What's Patrick's beef with Word?


#1

On the most recent podcast (or maybe the one before it?) I recall Patrick giving Rob grief over the fact that he still uses Word, in response to Rob making a ‘.doc’ reference.

I’m curious… why? Is there a different word processor that is unanimously agreed upon to be better? I tried Scrivener, and whatever the one that comes with Ubuntu is called, but Word does everything I need just fine. I imagine Patrick has more experience with these things than I do though, so… what’s the deal?


#2

Patrick, like most writers, uses a Mac, so that might factor into his opinions.

Personally I like Pages, Write Room, Dark Room and Google Docs more than Word.


#3

Then how is he playing plunkbat?
I guess some people have multiple computers. Going between windows and mac would drive me nuts.


#4

He has a Windows PC he uses for gaming (which he originally received in an old Giant Bomb mailbag) and most likely writes on a Mac.


#5

I think he is using a Windows PC with a mac keyboard, although I know people who have installed Windows in partitions on their drives in order to play it on a Mac. Gotta get that PUBG somehow.


#6

I suspect if your job involves as much writing as being a writer does, you probably find a lot of the shortcomings in Word, which is designed to be sort of an all purpose word processor for anyone and in being all things to all people it probably doesn’t work as well for Patricks very specific writer needs whereas I’m sure there are a bunch of programs designed specifically for professional writers. also Patrick seems to do a lot of the editing as I think the most senior staff member in terms of actual professional journalistic experience which means he has to wrestle with whatever formats everyone sends him.


#7

Notepad or nothing.


#8

I type everything in MSPaint and Microsoft is COMING FOR MY FUCKING MUSE


#9

Patrick specifically mentioned on a recent episode how useful Scrivener is. I also love Google Docs because of how easy it is to respond/collaborate on track changes versus passing a doc back and forth. Plus I can just sync a doc to any Google device I’m on, including my phone.

But if you need to organize/notate/cite and whatnot, Scrivener is aces.


#10

Word’s a dependable workhorse, and good enough for most folks. Our entire editorial team works on it, in large part because of its accessibility for sharing with clients across a wide variety of platforms.

It’s also infinitely preferable to GDocs for most day to day tasks as well. The numbered list function is among the worst things I’ve ever dealt with. Try having four people adding and subtracting to that sometime.


#11

I really liked Ulysses when I had a Mac. Now that I’m back on Windows, I use Scrivener or something that lets me write in Markdown.


#12

I mostly use Drive/Google Docs these days, because it’s free and the multi-user functionality is pretty handy if someone is copy-editing your work or you want to look at the live version of a doc that someone is updating. Word seems fine, though I haven’t tried Scrivener and now I’m interested in checking it out.


#13

I’m a professional writer and editor and I use a 50/50 split word and google docs. My writers almost unanimously send me stuff in .doc format, very occasionally as google docs.


#14

I’ve heard good things about Scrivner, when I upgrade my personal computer I’m planning to check it out.


#15

Curious to know if any professional writers use LaTeX or if it’s just us nerds.

Personally my beef with Word is that it no longer does anything that makes it more worthwhile for the average user then LibreOffice Writer or Google Docs.


#16

This whole thread has been fascinating. Personally, I think Word is underrated and includes a lot of functionality that is sorely underlooked, such as the “Navigation Pane”/“Document Map” feature. However, this involves using Styles, which is another amazing feature that is under-used.

I work at a literary nonprofit and we almost always get documents in .doc or .docx format. For grant applications and reports, it’s almost always printed or done through an online portal, so the format doesn’t matter.

For my personal writing, I like using Word when I don’t care about the formatting. When I’m making a zine or magazine-style project, I always write the first draft in Word before transferring to InDesign.

I know a lot of folks who love Scrivener for novels and Final Draft for screenplays, and those seem great for those purposes. Personally, I still prefer Word to novels because I do my visualization and storyboarding with physical cards and corkboard.


#17

I went to a school with a huge CS population and they were all big into LaTeX. But if you don’t really code all that much it’s not natural to think of what you’re writing in that format, it seems to me.

I’ve never touched it, but I also thought it was a Linux only thing until I followed your link.


#18

LaTeX looks awesome, didn’t know you could use it for document writing. I’ll give it a shot.


#19


#20

Worth saying, I’ve heard nothing but complaints about the PC version of Scrivener (I think it’s fine, but I’ve never used it on Mac so I don’t know what I’m missing :P)

Personally I use a combination of FreeMind (a mind-mapping tool), Hemingway (a text editor that highlights your grammar) and Google Docs (because I bounce around different computers a lot)