Writing Programs versus Microsoft Word


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Thread: Writing Programs versus Microsoft Word

  1. #1

    Writing Programs versus Microsoft Word

    Hi! So I have tried many ways and formats to get myself writing when my work seemed disorganized and unruly. I have done my writing on plain text documents and more commonly Microsoft Word documents, but I could never get all my work to feel manageable. I considered printing everything out so I could see it all, and then literally cutting and pasting the printouts together. Ugh what a mess!

    There was one point where I looked for writing programs. My favorite is Y5writer from Spacejock. It really helped me organize and reorganize my writing, especially when I had so many bits and pieces flying about all over my computer desktop. But while it is very intuitive and there is so much space and customization and space for typing notes next to every piece, it just was too much of a mess to translate into other formats and all those extra features of the program ended up clouding up the work and sometimes I would lose pieces because they were lost in a note sequence I left somewhere else.

    Well I went back to plain Microsoft Word documents and thanks to practicing publishing through e reader platforms I learned about using Microsoft's Navigation feature!
    Okay maybe I was blind to not see that there was this option for word documents.

    What the Navigation feature entails is its ability to create a sort of table of contents for your word documents.
    All that is really necessary is to hi-light certain titles in your work as "headings", which is a style choice for your text.

    You can even go back and paste fully updated "table of contents" paste-ins right into your document if you want.

    Then I can even click on the navigation pane and easily move about my word document. This is incredibly helpful when my documents get up over 20 pages.

    Thought I would share my experience with that. I'm still having trouble organizing huge masses of text. Do you have any methods to help tame large works?

  2. #2
    Navigate in Microsoft Word? Really? Is that in the 07 version only, or is it also in the 03 version? I've been using Microsoft for years, and never knew about the navigation feature. I will have to check this out. Thanks!
    Since everyone has their own style of producing documents.. how to organize them is also pretty individualized. I would absolutely agree that using another foreign software program effectively (like Y5writer), takes a whle different skillset-- and mindset. For me, it just adds another layer to deal with. I tend to rely more on the File Manager in Windows.. not very high tech, but it works for me.

  3. #3
    I'm a hardcore ywriter fan personally. I used to just have seperate files for each chapter and when I reached 40k words I was pulling my hair out. Thats when I found ywriter. I just ignore all the extra gumpf and stick to the main text box for each scene and add a little description so I know what each scene is supposed to be doing. all the other features I don't bother with at all.

  4. #4
    In MSWord 03, I think the navigation is just called a Table of Contents still. <insert> <reference> <index & tables> You can make it work on styles or outline levels, you can put the table in where ever you want although top seems logical. Updates from the quick menu. Linking to the section is an option. I use it for journalish stuff mostly, for long documents I find the outline view works better. I haven't authorized the full version of Word that comes with Windows 7 on my new computer, but from the free version, it looks like it will have a navigation for multiple files maybe. The free version of this doesn't support TOC but if you import a Word3 template with a TOC in it, it will update, so the functionality is there to use.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. Steven Wright

  5. #5
    Member Viktor's Avatar
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    I tried OpenOffice, but the only thing I liked about was the large choice of fonts. It slowed down a lot my PC, so I returned to Word's old school. The only my published novel was written on Works 4.5 or 5.5 - I don't remember exatly.

    Different Writing programs may cause different feelings and probably they affects some authors during writing. I overgrew (hoping to not offend anybody) the layout and I focus on the story. Anyway, the layout issue may help in case of 1) beginners 2) impossibility to continue the story 3) no ideas. I also tried it a lot of years ago (OpenOffice) Have a nice rainy day, use it for writing!
    Last edited by Viktor; April 15th, 2012 at 06:31 PM.

  6. #6
    I like Springpad for notes and such. I can record notes on my phone, but usually I just type stuff out. I also have the app for my Kindle Fire. And can access it on the PC, anywhere online.

    But writing, I either use Word in order to export as a PDF. Or I write directly into WordPress if I plan on blogging it.

  7. #7
    Microsoft Word. Simple, user-friendly, and packed with some brilliant features. I've written every novel I've ever wrote using it.
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  8. #8
    I use Open Office (PC edition) and I prefer it to word, but I'm on page 106 of a document now and it gets to be a pain in the ass. I've downloaded a copy of Scrivener, but haven't used it yet. Has anyone tried Scrivener?

  9. #9
    Member Viktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayburn View Post
    I like Springpad for notes and such. I can record notes on my phone, but usually I just type stuff out. I also have the app for my Kindle Fire. .
    It's interesting, I know about a lot of authors taking notes. I never did it, I store them all in my head

  10. #10
    Honoured/Sadly Missed The Backward OX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayburn View Post
    I like Springpad for notes and such. I can record notes on my phone, but usually I just type stuff out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Viktor View Post
    It's interesting, I know about a lot of authors taking notes. I never did it, I store them all in my head
    In a context such as a writing site, the word "notes" is ambiguous.

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