MS Word 2003 vs MS Word 2010

It was recently brought to my attention that I have been advising against MS Word 2010, but have not explained WHY I prefer MS Word 2003 over MS Word 2010 for preparing Kindle files.

Here is an example:

My task was to “Insert” a “Bookmark” to indicate the start of a file.  (Search for Guide Items in this site.)

In MS Word 2003, I click “Insert” from the Menu, and a Drop-Down Menu appears, from which I can choose [Bookmark].

In MS Word 2010, when I click “Insert” from the Menu, I am presented with a “Ribbon” of pretty pictures, and must figure out which one represents “Bookmark”.

Yes… the pretty pictures are labeled, and, Yes… I can figure it out… but look at the difference in efficiency!

1 comment:

  1. No, this is a mistake a lot of experienced users of Office apps make. The Ribbon is hard only if you're already trained for another product. It's hardly any different than if you switched to a word processor other than Word. For example, Atlantis is a LOT like Word 2003 (and has a very useful direct save to EPUB) and this can be a bad thing if you know Word 2003 very well. Those subtle differences can lead to frustration when it's so similar but things are not quite where your instincts say they should be.

    It could be worse. My sister has never gotten over IBM's neglect of the Lotus apps after the company was acquired solely for Notes. She still runs WordPro, a product hasn't had a significant update since the Win98 era. Talk about being too attached to one way of doing things...

    The primary concern with the Ribbon was training of inexperienced users, especially in the business sector where training budgets have gone to hell. Starting from scratch, the Ribbon is a lot easier to pick up than the morass of menus Word grew into over the generations.

    I've been working with Word 2007 and 2010 for a about a year now and they now feel more familiar than Word 2003 despite all the years I had with that. I don't search the Ribbon for the things I use frequently. I KNOW where they are, just as I knew where the menu items I used the most in Word 2003 were, and could select them without taking my eyes from the text. The only real change is that I've switched out some of the vertical reflexes for horizontal movements that come just as automatically.

    You have to be objective and accept that it's always the first time for a chunk of the market and that is where growth lies. Making the learning curve less steep was one of the ways to sell a new revision. (I'm hoping a complete end to end e-book solution is a big selling point in the next revision but I suspect it won't come until the generation to follow.)