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Old 06-17-2007, 06:50 AM   #1
Michael Rowley
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Steve:

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The major Office apps have moved a new file format
They have, but have you come across many people that will use it? So far, I haven't encountered anyone here (in the UK) that produces files in the XML format or is even prepared to open one, although the converter is a free download.

   
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Old 06-17-2007, 06:22 PM   #2
Steve Rindsberg
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We're getting a fair number of questions about PowerPoint 2007 on a PPT newsgroup I participate in. What that means in terms of total numbers of upgrades, I've no idea though.

   
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Old 06-18-2007, 08:14 AM   #3
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Steve:

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What that means in terms of total numbers of upgrades
I'm using Word 12, but haven't as yet produced an XML document, because I'm afraid no one would be prepared to read it. The fact that a converter available to users of older versions of Word does not seem to have many people's consciousness.

   
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Old 06-18-2007, 03:13 PM   #4
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I suspect the converters may eventually be pushed out as part of Office service packs, but for now, back-saving from Office 12 to earlier versions seems the only practical solution.

   
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Old 06-18-2007, 03:56 PM   #5
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Steve:

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I suspect the converters may eventually be pushed out as part of Office service packs
That is quite possible, but (a) the converters are only for Office 9–11, and (b) a lot of Office users do not concern themselves with Office updates.

When I was still using Office 6 (not all that long ago!), I could use any Word format from Word 1 up to Word 10: people then were accustomed to Word's frequently changing formats. Any version of Word for Windows will do for making quite complicated documents, and many of the new-fangled things in Word 12 just get in the way.

   
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Old 06-19-2007, 06:21 AM   #6
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>> That is quite possible, but (a) the converters are only for Office 9–11, and (b) a lot of Office users do not concern themselves with Office updates.

Given that, it's up to the person/organization updating to the Latest / Greatest to decide how important it is to remain compatible with the rest of us.

It's possible to save in the older format, or to force a kind of compatibility mode, which prevents the use of features that wouldn't be backward compatible.

If the new features are necessary for some reason (your boss is named Bill Gates and is addicted to eye candy?) you can still save backward if need be but you shouldn't expect the new features to be fully usable in earlier versions, of course.

There's a limit to how far backward compatibility can stretch. If I were buying the new version, I'd rather the developers spent time making it as bug-free as possible rather than on making it compatible with ten-year-old versions of the software (a losing proposition in any case).

>> Any version of Word for Windows will do for making quite complicated documents, and many of the new-fangled things in Word 12 just get in the way.

Right. So why use it?

Unless your boss' name is Bill, of course.

   
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Old 06-19-2007, 08:22 AM   #7
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Steve:

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So why use it?
The XML format has a number of advantages, most of which I don't appreciate, but those that I do understand are (a) it produces compacter files, (b) it's essentially non-proprietary, and (c) it's easier to extract stuff, such as pictures. It's also SGML-compliant (but simpler).

   
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Old 06-19-2007, 02:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Michael Rowley View Post
Steve:



The XML format has a number of advantages, most of which I don't appreciate, but those that I do understand are (a) it produces compacter files, (b) it's essentially non-proprietary, and (c) it's easier to extract stuff, such as pictures. It's also SGML-compliant (but simpler).
All true, at least in theory. But in practice ... my question still stands.

How often have you used these features and were they worth the cost of the upgrade?

   
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Old 06-19-2007, 03:41 PM   #9
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Steve:

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How often have you used these features and were they worth the cost of the upgrade?
The proper answers are never and no. But in the first place I am a semi-retired translator and have to wait until someone wants a translation in XML (MS Word 12 type), and upgrades to Word are seldom worth their cost. However, some upgrades represent a real improvement: Word 6 to Word 8 was one (mainly for the change from Word Basic to VBA); Word 8 to Word 11 was also one, for it brought the possibilty of keying any Unicode character that a font had glyphs for (though you could do that in Word 9, through VBA); Word 11 to Word 12 is something of a mystery, but eventually people will have to get it, for they won't be able to get any earlier version (honestly, that is).

Anyway, you have to keep up with the Jones's, and I don't walk about with an earphone in my loghole or even use a mobile, but I'm really up to date with the latest Word, even if it as much use as iPod or a mobile.

   
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Old 06-20-2007, 05:22 AM   #10
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I realize that many upgrades bring useful features; I was asking specifically about Word 12, though. And mind, I'm not trying to suggest that it's got no useful features. I don't use Word at a level that'd allow me to judge that.

To *me*, though, upgrading to 12 would be a waste not only of the cost of the upgrade but of the time it'd take to learn the new interface. After having used PPT 12 off and on for the better part of a year, I can still spend more time stumbling about looking for things than I do working in it.

Luckily, I spend most of my time making it do my bidding via VBA rather than the interface and there they've left most of the furniture where I can find it in the dark with my hands rather than my shins and forehead.

   
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