When they’re good, they’re very good

Ever since I saw Live Writer, I knew that Microsoft had it in them to be good. They know what they’re doing when it comes to marketing to the masses but for us geeky individuals, they leave a lot to be desired.

Live Writer has the essence of greatness, in that everything you need to blog to many different platforms is all in one place and it is unbelievably easy to use. My only problem is that WordPress screws up the metadata for each image you upload, which means you have to go into the Admin screens anyway, so you might as well just right it in there. Ultimately, that’s a problem with WordPress though, and not Livewriter.

I write for Sidepodcast in WordPress. I use Live Writer for Smarter Than Your Average posts.

I absolutely adore Office 2007. Some people find it difficult to use, perhaps because they are so used to how it was before or perhaps because they genuinely have a problem with it, but I find it genius. Everything you need is so easy to access, and once you know where it is, then it makes life much smoother. Having to relearn software is not fun, but sometimes it’s worth the extra moments of confusion as you go along, when the product is so much better.

Formatting in Word is incredible. I didn’t even know you could add a Table of Contents or a border to the page, but now, even if I’m just writing a shopping list, I’m there with Cover Pages, footers and Fancy Titles. Sometimes I play around so much I don’t actually have time to do the shopping!

I’ve used Excel less, but I have just had a new PC at work with Office 2007 on, which means I will be using it a lot. Already I’ve discovered the delights of conditional formatting and how freaking easy pivot tables actually are.

Microsoft is trying to redesign their software to make things more accessible for new users, and as far as I can see they’re doing a good job. A complaint I hear over and over about Vista is that “Add/Remove Programs” in the control panel was changed to “Programs and Features”. In my opinion, it’s just different, it’s not wrong.

I like Vista, I really do. If it worked properly and did everything I needed it to, I would be as happy as a wide mouthed frog eating Maltesers. It doesn’t work properly and it doesn’t do everything I need it to, which is why I’ll be investing in an iMac as soon as my budget stretches that far.

Thankfully, the new Office software is available on the Mac as well; otherwise it might not be such an easy choice.

2 thoughts on “When they’re good, they’re very good

  1. I’m sadly still at the laptop-smacking “where have you hidden the goddamn Header/Footer buttons?!” stage with Office 2007, having only just been forced to switch by the cunning Microsoft ploy of making Word 2003 corrupt every document it sniffs at. Thankfully student pricing means I won’t have to sell my body in order to pay for it, but I’m getting very fond of Google Docs all the same; being able to work when I’m out even if I’ve forgotten to update my data stick (plus reducing the likelyhood of me leaving said stick – and house keys, which it’s attached to – in the uni computers) overrides any prettiness that Microsoft can add.

    I just need Google to write the essays for me, and I’ll be 100% happy with it!

  2. The problem is that I’m gonna have to get a Mac at some point this year, and buying Office again is gonna be costly. I do love it but I’m not sure it’s worth the £300, considering I already bought it for the PC.

    Maybe Google Docs is worth a look 🙂

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