Microsoft Word is far and away the most popular word processing software, and has been since it over took WordPerfect (now owned by Corel) in sales in the late 1990s. With the significant exception of the legal community, Microsoft Word is dominant among home users and business users alike. However, the software does have disadvantages, innate to itself and in relationship to WordPerfect.
Problematic Web Publishing
Microsoft Word has the capability to be used as a web publishing program. However, there are significant drawbacks to using Word as opposed to a program designed for the job, such as Macromedia Dreamweaver. Microsoft Word produces bloated code, with some code only supported by Internet Explorer browsers. There is no provision for alternate text for users who block images or for users with limited visibility. Image files for Microsoft Word are assigned generic names and may be duplicated on the web page.
Lack of Backward Compatibility
With the release of Microsoft Office Suite 2007, including Microsoft Word 2007, users of older versions of the software found themselves unable to open, let alone edit, documents received in the later version. The default extension for Microsoft Word 2007 documents is .docx; the default extension for documents in earlier versions of Microsoft Word is .doc. An extra step is necessary to save a version of Microsoft Word 2007 documents in a format compatible with older versions of word. Also, users of the newer version of the software sometimes encounter formatting problems in opening documents created in older versions of Word.
No Reveal Codes
The feature that WordPerfect users value more than nearly any other is the Reveal Codes function. This function allows users to access the exact coding for each character of a WordPerfect document, similar to the code view function with web content software. This allows for much easier editing, especially when troublesome functioning is involved. With Microsoft Word it is sometimes impossible to determine the exact source of coding problems, let alone eliminate them.
- Corel: Getting the Most Out of Reveal Codes in WordPerfect
- Software Informer: Microsoft Word Review
- NextGenLaw: Why Lawyers Love WordPerfect
- University of Texas at Dallas: Word Processor Sales 1986-1997
- Corel WordPerfect vs. Microsoft Word
- University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire: Using Word as a Web Publisher?