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View Poll Results: Which is your favorite word processor for Mac OS?
Microsoft Office Word 137 40.41%
Apple Pages 140 41.30%
Nisus Writer Express 1 0.29%
Nisus Writer Pro 3 0.88%
Mellel 4 1.18%
Mariner Writer 1 0.29%
OpenOffice.org Writer 8 2.36%
LibreOffice Writer 14 4.13%
Scrivener 26 7.67%
Bean 5 1.47%
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Old Sep 25, 2012, 08:32 AM   #76
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<offtopic>for those needing to convert legacy wordperfect docs, there is a commandline utility available via homebrew called writerperfect that can be wrapped in an automator droplet. we have lots of legacy WP docs, and the reason some loved WP "reveal codes" is the reason I dislike it!</offtopic>

Wow, although Scrivener is not technically a layout processor, you can actually get it to style a document, especially as you can use MMD -> LaTeX to output to professionally typeset documents (Scrivener has a very flexible output engine). After having used Scrivener, I find it hard to imagine how anyone can "write" (that initial outpouring of words) in a word processor, they are simply not designed for writing, but styling!!! All my scientific writing is done in Scrivener (amazing ability to manage source material like raw data and figures, manage PDFs, handle notes / comments / metadata, track revisions structurally per section), and only at the last stage is the near complete manuscript spat out to word. The only thing that Word is still essential for is collaborative writing via track changes. For layout with figures Word has always been terrible, document reflows easily destroy fragile layouts, and Pages or InDesign is much better in that regard.

I also think Mellel is excellent at what it does (multi-lingual academic oriented writing), but it cannot compete with Scrivener for "writing" and cannot compete with Word for compatibility for final output / collaboration. I have a licence but never use it.
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Old Sep 25, 2012, 09:20 AM   #77
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I also think Mellel is excellent at what it does (multi-lingual academic oriented writing), but it cannot compete with Scrivener for "writing" and cannot compete with Word for compatibility for final output / collaboration. I have a licence but never use it.
I also have a Mellel license. I feel it may be an extraordinary word processor, and very lightweight. However, I never used it for real writing. I am currently writing my PhD thesis and I felt I would not like my first Mellel project to be such a major project. I might be stuck in Mellel format forever. I am inclined, however, to give Mellel a go after I finish my dissertation.

I am currently using Microsoft Word 2010 for Windows for writing. For some reason, I feel it is a much better word processor than Word 2011 for Mac. It crashes a lot less and it takes only 50 MB of RAM to run. Word for Mac, on the other hand, is a memory hog.

There are at least two fields in Word excels, in my opinion:

(i) Compatibility. People may argue that documents written in Word format are not 100% compatible with other word processors and that .DOC is a closed standard. But the fact is that everybody out there uses Microsoft Word. I would have a hard time in getting somebody to open a .ODT file, for instance, even if it is an open standard.

(ii) Grammar check. I write in Portuguese, and, so far, the only word processor I have found to correctly check the grammar of my text is Microsoft Word. This feature has been in Word for ages, and, to my knowledge, no other word processor could replicate it so far. OpenOffice.org/LibreOffice claims to have a grammar check add-on in Portuguese, but I've never figured out how to make it work. I would like to know, however, if there are other solutions. It is so convenient to have it.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 06:02 AM   #78
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Pages or Word

I began my word processing experiences using Word. I bought an easy to read & learn book (of which there's many to choose from) and taught myself how to use it.

Then about a year ago I switched from using PC's to a MacBook Pro. I'd give Pages a chance ~ if there was an easy, comprehensive way to learn it. The only literature I've found on it is when it's bundled within a book on iWork, and that isn't nearly as patient and comprehensive as a dedicated book (teaching guide like with Word) would be.

I'm just a home user. How does one teach themselves the ins & outs of using Pages?
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 06:25 AM   #79
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I began my word processing experiences using Word. I bought an easy to read & learn book (of which there's many to choose from) and taught myself how to use it.

Then about a year ago I switched from using PC's to a MacBook Pro. I'd give Pages a chance ~ if there was an easy, comprehensive way to learn it. The only literature I've found on it is when it's bundled within a book on iWork, and that isn't nearly as patient and comprehensive as a dedicated book (teaching guide like with Word) would be.

I'm just a home user. How does one teach themselves the ins & outs of using Pages?
Have you seen Pages' User Guide from Apple?

http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/..._UserGuide.pdf

Perhaps that may help you.

By the way, most of the word processors for Mac have some sort of useful guides and/or tutorials:

Microsoft Word: http://www.microsoft.com/mac/how-to and http://mac2.microsoft.com/help/offic...5-7d5855a54f7b

Nisus Writer Pro: http://nisus.com/files/GetFileRedire...WriterProGuide

Nisus Writer Express: http://nisus.com/files/GetFileRedire...xpressGuidePDF

Mellel: http://www.connectnw.com/redlers/MellelGuide.pdf and http://www.redlers.com/download.html

Scrivener: http://www.literatureandlatte.com/do...-manual-a4.pdf

Mariner Write: https://marinersoftware.com/media/us...-userguide.pdf

LibreOffice Writer: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/...gStartedLO.pdf and https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/...terGuideLO.pdf

OpenOffice: http://wiki.openoffice.org/w/images/...artedOOo33.pdf, http://wiki.openoffice.org/w/images/...erGuideOOo.pdf and http://www.fb4.fh-frankfurt.de/tips/...ice-uni-gb.pdf

These are only official guides/tutorials, as provided by the manufacturer. Some word processors (and especially the very popular Microsoft Word) have several unofficial guides and tutorials.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 07:38 AM   #80
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Have you seen Pages' User Guide from Apple?

These are only official guides/tutorials, as provided by the manufacturer. Some word processors (and especially the very popular Microsoft Word) have several unofficial guides and tutorials.
Yes, I've tried using the online Pages User's Guide. It means well, but is impossibly clunky to be fully functional. And it's exactly what it purports to be, only a "Guide."

For reasons that leave me in disbelief, there aren't unofficial, book length (comprehensive) tutorials, like for Word. Teaching is all about the delivery style. That's the great thing about tutorials for Word ~ if you're not comfortable with one, you're just a book store's shelf away from another.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 09:23 AM   #81
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Scrivener (my vote as it's my most used) for academic and creative writing projects. iA Writer for distraction free writing spurts. And Pages for miscellaneous writing.
Same. I only use Word these days when absolutely necessary. I was criticised in another thread for calling Word clunky and boring, but considering how long it has been in development it is boring IMO. Did Microsoft invent that horrible phrase ... 'Word processing'? Conjures an image for me of an assembly line with words being processed according to size or weight into packages. I don't do word processing, I'm a writer and Scrivener is what I would have invented if I could write software.

I love IA writer on iPad as it's typewriter-like simple, for sketching ideas or taking notes while doing research, whereas Scrivener is brilliant for organising and connecting everything.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 10:40 AM   #82
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Did Microsoft invent that horrible phrase ... 'Word processing'?
No. There were machines called "Word Processors" before Microsoft was even a glimmer in Bill Gates eyes. And there were other Word Processor programs that were popular and predated Microsoft Word (WordStar, WordPerfect and one called Electric Pencil).
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 06:39 PM   #83
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Did Microsoft invent that horrible phrase ... 'Word processing'?
If you don't like it, perhaps you could use "text editor" (although they don't have exactly the same meaning).
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 09:59 PM   #84
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As a writer, I'm going to toss in my support for Scrivener as well. I have a few series of books and short stories focusing on the same characters, and I can keep them all in one project file, keeping all my research, notes, character descriptions, etc. in one, easy to find location. I also love the split-window, so I can have notes for a chapter open in the top window and work on writing the chapter/scene in the bottom window. Also like that I can type in whatever font or style I want, and later Scrivener can convert it all to manuscript format or any output I need. Plus, being able to switch between scriptwriting and prose is incredible, as sometimes I like working out dialogue before I write a scene and having that ability makes it so much easier, whereas before I would use both Celtx and Word, switching back and forth between them.

I also write for a few different websites, and Scrivener helps me keep all the articles for them in one place, all the research there and easily organized.

I'm curious how the Scrapple mind-mapping program they're beta-testing now will work with Scrivener and if the two will be fully integrated.


I will have to give Nisus a try, though. I do some work in Japanese, and have been wondering if I could have a program that enables me to include kana readings above kanji.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 12:46 AM   #85
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I'm curious how the Scrapple mind-mapping program they're beta-testing now will work with Scrivener and if the two will be fully integrated.
While I like Scrivener, I tried Scrapple and find it difficult to use. One has to spend too much time dealing with making and placing those rectangles rather than their contents. I used a program back in the 1980s and 1990s called Houdini that managed to provide the came capability but generated all the infrastructure automatically. Unfortunately, it's long gone.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 01:10 AM   #86
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While I like Scrivener, I tried Scrapple and find it difficult to use. One has to spend too much time dealing with making and placing those rectangles rather than their contents. I used a program back in the 1980s and 1990s called Houdini that managed to provide the came capability but generated all the infrastructure automatically. Unfortunately, it's long gone.
Check out XMind, it sounds like what you're looking for. I use it a lot, and you're right about Scrapple being difficult. It's still in beta-testing, though, so hopefully those features will be implemented. I'd love to have something like XMind fully integrated with Scrivener, but I know that's probably a pipe dream.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 09:50 AM   #87
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Check out XMind, it sounds like what you're looking for. I use it a lot, and you're right about Scrapple being difficult. It's still in beta-testing, though, so hopefully those features will be implemented. I'd love to have something like XMind fully integrated with Scrivener, but I know that's probably a pipe dream.
Yes, XMind works much smoother. Since it is non-linear, export to a linear application will never be really good. Export to PDF would be the best bet. That old Houdini program suffered that way. However, back then, and on MS/DOS which I was using, you could only use one application at a time. Now there is no reason not to have XMind/Scrapple/whatever open at the same time as Scrivener.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:08 AM   #88
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In my opinion Word has too much stuff around it that you won't ever need. It feels crowded. Pages is simple and clean, which is why I prefer to use it.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 05:46 PM   #89
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Yes, XMind works much smoother. Since it is non-linear, export to a linear application will never be really good. Export to PDF would be the best bet. That old Houdini program suffered that way. However, back then, and on MS/DOS which I was using, you could only use one application at a time. Now there is no reason not to have XMind/Scrapple/whatever open at the same time as Scrivener.
You're right, of course. It's not a big deal, just would be cool if it was all in one program.
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Old Dec 3, 2012, 10:22 PM   #90
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In my opinion Word has too much stuff around it that you won't ever need. It feels crowded. Pages is simple and clean, which is why I prefer to use it.
Well, that depends on the point of view. You may not need all the stuff that Word brings, but somebody will. I think Pages lacks features. It doesn't support cross-references, for instance, a feature which is long supported by Word.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 01:04 PM   #91
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Can't go wrong with Pages!
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 09:00 PM   #92
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Text Edit.

Seriously, TextEdit starts up a hundred times faster than any Microsoft Word or OpenOffice.org software I've used, and it really gets done a lot more than most people give it credit for. It's also got an extremely simple and uncluttered design. I've done a ton of writing between my freshman year in High School and my senior year of college today, and I can always count on TextEdit's simplicity, reliability, and low processor consumption to deliver me with the typing I need for everything from college essays to articles for my school's newspaper.

I rarely use any of the features or bells and whistles that come along with a product like Microsoft Word, but when I do, I have the free OpenOffice.org software to use, which gets me by fine in the few instances I need it.
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Old Feb 27, 2013, 08:09 PM   #93
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Text Edit.

Seriously, TextEdit starts up a hundred times faster than any Microsoft Word or OpenOffice.org software I've used, and it really gets done a lot more than most people give it credit for. It's also got an extremely simple and uncluttered design. I've done a ton of writing between my freshman year in High School and my senior year of college today, and I can always count on TextEdit's simplicity, reliability, and low processor consumption to deliver me with the typing I need for everything from college essays to articles for my school's newspaper.

I rarely use any of the features or bells and whistles that come along with a product like Microsoft Word, but when I do, I have the free OpenOffice.org software to use, which gets me by fine in the few instances I need it.
So you don't use features such as styles, cross-references or footnotes then? They help me a lot!
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Old Feb 27, 2013, 09:31 PM   #94
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Want to write a beautifully designed resume? CV?
Want to write a dissertation? Research article? School paper? integrate endnote?
Want to place citations/footnotes and generate a Works Cited or Bibliography page automatically using the correct formatting for MLA, Chicago, APA?
Want to place live editable Excel worksheets?
Want to edit photos placed in the document? remove the background?
Want to comment on a document? insert track changes?

I mean is this seriously even a discussion? Microsoft Word is not only superior for absolutely every use imaginable, but no other software (aka Pages) comes even remotely close to the feature set. It's not like these features in Word are superfluous and unnecessary, but quite the contrary. If your argument is price, and you have little desire to be a professional in any sense of the word, then by all means use Pages only or OpenOffice. But if you desire to ever apply for a job now or in the future (one somewhere other than McDonalds that requires a resume or CV), you really have got to use Word and you don't really have a choice. Sheesh these arguments never make any sense.
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Old Feb 27, 2013, 10:01 PM   #95
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Want to write a beautifully designed resume? CV?
Want to write a dissertation? Research article? School paper? integrate endnote?
Want to place citations/footnotes and generate a Works Cited or Bibliography page automatically using the correct formatting for MLA, Chicago, APA?
Want to place live editable Excel worksheets?
Want to edit photos placed in the document? remove the background?
Want to comment on a document? insert track changes?

I mean is this seriously even a discussion? Microsoft Word is not only superior for absolutely every use imaginable, but no other software (aka Pages) comes even remotely close to the feature set. It's not like these features in Word are superfluous and unnecessary, but quite the contrary. If your argument is price, and you have little desire to be a professional in any sense of the word, then by all means use Pages only or OpenOffice. But if you desire to ever apply for a job now or in the future (one somewhere other than McDonalds that requires a resume or CV), you really have got to use Word and you don't really have a choice. Sheesh these arguments never make any sense.
In fact, it is a discussion for reasons other than price.

Microsoft Word is a great word processor. I have to say that I have installed Word 2013 for Windows a few days ago and it is an amazing piece of software. It has several features that make it really useful for all purposes; it is very fast and light on memory; it has a great, customizable, interface that makes every command easy to use and at hand when you need it; and it produces text that are compatible and that can be sent to everybody else. I can use Word to write pretty much everything, from a simple letter to a complex dissertation.

But that's Word for Windows.

And there is Word for Mac, but we are talking a different piece of hardware here. I can't help but being disappointed every time I launch Word 2011 for Mac. Word for Mac also has a pretty extensive feature set, and I couldn't find one single missing feature (except from customized tabs, perhaps). But Word for Mac is sluggish and a memory hog. The interface is not nearly as good as the Windows version. A real disappointment.

And Word for Windows is not as perfect a piece of software as I thought it was. It has its little dirty secrets too. Let me tell you two of them.

The first one: I finished my Master thesis in February 2007. As Word 2007 came out only in January 2007, I wrote the thesis using Word 2003, which used the .DOC filetype. In October 2006, my thesis already had more than 200 pages, and Word crashed badly, causing a corrupt file that I wasn't able to repair. I thought all was lost. But then I had the idea to open the file with OpenOffice.org Writer (which was at version 2, and it had not yet forked into LibreOffice yet). It just saved my life. OpenOffice.org Writer managed to open the file and I could continue writing my dissertation using it. Writer was not nearly as good or polished as Microsoft Word, but, hey, I wanted to run no risks. I stayed with Writer until Word 2007 came out, and then I saved my files in .DOCX filetypes, which are not as prone to being corrupted.

The second one: I wrote my PhD thesis using Word 2010 for Windows and Endnote as a citation manager. I finished the thesis in January, and it had nearly 250 pages and over 1,000 footnotes with countless citations. Well, as I progressed towards the end, I noticed that every time I inserted a footnote, Word would re-calculate the formatting of the document, causing serious slowdowns (even though my Core i7 machine has enough power to run such tasks). I had to fix the problem by using draft view instead of layout view in Microsoft Word. In addition to that, also when I was in the end, Word would mess the position of characters on the screen, displaying them in the wrong place. I found these two issues very annoying for a program that has been around for so long.

Even with these two problems I still consider Word for Windows to be the best all-around word processor. But it makes me wonder whether there are better options for specific tasks.
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Old Feb 27, 2013, 10:21 PM   #96
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Even with these two problems I still consider Word for Windows to be the best all-around word processor. But it makes me wonder whether there are better options for specific tasks.
Very interesting points, but do you really think there's anything out there that could handle writing a 200 page dissertation with citations (with formatting options) and endnote support? Also, I wonder how things have improved with office 2013, might not be an issue anymore. Out of curiosity, try opening your dissertation up with Word 2013 and typing a few lines at the end. Is the performance improved?
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 12:25 AM   #97
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So you don't use features such as styles, cross-references or footnotes then? They help me a lot!
Um... no, I don't. I used headers and footers in some college papers, but that was easy to add in with OpenOffice.org software after writing the rest of the thing out in Text Edit.

I'm not saying my way will work best for everyone else, but it's certainly what works for me. If anything, the worst part about Microsoft Office is the default .docx file format which sometimes gets fussy when you open it in applications outside of the latest version of Microsoft Office. So I keep my writing and my formatting as simple and easy as possible by writing 95% of my stuff in textedit, and saved in .rtf files.
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 05:05 AM   #98
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Very interesting points, but do you really think there's anything out there that could handle writing a 200 page dissertation with citations (with formatting options) and endnote support? Also, I wonder how things have improved with office 2013, might not be an issue anymore. Out of curiosity, try opening your dissertation up with Word 2013 and typing a few lines at the end. Is the performance improved?
I have not yet tried to open the thesis in Word 2013. I will try that and let you know. I hope things are sorted out now!

As for another word processor, well, I actually don't know.

As far as I have noticed, there is a noticeable difference in the way Microsoft Word and OpenOffice.org / LibreOffice Writer handles very long documents. Word loads such documents almost instantly, but it recalculates the actual number of pages as you advance towards the end of the document. Writer takes a little more time to load, but it calculates the number of pages at the moment the document is loaded, and it does not need to recalculate the number of pages again (as a result, it advances faster towards the end of the document). Perhaps this makes some difference in handling long documents (or perhaps it does not).

Mellel, which is only available for Mac, supposedly does a good job at handling large and complex documents. Word compatibility is definitely an issue, but Mellel has advanced features to deal with documents such as thesis and other long and complex documents.

As for Endnote compatibility, Word is definitely the best. Pages should also have good built-in Endnote compatibility. However, after using Endnote to write my dissertation, I can say I am not entirely satisfied with it. It had a somewhat erratic behavior, and my database got corrupted a few times during the process. Plus, Endnote is expensive. Thomson Reuters updates it once a year, and charges a hefty price for every update, even though it is a minor update. Endnote seems to have been stuck in time: it is a great piece of software of the past, resting on its laurels.

I have tried Zotero, and I was just impressed by it. Zotero has a great and straightforward interface, and it has improved a lot in the last few years. However, I could not change to Zotero because I was locked in the proprietary format of Endnote. I also do not know how Zotero deals with large databases of references (supposedly worse than Endnote). Zotero does not have a built-in styles manager, but I have found the available styles to satisfy my needs (plus, I can use Mendeley to customize them if necessary).

There are also some reference management software for Mac which appears to do a good job, such as Bookends and Sente, although I have not tried them myself yet. But I see no reason for them not to be as good as Endnote, for instance.
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 08:59 AM   #99
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Plus, Endnote is expensive. Thomson Reuters updates it once a year, and charges a hefty price for every update, even though it is a minor update.
You didn't get it free through your school? Ouch!
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Old Feb 28, 2013, 11:44 AM   #100
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I am currently using Microsoft Word 2010 for Windows for writing. For some reason, I feel it is a much better word processor than Word 2011 for Mac. It crashes a lot less and it takes only 50 MB of RAM to run. Word for Mac, on the other hand, is a memory hog.
Do you use Bootcamp, Parallels (Fusion) or a PC laptop?
I also think that Word for Windows is much better than Word for Mac, but I'm not that happy with Bootcamp and Parallels.
I'm waiting for better drivers for Windows 8 (on Bootcamp) and I think that Parallels (which is faster than Fusion) is too "intrusive" on OSX.
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