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Word for Larger Academic papers


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#1 Michel Gilbert

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 05:18 PM

Hi,

 

FWIW, this is the Mac equivalent of Natan's Windows Wisdom post, "Word vs WordPerfect for Larger Academic Papers" at https://www.accordan...cademic-papers/

 

Some may know I recently switched to Mac and I've been working through word processing issues, in preparation for typing very large files, in the thousands and thousands of pages. I've tried everything except Nissus. Not that I have anything against it, I just can't afford the time and money for everything. I'm surprised to report that I find Word for Mac 2016 to be the most stable and efficient processor for these long documents, presently approaching 2500 pages.

 

I know about the Hebrew problems with previous Word for Mac versions. So I have to say I picked the most opportune time to switch - the new version of Word in Mac works as well as the ones I used in Windows, which solved Hebrew and rtl problems in 2003.

 

At first I was annoyed by Word 2016 because it didn't recognize the Ezra SIL kbd as a Hebrew or rtl one. I solved that with Ukelele - I imported the Hebrew QWERTY kbd and modified it to the SIL one. Now it works perfectly, and even acts like Mellel Hebrew with rt justification - the cursor goes rtl in Word in Hebrew keyboards, wraps correctly, and the Mac keyboard shortcut to return to the previous keyboard works in Word. You can also easily switch fonts with one click macros in Word. Cut and paste of Unicode or any font works perfectly. And the huge files, if you convert or save them as .docx, load quickly and edit like small files do.

 

I have to say I experienced typing lag in version 15.29, so I loaded 15.31 today via the Insider Program, and that is fixed.

 

I know that on another post Dr. Holmstedt said he preferred Libre Office, but I've experienced a few glitches with it, including toolbar items disappearing after switching between Hebrew and English fonts, and alignment issues - having to pick the opposite to get what you want, picking left for right alignment and vice versa. This is ok if you stay in LO, but not ok if you convert to a Word or rtf document. I also know others prefer Mellel or Nissus. I have Mellel, but I find it more cumbersome to use than Word, because Word is already familiar to me.

 

Everything cuts and pastes into Word perfectly, with the exception of Acc, but there are two workarounds - Paste Special . . . as RTF, or copying and pasting from Acc Notes. And, I'm sure these workarounds won't be needed for long.

 

When it comes to citations, I've always done what Dr. Holmstedt switched to, I just copy and paste from a long running file - I just write these once and cut and paste. To me it's just as fast as learning another program. Besides, I find Scrivener just as useful for filing pdfs and citations, and I am moving towards Scrivener for future citation needs.

 

Anyways, its fwiw, but I'm surprised at how well Word works. So Word might be worth another look now that Hebrew works well in it.

 

Regards,

 

Michel


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#2 R. Mansfield

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 05:36 PM

I've used every version of Word on the Mac since Word 6, which was released in 1994 (and every version of Word for Windows since v. 2 in 1991). Word has not always been my primary word processor on either platform but I've always had a current copy. On the Mac, I used Mellel for a while because of the Hebrew issue. I also used Pages for a while as my primary, too, thinking that since it was from Apple, it would work best on their OS. Not so much, they tend to neglect apps for a very long time until they finally update them or abandon them.

 

The greatest consideration for me in a word processor is the necessity to open my files years from now. I have documents from the late '80s that I still need to open now and then (I've converted all of them at this point). The reason I continue to use Word is that it's such a standard, I have no doubt I will be able to open my Word files from that futuristic SSD in my brain when I'm in the nursing home one day. 

 

And going back to my first sentence above, I can say without hesitation that Word 2016 is the best and most stable version I've ever used on the Mac, and I no longer have trouble with Hebrew from Accordance (in previous versions I simply pasted Hebrew phrases in the Yehudit font in reverse order and that mostly worked). That doesn't mean there aren't problems. The last few builds have been problematic for me, but I've been able to find workarounds. And MS is releasing updates now so quickly, it won't be like the old days when bugs might stay around for a very long time. I still do some writing in Evernote, but anything for permanence or distribution goes into Word. 

 

Regarding citation managers, I've tried a number of solutions there, too. Word has its own built-in citation manager. I used it for a while, but it could often be very inflexible with non-standard entries. I haven't used the current version to know how well it works, though. I tried Endnote for a while, which is the standard program for such things, but their development was too slow for me. I didn't like having to stick with an older version of Word while waiting for them to update Endnote. Again, it's been a while, so they may be more responsive. I've used Bookends for a few years from Sonny Software. It's a small operation, but I like that I can get responses directly from the developer very quickly when I need help. And the program continues to improve and it's quite sophisticated now.


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#3 Robert Holmstedt

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 06:07 PM

Yes, Word is finally catching up. I'm not sure everything is fixed. I seem to remember one problem that kept me from switching back entirely -- perhaps it had to do with the accents/te'amim. But it's definitely progress!
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#4 Michel Gilbert

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 06:21 PM

Hi Robert,

 

Was is it a kerning issue?

 

Regards,

 

Michel


Edited by Michel Gilbert, 18 January 2017 - 06:26 PM.


#5 Michel Gilbert

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 06:33 PM

Hi Nathan,

 

In case you read the first post, I'm sorry for misspelling your name.

I know how to spell Nathan, and I'm sure I pressed the "h" but apparently not hard enough.

I noticed it too late to edit.

 

Regards,

 

Michel



#6 Timothy Jenney

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 06:48 PM

I use Word almost exclusively and have done so for many years. Versions 1-3 were a real pain on the Mac, but at least we finally had something. I have few problems with the most recent versions. The driving force behind my decisions were two: 1) Most publishers and universities require it and 2) it (and the rest of Office) is something of a "can opener, able to open just about anything.


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#7 Michel Gilbert

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 07:06 PM

Hi Timothy,

 

I've always used Word too, and my case is similar to Rick's, except I used it on DOS and Windows, even on Linux in Wine, until a month ago when I switched. I've used other word processors for various reasons, starting with Multi Lingual Scholar if anyone remembers, but once MS almost solved the rtl issue in Office XP (everything worked except the holem in Times New Roman, but worked in Ezra SIL, part of the reason why so many of us used/switched to Ezra SIL), I've always used it the most, for much of the time exclusively.

 

With all the (even horror) stories about Hebrew on Word for Mac, I thought I had to find an alternative. So I'm surprised that Word 2016 is so good, and feel a bit blessed that I switched to Mac at this time. And I'm surprised a few of you have already spoken in favor of it. But also not that surprised that the ones who've spoken up so far have been or are University/College teachers/Professors, etc.

 

Thanks for the support.

 

Regards,

 

Michel


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#8 Robert Holmstedt

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 07:08 PM

Yes, Michel, I believe it was a kerning issue when I used Hebrew with the accents. And a number of versions of LibreOffice were just as bad, though the recent few versions fixed it. 

 

Robert


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#9 Michel Gilbert

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 07:21 PM

You'll have to tell us what you think about Word now. This is from Acc: I just glanced at it and I only see one glaring problem in verse 5. In a few other places the kerning could be slightly better.

 

Attached File  Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 6.17.58 PM.png   131.21KB   1 downloads



#10 Michel Gilbert

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 08:14 PM

It seems the glaring problem is a kerning issue in the Ezra SIL font.

Other Unicode fonts do better for קָ֣ , e.g., this TNR font, or the Acc font.



#11 Robert Holmstedt

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 08:34 AM

I just noticed an update to Word today (it may be a bit old, I don't update as much as I should). Perhaps they've fixed it.


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#12 Timothy Jenney

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 09:41 AM

Robert's post reminded me to encourage those of you who want to be sure you have Word's "latest and greatest" updates to subscribe to Office 365. At $10/month for 5 machines (plus mobile devices), it's about the same price I was paying to upgrade to the newest version of Office (for Mac) every couple of years. They regularly push improvements to 365 subscribers first (there's even a beta testers option), which means one doesn't have to wait until the next version to get additional features.


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#13 R. Mansfield

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 09:52 AM

And to add to Tim's statement above, Office 365 is often FREE to students and faculty at many institutions. Check with your school to find out.

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#14 Robert Holmstedt

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 10:24 AM

To follow-up, it seems that the kerning is fixed when I use Accordance's font, but SBL's font still has some issues. Progress.


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#15 Fabian

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 10:56 AM

To follow-up, it seems that the kerning is fixed when I use Accordance's font, but SBL's font still has some issues. Progress.

Yes it can be the font.

 

With cmd-V I have the problem (Font Helvetica Neue)

 

With shift-alt-cmd-V the problem is inexistent (Font Calibri or Arial in Word). Source Font in Accordance (Helvetica Neue)

 

Conclusion: If I paste it in the same font in which it is displayed in Accordance then I have the problem. If I paste it in to another Font, then not. I don't know if the bug is on the Accordance side or by Word.


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ATTENTION: My bug reports are all with the GERMAN INTERFACE and with the EUROPEAN NOTATION! It can be the English interface has no bugs, I describe.

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Bring more international Bibles to the store,
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in nearer future.

#16 R. Mansfield

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 11:37 AM

I might also add that Word for iOS is the best full-featured mobile word processor I've used (and I have tried most of them). I used Pages from the time the iPad was released in 2010 until MS released Word for the iPad a year or two ago. Although Pages is still quite capable, Word on the iPad is not only just as capable, if not more, but I also don't have to remember to translate the document to another format if I'm sending it to someone else. Cut and paste from Accordance in splitscreen view works quite well, too. 

 

Attached File  Split View-ds.png   885.09KB   0 downloads


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#17 Michel Gilbert

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 09:27 AM

Hi,

 

For those who use/need it, SBL Hebrew works much better now in Word Version 16.6.

 

Attached File  SBL Hebrew in Word.png   305.56KB   1 downloads

 

Regards,

 

Michel

 

Edit: renamed attachment


Edited by Michel Gilbert, 08 October 2017 - 09:34 AM.


#18 Nathan Parker

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 07:24 PM

I switched back to a Mac recently, so I thought I'd chime in here.

 

First of all, no worries on my name misspelling. You just typed the Hebrew version, that's all. :-)

 

I actually don't use Word at all after moving back to Mac. I was burned out on Word last time I was on a Mac (Office 365 licensing was flakey) and I was burned with Word again on Windows.

 

I brought Nota Bene from Windows over to Mac and run it in the bottled (WINE) version, and I still use that for my academic papers. I'm way too ingrained into NB's ecosystem now to ever use anything else for academic writing. There's a couple minor kinks with NB on Mac, but hopefully these will be resolved in NB12. Overall, it's still my favorite word processor for academic use.

 

I also have Pages, Nisus Writer Pro, and Mellel installed on my Mac. Pages I use more for page layout documents (letters, flyers, etc), and it also syncs well with my iPad Pro. Nisus Writer Pro is my Word replacement. It handles everything I'd need Word to do sans the bloat of MS Office (I use Keynote for presentations and Numbers for spreadsheets). I have used Nisus Writer Pro for academic papers, and it is one solid word processor. Mellel is more of a standby word processor for me now. I have used it in the past for academic documents (performance is excellent), as well as for Hebrew assignments (although Nota Bene handles Hebrew beautifully as well). I keep it around mainly because it syncs with my iPad, and I have Mellel on my iPad Pro. If I need a more powerful word processor on my iPad Pro than Pages, I can switch over to Mellel and know the files will sync back to my Mac over iCloud, then I can bring them into another tool like Nota Bene later.

 

Another tool I'm adding to my workflow is Scrivener. I finally looked into the advantages of Scrivener, and I'm sold. I'll run Scrivener on my Mac and iPad Pro and use it for planning/outlining my papers and likely for rough drafts, then once I'm ready to add formatting, citations, and polish, I'll bring them into Nota Bene afterwards.  The fact that I can sync files with my iPad Pro and collect research on the go then pull the research from Scrivener into Nota Bene is a nice plus.


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#19 David Purton

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 04:26 AM

No one for LaTeX? You won't get better for features, flexibility, and quality of output.



#20 Solly

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 06:14 AM

I have been working with LyX, but I have been noting issues with copy from texts but not as much from tools in Accordance. I hadn't thought about giving  LaTeX a try.  ;)

 

Ready to try a little experiment,

Joseph


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