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Happy birthday, MS Word

Happy birthday, MS Word

As the iconic word processing application celebrates another birthday, we thought you should know about some plug-ins that can help overcome its shortcomings and make Word, well, perfect...

In October 1983, Microsoft released a software that barely managed to create a ripple. In fact, the Word 1.0 for Xenix and MS-DOS was seen as an upstart to Corel’s WordPerfect. Twenty-six years on, Microsoft has had the final Word. As the iconic word processing application celebrates another birthday, we thought you should know about some plug-ins that can help overcome its shortcomings and make Word, well, perfect...

Save as PDF
Converting documents from and to the PDF format is a subject that forums can (and do) talk about endlessly. Instead of wasting time and energy in downloading applications like dopdf and its ilk, just save your document to PDF out of Word. Office 2007 comes with the handy ‘Save as PDF or XPS’ feature, a free add-in, which puts the PDF format under the save-as menu. The plug-in is faster than the official Acrobat version, claim users. You can also send your documents by email in these formats.

Hyperlink Checker
Those who use Word a lot (and honestly, who doesn’t?) know how annoying it is to check every internal link in a large document to ensure that it’s live. Document Hyperlink Checker for Microsoft Word is a free tool for managing and checking internal hyperlinks. It quickly finds suspicious and broken internal links in Microsoft Word documents of any size and claims to be able to process hundreds of hyperlinks in no time at all.
DOWNLOAD FROM: http:// www.ablebits. com/word-hyperlinkmanager-addins/index.php

OpenOffice in Word
The Open Office-MS war seems to be taking on the same emotional overtones that the Mac-PC battle once did. However, the good news is that you can now open freeware files (which are usually saved in the .odf format) in MS Word. The techies at Sun Microsystems have developed an Office plug-in which is compatible with Office 2000, 2003 and 2007. This allows users to open, edit and save documents in the .odf format. So, who cares if it’s freeware or not?

Table Template Manager
The good thing about the later generations of Word is that you can create decent tables without having to rush to Excel. But you’ll have to copy-paste the table if you want to re-use it, and then replace the data. In doing so, the format is often lost. Or you could try the Table Template Manager to use a table that you created as many times as you like in any number of Word documents. The borders, cells and text will retain their format. The Table Template Manager supports Word 2002 (the XP version) and Word 2003.

Web Mail from Word
Many of us prefer to use Web mail instead of the generally slow and clunky Outlook or Outlook Express. However, when you want to e-mail a document from MS Word (using the ‘send to mail recipient’ option), you’ll have to use Outlook because that’s the Microsoft default mail program. This can be truly annoying, especially if you’re on a slow office network. So, if you’re a Web mail junkie, you might want to give Affixa a shot. It’s a free plug-in that allows you to attach files from Word to Web mail systems, including Gmail and Yahoo.

Word for Bibliographies
This one’s for the students and research scholars. Creating bibliographies for a large research document could give you sleepless nights, but there’s help at hand. Zotero, a free Firefox extension, helps you collect, manage and cite your research sources. Even better, Zotero’s plug-in available for MS Word helps create dynamic bibliographies: insert a new in-text citation in your manuscript or make a change in the citation and the bibliography will be automatically updated to include the cited item.

Docx Files in Office 2003
Office 2007 is a fantastic (albeit heavy) suite, but the new file formats can try the patience of a saint. Yes, the docx format is smaller in size, stores additional styles, and so on. But it’s not of much use if you use Office 2003 and are sent docx files. Luckily, this is a problem encountered by Microsoft, which has released the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel and PowerPoint 2007 file formats. This download makes all the applications in your 2003 suite compatible with their Office 2007 companions. When installed, you can also save docx files.

Published on: Nov 05, 2009, 4:24 PM IST
Posted by: AtMigration, Nov 05, 2009, 4:24 PM IST