to be. I’ve never liked Word because it’s a digital equivalent of “The Blob” –it keeps growing and growing and growing with no end in sight. Has it grown in user-friendliness or simplicity? Nope, quite the opposite.

When I started using Mac iWorks, the Pages word processor was such a welcome change. It’s simple, clean, straightforward and can do everything any other word processor can do. Plus, you save countless minutes searching through and trying approximately 10 million menus and buttons before finding the one that does what you want. Herein is the #1 problem with MS Word:

1. Feature- and Tool-Bloat

Word comes with more and more features jammed into that overly-complicated set of ribbons that make my eyes glaze over just by looking at them. I’d venture a safe guess that 95% of us will never use 98.76% of those tools because any type of document never requires them.

2. It’s Not a Ribbon Anymore…

…it’s a whole craft store worth of them. More often than not, I spend excessive time trying to find the buttons or menu items to do something like track changes when editing. With Pages, you simply click Edit — Track Changes. But of course Word has to bury this same tool beneath layers of ribbon and in a place that makes no sense to begin with.

3. It Has Security Holes

Hackers target Microsoft systems for a reason: they’re relatively easy to break into. Macros, anyone? According to HowStuffWorks, hackers can hide rootkit code in an innocent-looking Word document posted for download on a website. Other cyber-criminals have exploited security holes created by specific errors in Microsoft Word.

4. It’s Over-Priced

One of the worst things: we have to pay crazy prices for the privilege of using uber-frustrating Word. If you’re a fellow Mac user, please do yourself a favor and snap up a copy of iWorks ’09. It’ll set you back maybe $30 at the most on Amazon.

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