MS Word

Mac & Word

You can get almost any regular Mac user to tell you dozens of ways in which Mac OS X is superior to Windows, from its more "intuitive" interface to its BSD-based resistance to most of the less sophisticated forms of attack that can cripple even Windows XP systems updated with the latest patches.

But get that same Mac user talking about Word for the Mac, and you're more likely to hear a litany of annoyances than a paean of praise. Word for the Mac shares many of the features that have made Word for Windows a prerequisite of the modern business world, but not all of them. Even when Word for the Mac leap frogs Word for Windows with a version as Word 2004 leapfrogged Word 2003and adds new features (for example, note recording), it still lags behind Word for Windows in many areas that are important to many users. Not surprisingly, Word for the Mac also has bugs plenty of them. And even where it doesn't have bugs, much of its behavior is, well, hinky.

This is a tutorial, so it concentrates on the Word annoyances that are most likely to crop up for Mac users. The tutorial starts with severe annoyances that might make you want to encourage your Mac to fly for example, Word starting incredibly slowly, quitting unexpectedly when running, or refusing to save a document to a server (or even to your home folder). The tutorial then goes on to show you how to deal with lesser annoyances, such as markup balloons not printing, page numbering going haywire, version comments mysteriously disappearing, and the Word Count feature ham stringing your Mac so that it can only hobble along miserably instead of running like the tiger, panther, or jaguar that it usually resembles.