Thursday, June 21, 2007

One More Excuse

Yesterday, after working many hours on revising my latest novel, a YA time travel story that happens along the banks of the Mississippi in Illinois, Microsoft Word crashed on me again, and this time I wasn't able to recover the last hour or so of work.

Microsoft Word v.X for Mac is my primary writing tool, but it has a predictable crash after several days of constant use. I'm sure I blogged about this before, but this time, I lost more work than usual and I just that much closer to changing to something else.

I have two reasons I haven't changed to some other word processor. When I resolve those two, I'll switch in a flash.

I have numerous macros and style sheets that I've written to automate many of my writing tasks. My new word processor must have the ability to support named styles that I can invoke with a keystroke, and I need some kind of scripting language support so that I can do things like globally swap out one set of styles (like for manuscript work) for another (like for a reviewer copy) or selectively wordcount the current chapter.

I've checked out a couple of versions of OpenOffice, and that brings up the second problem. It's ugly. I work on a Mac. I can't afford to pretend to work on Windows just to get my writing done. I hear that someone is going to do a real Mac port of OpenOffice, and I await the day.

2 comments:

Shaun McDonald said...

An oldish development preview of the Aqua port is already available. There has been significant progress already with the port since that development release. Sometime in the next month we should start having regular builds.

http://porting.openoffice.org/mac/download/aqua.html

The whole of OpenOffice.org is going to benefit from the HCI expertise.

Henry Melton said...

Thanks for the pointer. I should be getting to a fatter network connection in a couple of days and I'll take a look.

Although the Alpha warnings say I'm just the guy who should hold off and wait for a more stable release. Still. it wouldn't hurt to see what it looks like.