Re: 'Death to Word'

  • From: Nicholas Clifford <clifford@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: xywrite@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 15:15:42 -0400

On 4/12/2012 12:20 PM, ralph j gray wrote:
Dear Lynn,
I write in Xywrite and then strip out all format material. I separate paragraphs with two line feeds. This is a pure ASCII file then which any word processor (even Word) can read. Let the editors do the converting, is my motto. They're editors, let them edit.
ralph gray
rgrayauto@xxxxxxxx <mailto:rgrayauto@xxxxxxxx>
On Thu, 12 Apr 2012 11:50:40 -0400 Lynn Brenner < <>> writes:

    List members may be interested in this piece, which spells out
    every reason to hate MS Word.

    I've long despised Word, but this article spells out reasons for
    hating it that had never occurred to me.

    I still write everything in Xywrite, but for years I've converted
    my copy to Word before filing it because my various print and
    online editors don't use Xywrite -- indeed, most of them have
    never even heard of it -- but all know Word.

    After reading this article, I wonder whether Xywrite wouldn't make
    text easier for them to move from one publishing platform to
    another.  Does anyone on the list file copy to be published online
    in Xywrite?

    Lynn Brenner

I write in XyWrite or more often now in Nota Bene, and then convert to Word. I keep an ancient copy of Word 95 on my computer because it's much easier to use than later versions which as the above article points out are so loaded with extra stuff that they are unwieldy and difficult. Conversion remains a problem, however; .rtf seems to work as long as the document is fairly simple and unproblematic, but the minute you get into footnotes, you're in trouble. The .rtf conversion will work, but it can't be trusted to keep your footnotes or endnotes in the same order and with the same numbers. Unfortunately, however, clunky old Word is what editors and publishers seem to want. I sent in a book ms. a few years ago to a university press, asked them if Nota Bene was OK, they said yes, but later it was clear they had no idea what to do about it, and I had to do the laborious translation into Word myself.

Years ago Adobe made a neat little program called Word for Word, which did conversions among a number of different wp formats, most of them now forgotten. XyIII and XyIV were among them. But I'm unaware of any similar translators available today.

Another reason to hate Word is that their Help files will work only if you ask your question in precisely, and I mean precisely, the form MS thinks you should use. And another: there is no cross-file searching capability that I know of, unlike Xy which has had it for years.

Nicholas Clifford

Other related posts: