Charles Stross: ‘I Want Microsoft Word To Die’

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By Jason Boog Comment

strossDo you wish the publishing industry used some other standard besides Microsoft Word?

Novelist Charles Stross published an anti-Microsoft Word manifesto recently, inspiring debate among writers with a revolutionary thesis: “I want Microsoft Word to die.” Check it out:

It imposes its own concept of how a document should be structured upon the writer, a structure best suited to business letters and reports (the tasks for which it is used by the majority of its users). Its proofing tools and change tracking mechanisms are baroque, buggy, and inadequate for true collaborative document preparation; its outlining and tagging facilities are piteously primitive compared to those required by a novelist or thesis author: and the procrustean dictates of its grammar checker would merely be funny if the ploddingly sophomoric business writing style it mandates were not so widespread.


Stross offered a long history of the writing tool and some compelling arguments.

What programs do you use to write? I agree that Microsoft Word doesn’t offer everything I need.

I use a combination of tools for my personal writing, including Quip for daily writing, Scrivener for longer projects and Microsoft Word when sending work to an editor.

(Link via Boing Boing)

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