Posted by: patenttranslator | February 25, 2014

Do You Hate Microsoft Word?

I do, sometime, but not as much as I used to now that I started using again WordPerfect on the sly, namely WordPerfect X6.

I know quite a few people who hate MS Word with passion, all of them translators who call it primitive, stupid, and worse on their blogs and on social media. I understand where these feelings are coming from: MS Word does mean things to us, apparently for no particular reason, just because it can, which is one telling characteristics of a psychopathic personality.

For instance, sometime when I write a blog post in MS Word, everything may look fine and dandy while I am still writing in the word processor or even in the “Add New Post” screen in WordPress, but after I click on the “Publish” button, the post is published in an incredibly ugly font that hurts my eyes and looks like something that was vomited by a high school kid who got drunk for the first time in his life.

But since it does not happen all the time, how can I possibly figure out what the problem is?

There are many other mean things that the psychopathic king of word processors likes to do to me, for instance sometimes it messes up pagination, and when it’s messed up on page 1, it simply will not let me fix it!

The problem is, of course, that unlike WordPerfect and presumably also other lesser kings of word processors who want to ingratiate themselves to us any way they can, MS Word does not have a “reveal codes” function, which would make it possible to fix anything easily within a couple of seconds.

Since I bought WordpPerfect X6 8 months ago as I wrote in this post, I was able to put it to good use. Although I still use MS Word (Office 2003) for just about anything that requires me to write, I often start writing in WordPerfect first to make sure that there will be no nasty surprises later, like messed up pagination, or a nasty font on my blog once the thing is posted. I also sometime use it to remove a problem from MS Word which is invisible and unfixable by design within the MS Word software, but which can be fixed easily once the codes are revealed when the file is imported into WordPerfect.

MS Word has its good days too, and I really like some things about it. For example, I can easily switch to a virtual Japanese or Russian keyboard in it, which is very helpful for my purposes and something that I can’t do in WordPerfect.

There are also many nice things about WordPerfect X6 Office Student Edition which I bought for 48 dollars. In addition to the low price and the fact that you actually own it (unlike Microsoft Word), you can install it on a number of computers. The box that it came in said “up to 3”, but I installed it on 5 computers in my 2 home offices, and once you specify to WordPerfect that you need a seamless conversion to MS Word, it does just that and it even automatically saves the file in MS Word.

I don’t understand why people should not be allowed to install software that they legally purchased on several computers, since so many people use several computers these days, especially those of us who are freelancers. Incidentally, I remember that this is something that the Microsoft Corporation came up with first about 20 years ago. Up until the very important invention of Microsoft called “Internet validation”, once we bought a software package, we owned it and we were able to use it.

Now we own software, only temporarily, if Microsoft says that we own it. Once I had to junk a computer because after I restored Windows to an earlier date to get rid of a problem, Microsoft hit me with its infamous blue screen of death displaying a message claiming that the copy of Windows was illegal, which was a damn lie.

I am also using frequently scanning software called “Paper Port SE” which comes with the WordPerfect X6 Office, mostly to create PDF files from my scanners. This means that I don’t need to buy Adobe Writer software at 3 or 4 hundred dollars.

Microsoft originally said that by purchasing the new Microsoft Office, indentured Microsoft servants (they call them sarcastically “Microsoft Office customers”) were really just buying a license to use this particular software on 1 computer for 1 year for about 100 dollars. These are handy numbers because they make it easy to calculate the enormous profits that software manufacturer with a psychopathic personality would be making, but only if Microsoft could make these indentured servants obediently follow instructions. There must have been some backlash already because I now see that Microsoft Office can be installed on “up to 3 computers” again.

But since I would probably still have to buy it over and over again every year, until Bill Gates and the rest of the Microsoft millionaires are even more disgustingly rich than they are now, I plan on using my 2003 version of Microsoft Office for at least another 12 years.

If my 2003 version of Microsoft Office somehow stops working, I will either switch back to WordPerfect completely and keep converting the files to MS Office if files in Microsoft Word is still what my customers want, or learn how to use one of the two MS Word compatible free office suites that I have also installed on all of my computers, just in case.

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Responses

  1. If you haven’t tried it yet, I like Kingsoft office. It’s free, and it seems to be the most compatible with MS I’ve used. I’ve used LibreOffice and OpenOffice with varying degrees of success. But in LibreOffice comments sometimes corrupted the file, and in both of them sometimes pics would be oriented wrong or the rendering would just mess up the layout. In Kingsoft, you can hide or display line breaks, but I’m not sure about other hidden characters. Thanks for the tip, I’m going to take a look at Wordperfect.

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  2. Fortunately my life and work partner is a self-taught computer whizz which leaves my creative brain functions absent of having to deal with the kind of problems and distresses that are described above which would, in short order, transform me into either a raving loony or an apathetic zombie :).

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  3. Nice songs you choose, Steve. I like both pieces, especially the one by Elena Maksimova.

    We were talking about a German translation of Marina Tsvetaeva´s “Mir gefällt es…” and you were not satisfied that the translation does not have the word “sick”properly translated. If the Russians can have Lara Fabian´s “Je suis malade” properly translated, I guess there should be no problem to have perfect translation of Marina Tsvetaeva´s “not being sick,” right?

    I´ll look for a good French translation of “Мне нравится” and I hope I find one soon. This semi-retirement won´t last long, I know.

    Take care, Steve.

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  4. @ Wenjer

    Glad you like the songs I pick.

    I am getting quite an education myself as I am choosing them on Youtube.

    There is a whole new dimensions to lyrics in a song, they are created differently from translations of poems because they need to sound a certain way to complement the music.

    That’s why they are often not translated at all, just approximated in another language. The actual meaning of the lyrics in a song can be opposite to the meaning of the original lyrics, as long as the sound is right, which is the case for example in these Czech lyrics to a song written by Hank Williams (Take These Chains from My Heart).

    In the Russian lyrics, “не надо” sounds very much like “malade”. Many Russian speakers might have heard the French words first, which is why they are perfect for the song.

    It’s not really that I did not like the the German translation of the poem by Marina Tsvetayeva. But I was so impressed by the Russian poem when I heard it for the first time that there was very little chance that any translation into any other language would impress me.

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    • Sure, songtext writing is different from composition. We have a lot of examples. I remember that I mentioned at yours that Udo Jürgens´ “Was ich sagen will” is sung in Japanese with the title “別れの朝” which has a completely different expression of emotions.

      The translation of buddhistic sutras into Chinese during the 7th century were not done only by translators. Because of the nature of sutras, the translations must be able to be chanted or sung and there were such talents as composers and songwriters employed/engaged in the translation process, so that all the translated sutras can be chanted or sung in Chinese and the expressions have been fully assimilated into Chinese culture through centuries.

      Here is an example of such translation:

      Of course, we can never be sure that the translation is accurate, but it becomes a part of a culture that believes in the accuracy of the translation, like (or as) people believe in Christianity in many different languages.

      Lara Fabian talked about the truth in her songs. It is the truth of human emotions, disregarding the languages in which they are sung.

      The first stance Elena Maksimova sings isn’t a translation at all, but it flows into the French original perfectly, like the Chinese translation of “Подмосковные вечера ” which is not a word-to-word or even not a sentence-to-sentence translation, but it expresses the same emotions, nevertheless.

      色不異空,空不異色;色即是空,空即是色;受想行事,亦復如是。I like the Russian expression “не надо” for the same reason.

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  5. MS is trying to push their subscription base model (Office 365) and this is probably why they have severely hardened the license terms for the standalone version.
    Libre office is also a great alternative, although if you are tied to working with MS proprietary file formant, working with MS Office is usually the most streamlined and efficient way to go.

    If you write your posts outside of WordPress’ editor, you might want to try Microsoft Live Writer (just make sure to choose only it when downloading to avoid all the other Live softwares that are selected by default). I haven’t used it myself but keep hearing nothing but praises about it as a desktop blogging client.

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