Subject: Re: Sharing word processor docs with windows users
To: Tyler Mitchell <>
From: Jim Wise <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 04/27/2004 14:15:22
Hash: SHA1

On Tue, 27 Apr 2004, Tyler Mitchell wrote:

>Actually, I think it's a bit dangerous to let your group members directly
>edit files.  I once was working on a project (using MS Word) in a computer
>lab, with all of my group members present.  I stepped out for a few
>moments and when I returned, a good deal of my formatting was ruined,
>because someone had decided they could "just make a few changes" while I
>was away.
>Even when receiving changes in .doc format, I've often found that the
>changes are often unusuable as-is; people tend to change more than just
>the text, and I have to go back and fix fonts, sizes, etc.

Of course, for all its flaws, Word _does_ have a wide range of tools
(`track changes', `compare and merge documents') to deal with outside
changes, and also a thorough style-sheeting capability so that you
aren't chasing small format changes.

Complaining that Word does not protect you from people making by-hand
formatting changes when you are not using the style-sheeting
capabilities makes no more sense than complaining that users make LaTeX
formatting changes manually when you are not using macros and styles to
control your document's appearance.

In either case, the question is one of using the tools properly rather
than of either tool not having some capability.  I, too, would much
rather work in LaTeX, but I make no pretense that my clients will adapt
their office systems and processes to this preference.

- -- 
				Jim Wise
Version: GnuPG v1.2.4 (NetBSD)