The Mercantile’s Guide to Style: Choosing a Word Processor in the research division of the Mercantile Library Literary Research Center, we submit various writing methods to vigorous testing with your ultimate benefit in mind.  We measure the cross-tensile load-bearing abilities of No. 2 pencils, subject fountain pens to torturous on-paper labyrinths to determine their, as we call it “quit threshold”. More recently, we have turned our attention to that most new-fangled of writing devices,the word processor.  Here are the results of long hours spent torturing software and hardware.

-Microsoft Word.  Sucks.  You’ve been there, digging your nails into your own palms until they bleed, raising hands to heaven and screaming “Serenity NOW!!!!!!!!!!!”.  It has nothing to do with you, and it doesn’t matter whether you upgraded to the newest version.  Dear Microsoft: in the future, when you offer buttons for “document recovery” and so forth, please include actual document recovery functionality.  Also, could you add a cute little character, similar to the famous “Microsoft Help, the talking Paperclip” called “Microsoft .normal Template, the capable-of-feeling-agony-and-being-emotionally-scarred-by-insults punching bag”?

Google Docs. Ok, so this has a long way to go, but it’s pretty cool, right?  Plus, if your nonprofit can’t afford a server, it lets you “play server” as we call it here at the Merc.

Openoffice writer.  Kind of like Microsoft Word, except that it’s open source, and some of the things it says it will do it actually does.  And it’s cheaper than Word.  100% cheaper.

Writer, the Internet Typewriter. This, in our humble but, let’s face it, remarkably well-informed opinion is the creme de la creme of word processors.  Why?  Because not only is it a typewriter simulator, but has a cool glowing green against black background thing going on like on your first IBM.   -Ed Scripsi

Published in: on October 1, 2008 at 5:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

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