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Under the Hood of Office 12

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the more-xls-with-unusable-macros dept.

Microsoft 348

An anonymous reader writes "ZDNet has posted an FAQ on Office 12, plus a quick preview of Office 12 pre-Beta 1. From the review: Microsoft Office 12.0 pre-Beta 1 drastically revamps the interface layouts of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access. More than a year before the final product will hit the shelves, a pre-beta version of Microsoft Office 12.0 is revealing radical interface changes and user paradigm shifts that recall the overly ambitious Microsoft Office 97 update of the past."

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fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13612696)

GNAA Mourns the Death of l0de and the l0de Radio Hour.
GNAA Mourns the Death of l0de and the l0de Radio Hour.
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The Pentagon underestimated the loyalty of the Negro Population in New Orleans. The once divided crack selling factions banded together in defense of l0de and decimated the Delta Force assassination squads. Pentagon moles informed l0de via Jap sponsored satellite phones that President Bush, on orders from his mother, Barbara Bush, instructed FEMA to delay relief aid to punish the Negro Population for their defense of l0de.

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The GNAA does not think so.

About l0de Radio Hour

Dead.

About l0de

http://www.instantlobotomy.com/ [instantlobotomy.com] .


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Copyright (c) 2003-2005 Gay Nigger Association of America [www.gnaa.us]

Clippy? (5, Funny)

Pichu0102 (916292) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612703)

Clippy? What have they done to you, Clippy? Clippy? Clippy? CLIPPY! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Re:Clippy? (5, Funny)

mrjb (547783) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612738)

Unlike the late Clippy, a ghostly text-formatting toolbar hovers near your cursor; it fades or darkens in response to your mouse movements. Right-clicking a mouse will reveal the same task-specific menu choices as offered in the masthead banner. (cues creepy music) I see dead Clippies...

Re:Clippy? (3, Funny)

EddieBurkett (614927) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612767)

BALLMER: Where is Clippy? Is he safe, is he all right?

GATES: I'm afraid he died. ... it seems in your anger, you killed him.

BALLMER: I couldn't have! He was alive! I felt him! He was alive! It's impossible! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Re:Clippy? (5, Funny)

hrm (26016) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612813)

So now Clippy will give birth to two children (staples?), one of which will cause Ballmer to turn on Gates and restore balance to the source?

Interesting times ahead...

Re:Clippy? (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612854)

BALLMER: Where is Clippy? Is he safe, is he all right?

GATES: I'm afraid he died. ... it seems in your anger, you killed him.


BALLMER: Hmmmm.... was it tacked onto some chair??

Re:Clippy? (1)

SimilarityEngine (892055) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612786)

What have they done to you, Clippy?

Perhaps Microsoft have figured out a way to patronize users on a subtler level ("task-oriented paradigm") ...

Re:Clippy? (4, Informative)

Chess_the_cat (653159) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612800)

If you fire up an Office app you may be surprised to find that the name of the Office Assistant in question is actually Clippit. Not Clippy.

Competition driving innovation (5, Insightful)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612704)

...or the appearance of innovation, anyway.

Interesting tightrope Microsoft is being forced to walk here...if they don't change things enough, they still have OpenOffice and StarOffice nipping at their heels, but if they change too much, they risk alienating their established user base.

The real question is: Just how much can you improve an office suite, before it's 'good enough'? Many Office users (my employers included) feel Office 2003 is just fine, and have no plans whatsoever for Office 12. Other offices I've seen have standardized on Offive XP, or even Office 2000, and steadfastly refuse to upgrade. When these holdouts finally do upgrade, it's only because they are having issues with using documents from other facilities that are in the new format (non-backward-compatible by design...thank you so much, Bill), and when they do, they commonly skip at least one release.

The bottom line is that the strategy of staying out ahead of competitors like OpenOffice and StarOffice is becoming increasing untenable as the office suite becomes more and more complex and capable, and closer and closer to the ideal of 'good enough' for the average user.

Re:Competition driving innovation (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13612725)

That's some fine karma whoring.

Re:Competition driving innovation (4, Insightful)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612793)

I think you're right. Moreover, now is a good time for users to consider OOo because there is going to be these interface changes to Office 12. As long as you're learning something new it might as well be something that isn't costing you an arm and a leg, no? Add to that the fact that it's open and there's a huge opportunity for OOo.

Re:Competition driving innovation (4, Interesting)

tpgp (48001) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612804)

feel Office 2003 is just fine, and have no plans whatsoever for Office 12. Other offices I've seen have standardized on Offive XP, or even Office 2000, and steadfastly refuse to upgrade.

Indeed. I used to work for an extremely large company in Australia - they are still standardised on Office 97 on Windows NT.

They see no business motive to change - and frankly, I think they're taking the right approach. If they wait long enough, they will be able to "jump sideways" as it were to a completely open solution, with no loss in functionality and vastly improved management.

Re:Competition driving innovation (2, Insightful)

gcw1 (914577) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612816)

The organization I work for still uses Office 97, and I don't think we will be upgrading to any newer versions due to cost of licencing. Office 12 looks like a nice product, but personally and professionally I find that OpenOffice is a better fit, and it's fully compatible with MS Office. That said I'm still confident that MS will do quite well with their new product.

Past good enough for most users. (4, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612907)

Office really is way past good enough for most users. My office uses Office 2000 and really doesn't see a big need to jump to Office XP or 2003. Office 12? Big harry deal. I wonder if Microsoft will have to start droping the price.

What I really wonder is why no big PC companies like Dell, IBM, or Gateway are including OpenOffice with their PCs?
Seems like a brain dead way to give your customers a free office suit. I guess the answer is they are all hoping to sell you MS Office.
Maybe Gateway/Emachine should think about it.

Where is the innovation? (2, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612921)

The chief reason why Office is no longer attractive to enterprises is bcos of it's closed formats. It's not possible to manipulate an Office document without using the application, and that's pricey, bloated and proprietary - besides being locked down to the platform.

Companies around me have stuck with Office 97 for docs and use the Mozilla range for mail and internet. IE and OE are too buggy and bloated - and more easily replaced than Office. In a year's time, Open Office 2 should stabilise and remove the need for the OS itself.

Changes to management and office structures (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612939)

You will probably see more changes to how people collaborate on documents and how they are stored than any actual changes to the editing and formatting functionality.

Re:Competition driving innovation (4, Insightful)

Zemplar (764598) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612940)

"The real question is: Just how much can you improve an office suite, before it's 'good enough'? Many Office users (my employers included) feel Office 2003 is just fine"

I can tell you that there is great room to improve Excel, good as it is. Many statistical functions in Excel need work in addition to addressing the poor memory limits - and I don't mean a marginal bump as is common with most Excel upgrades. Someday I'd also like to be able to address more than 65,536 rows and 256 columns.

Threading in Excel is poor! Admittedly this is not an issue for your average user.

So basically Microsoft will only marginally update Office for power users needing an extra speed or function fix and totally rework the GUI for the newbies to gawk at. Unfortunately this is a good business move if your business is to simply make as much money as possible from upgrades.

Re:Competition driving innovation (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612964)

The real question is: Just how much can you improve an office suite, before it's 'good enough'?

In terms of features, Office already has too much. Their reportedly biggest problem is that users are unable to find features already present. For you and me which probably consider ourselves powerusers this is of little relevance, I certainly haven't felt that problem (nor do we feel it in most "designed-by-geeks" OSS software, not that all OSS software is like that). If this new interface is something the average user feels is more intuitive and leads them to the features they want, it's a killer "feature", believe it or not.

Kjella

Re:Competition driving innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13612994)

I was happy with Word 5.1.

Re:Competition driving innovation (1)

Pendragn_tk (809357) | more than 9 years ago | (#13613056)

A lot of the recent Office upgrades are to server side components, like Sharepoint, and the client side integration of them. Word hasn't offered any really compeling word processing options in a while. At least not for a like user like myself.

tk

Re:Competition driving innovation (3, Insightful)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 9 years ago | (#13613135)

Oh, but it's really easy to make people upgrade. You break the files compatibility just a tiny bit, nobody will notice, except for the companies that want EVERYTHING to work (pretty much everybody) so they will have to upgrade since they cannot have a mix of versions. Bill you are a genious! We need the latest Word because of its features -- bullshit! We need it to be compatible with other people's Word. That's why Massachussetts did a smart thing by switching to an open format.

RIP (1)

millahtime (710421) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612706)

The dorky paper-clip cartoon is really dead; Office Assistant suggestions will no longer glibly interrupt your tasks.

RIP Clippy

Re:RIP (5, Funny)

Alranor (472986) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612780)

Personally I don't want clippy to RIP.

I want it to suffer eternal torment in the fires of silicon hell, where daemons will flay it continally until the end of time.

"It looks like you're trying to inflict agonies beyond belief on me, would you like so.... aaargh, no, no, stop with the poker! Anything but the poker, pleeeaase!"

But that's just me.

Re:RIP (1)

Scutter (18425) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612792)

RIP Clippy

Shouldn't that be RITITBFOH* Clippy?

*Rest in torment in the burning fires of Hell

thats great (1, Funny)

buddha01 (882550) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612707)

super

Buzzword alert (-1: Story) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13612710)

"paradigm shift"

OpenOffice (0, Redundant)

XFilesFMDS1013 (830724) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612711)

Personally, I want less and less to do with MS products every day, http://www.openoffice.org/ [openoffice.org]

Re:OpenOffice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13612776)

Personally, nobody gives a fuck.

I want a copy! (0, Redundant)

superub3r (915084) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612713)

I like the brushed metal look. Very OSX-ish, but I like it. Mikerowsawft seems to like borrowing things from OSX as of late.

Re:I want a copy! (1)

Black Perl (12686) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612954)

Where did you see the screenshots?

Re:I want a copy! (1)

dwandy (907337) | more than 9 years ago | (#13613091)

didn't billy always "borrow" steve's ideas?

It's new, it's pretty... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13612714)

and everyone will complain.

fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13612716)

windows rules macintosh sux...PWNED
btw frosty piss to you all!

-MikeTROLL did yo momma-

Re:fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13612790)

wow, i was horridly late on that one! oh well better luck next time!!!!

btw, windows doesnt rule ;p Mac still sux, and Linux is King OS

-MikeTROLL uses linux, you should too!-

UI changes..? (2, Insightful)

Chicane-UK (455253) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612718)

Aren't 'heavy revamps' of the front end what users of Microsoft products have been complaining about for god knows how long? Microsoft get it to a stage where everyone is used to it then completely redo it!

Re:UI changes..? (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612777)

Sounds like good news. If you have a choice between re-training your work force to learn MS Office 12 or re-training them to use OpenOffice 2.0, what are you more likely to do? Of course, this assumes that OpenOffice supports all of the features that you need.

Re:UI changes..? (1)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 9 years ago | (#13613108)

You also assume that OpenOffice will be as easy to train for as MS Office 12.

Almost everything added to MS Office over the last 10 years or so has been an attempt to make the software easier to use and to reduce training costs. But at the same time, there's a lot of old fundemental UI problems which they have refused to fix because of training considerations. (Such as the modal super-tabbed dialogs from 1994).

Meanwhile, OpenOffice 1.x (haven't seen 2.0) strongly resembles your average 1995 menu-heavy Windows app, and shows almost no consideration for making things easier at all.

I don't really understand the tab bar shown in the MSOffice screenshots (maybe I need training!), but overall it seems that they are moving towards a Pallette-based interface, as seen in Mac Office, while still keeping the "task oriented" stuff from O2003. So, I'm fairly optimistic they can make things both new and easier at the same time.

hrm... (1, Offtopic)

xao gypsie (641755) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612721)

More than a year before the final product
Why do I get the feeling that we won't actually see this product until after I have my masters degree.....in 2008?

Re:hrm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13612909)

You certainly won't see it, because you'll be writing your thesis in Latex, right? :-)

Nothing beats Office 97 (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13612722)

Nothing will ever top Office 97 for what it brought the table when it came out. They made it too good - several versions later and most people probably can't tell the difference, except for Outlook, which has changed more than the other apps in the suite. Is it possible that we don't need new versions of Office coming out every couple years anymore?

Re:Nothing beats Office 97 (2, Interesting)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612824)

Personally I left office 97 for 2000 and never looked back. We are still using office 2000 company wide with no end in sight.

Sadly my reason for upgrading was a microsoft trick, somehow a computer prebundled with office 2000 absolutly REFUSED to install 97 (tried and tried some more). In retrospect I shoulda reinstalled computer from scratch, but the upgrade was good anyways.

Awesome new feature!! (5, Funny)

coolGuyZak (844482) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612724)

You'll be able to make changes to attributes such as font style and watch your document transform in real time

This has got to be the most innovative thing to come out of Microsoft in years.

Re:Awesome new feature!! (4, Informative)

Manip (656104) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612865)

I know you're joking but I've seen this feature and its nothing to be turning your nose at. You have a drop down list (with pictures of sized letters, not sizes) and as you move your mouse over them the text in the document (or selected) resized allowing you to find what you want without clicking the size box more than once.

It is one of those That is *so* obvious features that ends up in every product because it is just so *DUHHH* after someone popularises the concept. :-)

Re:Awesome new feature!! (3, Interesting)

Ruprecht the Monkeyb (680597) | more than 9 years ago | (#13613041)

Wordperfect had it 10 years ago. They called it 'WYSBYGI" - What You See Before You Get It'. And yes, it was a nice feature.

Why exactly is it called Office 12? (1)

Seiruu (808321) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612727)

Read both articles but couldn't find it...

Re:Why exactly is it called Office 12? (4, Interesting)

buro9 (633210) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612783)

Internal numbering... major number goes up for each suite release.

From my blog dated a month ago:

"
Microsoft have been using internal numbers for their major Office release for some time:
Office 9 = Microsoft Office 2000
Office 10 = Microsoft Office XP
Office 11 = Microsoft Office 2003

And right now they are in pre-beta with Office 12... yet to be assigned a product name (or yet to be announced depending on whether you believe what you hear).

A curiosity though, I've just been conversing with a product manager in the globalisation team over a feature that the company I work for would dearly like, during this conversation she mentioned that the feature in question would not be in Office 12, but some part of it will be considered for Office 14.

Office 14? So what happened to Office 13?

Could it be that Microsoft are superstitious enough to not want to number a feature version of Office as Office 13?
Or am I reading too much into this, and did they just use Excel to do the numbering?

Maybe someone should point out to them that missing 13 doesn't make it any less Office 13.
"

Re:Why exactly is it called Office 12? (1)

Unhappy Windows User (195003) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612872)

Doesn't add up:

Extrapolating from your 'blog' extract...

Office 8 = Microsoft Office 97
Office 7 = Microsoft Office 95
???
Office 4.3 = the latest Office for Win 3.1

Am I missing something here?

Re:Why exactly is it called Office 12? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13612923)

Yes. 4 + 3 = 7 ;)

Re:Why exactly is it called Office 12? (3, Informative)

stud9920 (236753) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612956)

Office 4.3 = Word 6, excel 5.0 Access 3? = Powerpoint 4? Office 7.0 = Word 7.0 = Excel 7.0 = Access 7.0 = Powerpoint 7.0 == leveling to the version number of the highest, flagship product

Re:Why exactly is it called Office 12? (5, Funny)

timster121 (820967) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612901)

Maybe someone should point out to them that missing 13 doesn't make it any less Office 13.

Obligatory Mitch Hedburg:

"My hotel doesn't have a 13th floor because of superstition. But people on the 14th floor, you know what floor you're really on.!"

"If 13 is an unlucky number, then 12 and 14 are guilty by association."

Re:Why exactly is it called Office 12? (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 9 years ago | (#13613004)

Internal numbering... major number goes up for each suite release.

To add to that (while we're on the subject of new and shiny things from Microsoft), Vista is NT 6.0. For anyone who hasn't been keeping up, Win2K was (still is, I reckon) NT 5.0, and WinXP is NT 5.1.

Re:Why exactly is it called Office 12? (1)

imroy (755) | more than 9 years ago | (#13613074)

Office 14? So what happened to Office 13?

Why are you assuming there won't be an Office 13? Maybe she means that the feature won't be implemented in the next two releases of Office. Gee, hope it wasn't too important...

Re:Why exactly is it called Office 12? (2, Funny)

HomerJayS (721692) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612784)

Because, it will be 2012 before all of the kinks/bugs are worked out of the new features.

Re:Why exactly is it called Office 12? (1)

Zarel (900479) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612810)

It's Microsoft's internal versioning system for Office. Office 2003 was Office 11, Office XP was Office 10. these names are rarely used, except, for instance, as the name for the Program Files folder (at least in Office XP).

Whooosh! (5, Funny)

Coimhad fearg fhear (916390) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612728)

As long as the new version of Office allows you to use that cool "Whoooshing" noise between slides in Powerpoint I'll be happy.
Not that I ever use Powerpoint, honest...

It don't matter no more... (0)

It doesn't come easy (695416) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612734)

Love that song. And it doesn't matter no more cause I'm Microsoft free (at least at home). Yeah, baby!

This will call for extra training (5, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612746)

The radical change that M$ is introducing in Office 12 will call for training. I vividly remember what effect Office 95 had on our users.

The trouble here is that more of technology pundits will not see this requirement as an additional cost burden at all! So when it comes to comparing Office 12 to StarOffice/OpenOffice.org, assumptions will be made that those using M$ products already have the training.

StarOffice/OpenOffice.org programmers could capitalize on this, save companies the trouble or burden of training. This is not to mention licensing costs not forgetting closed and changing formats.

Screenshots (5, Informative)

neosake (655724) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612812)

Definitely, check out these screenshots, I mean I haven't tried it but this ribbon thingy doesn't strike me as intuitive as the menu paradigm we're used to.

Microsoft's Screenshot [microsoft.com]
Zdnet series of screenshots [zdnet.co.uk]

Plus it takes loads of screen real-estate.

Where is office 11 ? (2, Interesting)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612750)

I remember seeing an Office 10 somewhere on a Mac or something - but I've never run into an Office 11. Maybe they just thought that since they are already too late, they'll just skip a release ? :)

There's good news but, Clippy is dead !!. But a ghost of the demon remains ...

What's new in Office 12

* Tabbed browsing
* Missing menus
* Clippy replaced with a Ghost
* Shortcuts change for no reason
* Task oriented design

Translated as :

* Ripoff off Firefox
* Bye bye familiarity
* Transparency showoffs
* Alt keys are teh suck
* All users are idiots

Some people might switch to OO.org just to keep the old macros alive but still read the new .doc files.

Re:Where is office 11 ? (0, Redundant)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612774)


I've been trying to get my manager to let me try out OpenOffice on a few systems here, on a purely probationary basis.

So far, it's been a very hard sell :(

Re:Where is office 11 ? (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612795)

Task oriented design

There is a section in almost any HCI book you pick up explaining why Task Oriented Interface are a bad idea outside bespoke software for a particular workflow, and yet MS keeps putting them into general purpose tools and marketing them as a feature. Sometimes I wonder if their customers just count the number of ticks in boxes when evaluating their products, without reading the words next to the ticks.

Re:Where is office 11 ? (2, Informative)

jagilbertvt (447707) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612809)

Office XP == Office 10
Office 2003 == Office 11

users =? idiots! (1)

linumax (910946) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612935)

Not all users are idiots but at least 95% are STUPID!
Ever talked to a tech-support guide?! Take a look at this [rinkworks.com]

Re:Where is office 11 ? (4, Insightful)

coolGuyZak (844482) | more than 9 years ago | (#13613069)

Paraphrasing/compiling the parent:

New feature -> Translated as:

  1. Tabbed browsing -> Ripoff off Firefox
  2. Missing menus -> Bye bye familiarity
  3. Clippy replaced with a Ghost -> Transparency showoffs
  4. Shortcuts change for no reason -> Alt keys are teh suck
  5. Task oriented design -> All users are idiots

And now appraoched in turn:

  1. A couple things about this one:
    • Firefox was not the first application to feature tabbed browsing.
    • User interfaces are "ripped off" all the time. When someone comes out with a good idea, others copy it. This is a good thing, as it allows evolutionary development. Say the first person to come out with the button had patented (and enforced) it. We'd all be screwed.
  2. Sometimes familarity has to be sacrificed for the sake of advancement. This will irritate more than a few users though.
  3. Mostly, yeh. But I can see if having its uses. Personally, I'd rather have smart tags similar to the ones in VS2005. They're hot.
  4. True, but when I lose mouse support, it would be nice if my computer is still usable :)
  5. Even if all users are idiots, that doesn't mean that they are second-class computer citizens. As a matter of fact, since "All users are idiots" it would make sense to tailor the interface to them.
    A mental exercise: Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that "not all users are idiots". Changing from a "functionality based" system to a "task based" system still has benefits:
    • Users can learn the interface faster, as it makes more sense to them.
    • Users can access the interface faster, because all of the tools they need for a particular task are grouped together.
    • The interface has the potential to becomes less cluttered, as only tools pertinent to your task are displayed.

Before anyone tries to "call me out", I am not a MS shill or apologist. (May be a KDE apologist, though).

yawn (2, Interesting)

bringmewater (868514) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612768)

I've seen the videos, I've seen the screen shots, I've read the hype. I'm not impressed. Word and Word Perfect were always crap and they have gotten worse. Someone need to start OVER and rethink what a word processor needs to do. Basics like multi level numbering are impossible to teach users how to do. These apps are truly dinosaurs and we need a new killer app word processor suitable for writing books, html and pdf documentation including table of contents, indexes, appendices and normal stuff you find in documents.

Re:yawn (1)

stunt_penguin (906223) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612827)

You mean...... Adobe InDesign? Long live Adobe & the PDF format.

Re:yawn (1)

bringmewater (868514) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612856)

Can adobe indesign write out multiple HTML files, one for each chapter?

Re:yawn (1)

bringmewater (868514) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612911)

Can adobe indesign write out multiple HTML files, one for each chapter and preserve links and generate table of contents and index?

Re:yawn (1)

Kainaw (676073) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612830)

These apps are truly dinosaurs and we need a new killer app word processor suitable for writing books, html and pdf documentation including table of contents, indexes, appendices and normal stuff you find in documents.

That is what docbook does, right? I mean, I haven't ever got docbook to do anything worthwhile, but I've been told that if it did work, that is what it would do.

Re:yawn (1)

bringmewater (868514) | more than 9 years ago | (#13613016)

docbook sucks

Re:yawn (1)

gordo3000 (785698) | more than 9 years ago | (#13613143)

I think what you want is to learn to use LateX. if you want stuff that is powerful like that, there is no substitute for your own personal design.

clippy and OO light bulb (1)

digitalderbs (718388) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612773)

the OO friendly light bulb irritates me just as much as clippy with its "'scuse me sir, but may I make a polite suggestion?" look.

I guess now that clippy has been dropped from Microsoft Office, we can expect OO to do the exact same ;p

user paradigm shifts (1)

dvaldenaire (52153) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612782)

May the users stay out of the new paradigm...

But MS can change the whole interface, it won't change the minds of the lusers. They are too proud of having "the latest version" of this "professional office shit^W suite" (for suits :)

And even if they don't want to switch, some PHB will force them to. You can always rely on PHB to enforce stupid decision and approve bad design. Time to start some really bad designed (and overpriced) linux distribution to conquer the desktop !

Bring back Word Perfect 5.0 (1)

AngryNick (891056) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612785)

...and all the other programs that could do just enough to help you get a document written and printed. I don't need all the extra features; I just end up spending the whole day screwing with the style settings or getting the stupid autonumbers to work.

And while you're at it, bring back DOS! I miss my batch files.

--

Today's Anger Level: Orange/Red - Major production push underway. Don't tell me you screwed up.

Batch Files (1)

JediTrainer (314273) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612889)

I miss batch files too. I discovered AutoIt a few years back, though, and it's proven to be quite good at more than a few things. It's come a long way now, but even 5 years ago it was quite usable for just about everything I had wanted to batch up in Windows.

Check it out [autoitscript.com] .

Re:Bring back Word Perfect 5.0 (1)

Malor (3658) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612891)

Surprisingly enough, nothing is stopping you from using DOS, which STILL works fine on pretty much any PC you'd buy. Find a copy, install, and off you go.

Now, you're not going to be able to use very much memory, and the size of the hard drives you can format will be sharply limited, but it should still work fine. As should WP 5.0... although getting a printer driver for a current printer might take some work.

If you truly don't need all those extra features, there's NOTHING keeping you from doing things the old way.... at blinding speed, to boot. DOS programs mostly work great on 25Mhz 386s. With a 2.6Ghz Opteron, I don't think you'll be waiting long on WP's Print Preview function. :)

Re:Bring back Word Perfect 5.0 (1)

Scooter's_dad (833628) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612904)

And while you're at it, bring back DOS! I miss my batch files.

And XtreeGold; don't forget that. With DOS 5 (and NDOS for a nice popup cl history box), XTGold, WordPerfect 5.1, and Paradox 4.5 (hell, even 3.5), I'm all set.

Well then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13612788)

It'll be that much easier to introduce a non-MSO product in 2006, since the old "it's just like what we used to use" argument won't hold up anymore.

How much is relevant? (2, Interesting)

jkrise (535370) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612801)

Office 12 might contain a ton of features, but the crucial one is this:

An open, documented format - and I mean 100% open, not like the 65% shared source initiative from MS that means zilch to devleopers.

MS has to realise that the data in the document which I put in is much more valuable than the format in which it's stored. If I'm forced to use only MS tools to manipulate data in Office docs, it's not too exciting.

Recently, I searched for ways to update a VSS store from a remote location using a web interface. I learnt that the small 3rd party app needed to achieve this was ridiculously expensive, and crucially MS didn't have this component for it's own software. I'm now looking to change from VSS rather than getting a plug-in. More enterprise users would move away from Office if it sticks to proprietary patented stuff in the new version.

Re:How much is relevant? (1)

slashflood (697891) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612936)

VSS

?

Re:How much is relevant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13612989)

Microsoft Visual Source Safe.

Re:How much is relevant? (1)

slashflood (697891) | more than 9 years ago | (#13613113)

Thanks. A friend of mine told me, that they have huge problems with VSS in their company. Database corruptions and so on.

Did they actually fix the bugs? (3, Interesting)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612815)

Old versions of Office have entire books devoted to their bugs [primeconsulting.com] . When we moved from Office 98 to Office 2004, we noticed that most of the bugs were still in the program even though it was 3 versions later.

Is Office 12 just a UI rearrangement of the same defective code?

Hey dude, (2, Funny)

Run4yourlives (716310) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612895)

can you tell me where I can buy copies of Office 98 and 2004? I seem to have missed those ones.

Re:Hey dude, (3, Informative)

michaelyery (832967) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612977)

actually, office 98 and 2004 are for mac. 98 is about the same as office 97 for windows, and office 2004 is the equal to office 2003.

Re:Did they actually fix the bugs? (1)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612945)

Probably. They never like to re-write entire programs. This sounds like just a new interface with menu items burried in wizards.

So instead of people just sitting down and typing, it'll first ask you "where do you want to go today" and there will be only options.

"User Paradigm Shifts" ??? (1)

Young Master Ploppy (729877) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612845)

In other news, more than a year before the final peak and subsequent crash will hit the markets, an article on Slashdot is revealing radically retro buzzwords and use of tell-tale phrases such as "user paradigm shifts" that recall the overly ambitious marketing departments in the Dotcom Heyday of the past.

Re:"User Paradigm Shifts" ??? (1)

cswiii (11061) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612873)

No kidding.

I was wondering if someone had run that statement through Bullfighter [fightthebull.com] yet. I'm sure it would had some snide remarks about the paragraph.

Pre-beta? (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612869)

Beta software is for testing. That being the case, isn't "pre-beta" vaporware? What exactly are they testing???

Re:Pre-beta? (1)

1967mustangman (883255) | more than 9 years ago | (#13613042)

Didn't a pre-Beta used to be cfalled an Alpha release?

remember the argument for not cloning MS? (1)

xutopia (469129) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612897)

the next version of OpenOffice clones MS Office a great deal instead of making its own effort to make things easy and clear for people in new ways. Instead of innovating we'll end up copying.

Except someone to change OpenOffice.org's new suite to look like MS Office's new suite as what happened with GimpShop.

See it here.... (1)

kajoob (62237) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612933)

The new Office is amazing, check out a 40 minute video of it here [msdn.com] . The video is about 600mb, so I fully expect their servers to catch on fire once it gets slashdotted, but have at it.

Upgrade Cost (5, Funny)

saddino (183491) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612946)

What will it cost?
Microsoft hasn't yet specified.


Translation: prepared to be raked over the coals for failing to upgrade from Office 97 for all these years. You don't think those dinosaur ads pay for themselves do you?

Already? (1)

McLetter (915953) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612961)

Jeez! I just got Office 2003, and now this? A year before release? WHAT?! Office 12 is coming too soon.. for me anyways :( And what were they thinking?! R.I.P. Clippy.. :'(

Re:Already? (1)

Yaotzin (827566) | more than 9 years ago | (#13612998)

So how often do you want new versions to be released then? 5-6 years between each one?

Desktop Real Estate loss (2, Insightful)

Fox_1 (128616) | more than 9 years ago | (#13613022)

While the more visual and tabbed layout may reduce mouse clicks, it eats up more screen real estate than Office 2003 does. Visually, Office 12.0 will look dramatically different, though just marginally more attractive than its predecessor. Icons and charts appear less flat, but our jaws didn't drop at first sight.
I'm one of those guys with dual 19 inch moniters running at greater then 1280 by 720 resolution and I still don't have enough desktop area. It's a shame they are adding more onscreen buttons/tabs/menus to the interface, making the word processor more mouse dependant. They are also screwing with the shortcuts, messing up the Alt+ shortcuts. It is their software though, not mine, so they can do whatever they want, and I'll keep on with Open Office.

radical interface changes?! (2, Interesting)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 9 years ago | (#13613060)

Isn't Microsoft's argument against switching to alternative office suites the alleged re-training costs to get workers up to speed on the new interface.

Well, if Office 12 has "radical interface changes" it appears to me that if it's going to require re-training, businesses might as well switch to an alternative now and save a fortune.

Undo past save? (5, Interesting)

JPyObjC Dude (772176) | more than 9 years ago | (#13613109)

I personally will not install any Beta microsoft product so I cannot verify.

Does anybody know if they finally have undo past savepoints.

Because of my experience with MSO (been using since Excel 4.0) is that it is best to save the document ALL the time else the app will crash and you will loose hours of work. BUT when you save, you loose the undo history :[

MSO up to now has never had this feature (bad programmers BAD).

BTW - OOo has this feature in 2.0 :]

God I love open source

JsD
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