The Work

A Word on Word

Tom Scocca is a little bit hyperbolic here, but he makes some very good points:

For most people now, though, publishing means putting things on the Web. Desktop publishing has given way to laptop or smartphone publishing. And Microsoft Word is an atrocious tool for Web writing. Its document-formatting mission means that every piece of text it creates is thickly wrapped in metadata, layer on layer of invisible, unnecessary instructions about how the words should look on paper.

And this:

When a standard tool requires this many workarounds, we need to find a new standard. Word wants to show that it knows the world isn’t merely about paper—you can make documents that have real, live hyperlinks in the text! You just can’t necessarily put those hyperlinks up on the Internet for anyone else to click on. Again and again, Word is defeated by the basic job of contemporary writing and editing: smoothly moving text back and forth among different platforms.

The comments are interesting as well. Apparently not as many people as Scocca thinks are interested in web publishing. That strikes me as short-sighted (well, it would). There is no reason on earth anymore why one would publish solely to paper. And nothing else. That goes for legal documents, medical records, educational materials. Unless you are writing something covert, that can be easily destroyed with no record left behind, why would you publish only to paper?

Then again, I’m a huge fan of PressBooks.

3 thoughts on “A Word on Word

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