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Office 2008 for Mac


Helen Brown
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We will be interested to see reports on Office 2008, especially as relates to right-to-left Unicode implementation, and the acceptance of pasted text from the Accordance widget.

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I'm pretty sure we already have confirmation that Word 2008 still does not have proper R2L Unicode Hebrew support. I never blogged this fully, sorry. I'll do so. Please see Chris Heard's comments at heardworld.com

and see the comments for double confirmation of this sad fact.

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I also got "word" from Rick Schaut (one of the lead programmers on MS Word) as far back as 2005 that the upcoming version of Word would not have RTL support.

 

At the time, Schaut wrote me to say

 

"At present, it doesn't look as though right-to-left text rendering will be in the next release of Mac Office. The reasons are somewhat complicated to explain, but they stem from differences between Windows and the Macintosh with respect to low-level APIs that provide context-based glyph substitution and the ability to get glyph-based (as opposed to character-based) measurements. At present, the only way we can do RTL in Mac Word would break the line-layout compatibility between Mac Word and Win Word."

 

This was the reason I started using Mellel for academic writing, although all things equal, I would have rather stayed with Word.

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We will be interested to see reports on Office 2008, especially as relates to right-to-left Unicode implementation, and the acceptance of pasted text from the Accordance widget.

 

I have been using a Beta version of 2008 for a couple of months now and I really like it. It really has the feel of Pages to me, but has more horse power.

 

As far as support for fonts and Hebrew especially, I have not found it to be any better than previous versions. I just did a wayyiqtol assignment in it and didn't have much luck in making things happen easy. It could perhaps be my ignorance, but as far as I could tell there still is not right to left support.

 

I would say though, that to those who are using 2004, it is a significant upgrade and does have plenty of new features and interface changes making it worth the upgrade, that is if you can legally use the student/teacher edition. I don't know that I would pay full price for it, but otherwise it is solid.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I haven't played around much with RTL on it (except to know that it has worked for me), but NeoOffice (neooffice.org) has always served my needs well. It's an aqua port of the OpenOffice suite, comes in both PPC and Intel blends, and does an excellent job at everything I've thrown at it.

 

Best yet, it's free--so you can download it, play around with it, and just trash it if you don't like it. If you do like it, you've just saved yourself a nice chunk of dough. OpenOffice has long been available for Windows and Linux, but the Mac version for the longest time required running X11 and didn't work that well. Since mid-last year, NeoOffice hit the critical maturity point, where it's reliable enough for "real" work, and supports all microsoft formats brilliantly, including the new Office 2007 formats.

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Sorry.. it does not work with Word 2008.

 

The Accordance font (Yehudit) seem fine but Unicode is still messed up.

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I have a user asking about support for Drag-and-Drop from Accordance into Word 08. Please can someone confirm whether or not this is working with Unicode export on and off.

 

Thanks

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I wasn't able to drag-and-drop text into Word with our without Unicode.

 

Thanks,

 

Jeremy

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'll be getting Office '08 later this year, so I'll let you know how everything works. It looks like a nice upgrade to Office.

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I wasn't able to drag-and-drop text into Word with our without Unicode.

 

Thanks,

 

Jeremy

 

 

 

I was able to use drag-and-drop in my 2008 Word. Not sure what settings were different for me.

 

Pastor Vinny

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I was able to use drag-and-drop in my 2008 Word. Not sure what settings were different for me.

 

Pastor Vinny

 

 

That is very very strange. Just so we are on the same page you are selecting text in Accordance and then dragging it on to the page in Word and the text is automatically copied and pasted into the Word document?

 

Thanks for clarifying,

 

Jeremy

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That is very very strange. Just so we are on the same page you are selecting text in Accordance and then dragging it on to the page in Word and the text is automatically copied and pasted into the Word document?

 

Thanks for clarifying,

 

Jeremy

 

Jeremy, I'm with you...I can't drag and drop either.

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We have already identified the problem: it occurs only on an Intel Mac. We have confirmed that other programs that are not "Universal binary" i.e. native to Intel also cannot drag and drop into Word 08. We have also confirmed that our upcoming Intel version does drag and drop into Word 08. So this is a problem specific to Word that it is not accepting the drag and drop from the Rosetta emulation. For Accordance this is a temporary situation until version 8 is released in a few months time.

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We have already identified the problem: it occurs only on an Intel Mac. We have confirmed that other programs that are not "Universal binary" i.e. native to Intel also cannot drag and drop into Word 08. We have also confirmed that our upcoming Intel version does drag and drop into Word 08. So this is a problem specific to Word that it is not accepting the drag and drop from the Rosetta emulation. For Accordance this is a temporary situation until version 8 is released in a few months time.

 

Okay, now you've got us salivating!

 

Pastor Ed Cross

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Just got my Office 2008 today! Wasn't planning on buying it but since I was in Little Rock & won't be heading back for a while I couldn't resist.

 

Everything works seamlessly between Accordance, the widget & Word 2008 (on my PowerBook). The only issue I've been having with the new Office is a Clip Art issue (Clip Gallery has been crashing after trying to import clip art I had under Office 2004). Other than that working quite well.

 

I love the new look of Office 2008! Very clean & fresh. Feels like a souped up iWork. iOffice probably? Feels as though I now have Word, Excel PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, & Project all smashed into Word, Excel, PowerPoint, & Entourage. Will I still use iWork? Definitely. But when I need to turn to Office for those Office only tasks, I can now use something almost as easy as iWork. Very nice upgrade. And all ready for Intel next year!

 

Nathan

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I just got a new MacBook Pro along with Office 2008. The widget works great for English, but Unicode is indeed a problem. I'm willing to wait for Version 8 to get it fixed though. It shouldn't be a big problem for most work.

 

I also noticed that Word saves a .txt document by default as a different type than what Accordance recognizes for the User Translation Mode base. When you attempt to load it into Accordance in the default style, it says that there is a blank line after your first entry (etc.). You have to always SAVE AS and then choose OTHER, specifying the Western/Roman font type. A little bit annoying, but after I figured it out I was able to continue my translation work without problems.

 

Is there a way around this problem to cause Word to save it in the Accordance accepted style by default or is there a way to adjust Accordance to accept the new style as well as the old?

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  • 1 month later...

I don't know if unicode support is involved, but even Google Docs now includes RTL support. http://www.google.com/google-d-s/whatsnew.html (1/3 of the way down).

 

Actually, I copied and pasted with the "export all characters in unicode..." box checked and all the words are there in the right order.

 

So, why can Google get it right for free and MS can't/won't get it right?

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So, why can Google get it right for free and MS can't/won't get it right?

 

Sadly, it's because Word for the Mac has never entirely been rewritten from scratch, and some of the code goes all the way back to 1985. The Office team at the MacBU is much smaller than the equivalent Windows team, and they've never taken it upon themselves to create Word from the ground up, which--according to Rick Schaut in an email he sent me two years ago about this subject--RTL would require for MacWord.

 

In fact, the MacWord code is so old (HOW OLD IS IT?!) that they recently discovered a small child trapped in it :-)

Edited by R. Mansfield
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Sadly, it's because Word for the Mac has never entirely been rewritten from scratch, and some of the code goes all the way back to 1985. The Office team at the MacBU is much smaller than the equivalent Windows team, and they've never taken it upon themselves to create Word from the ground up, which--according to Rick Schaut in an email he sent me two years ago about this subject--RTL would require for MacWord.

 

In fact, the MacWord code is so old (HOW OLD IS IT?!) that they recently discovered a small child trapped in it :-)

 

That's why I'm sticking with Pages and Mellel. Oh, and I'm so glad TextEdit can open .docx files because everyone around here is getting Vista and the new Office. If it weren't for TextEdit, I'd have people griping about my perfectly wonderful Macs.

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That's why I'm sticking with Pages and Mellel. Oh, and I'm so glad TextEdit can open .docx files because everyone around here is getting Vista and the new Office. If it weren't for TextEdit, I'd have people griping about my perfectly wonderful Macs.

 

Pages can also open the .docx files, and of course, it's now the default format for Word 2008.

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If you find that TextEdit isn't handling more complex docx files, or you need to open an xlsx file, you might give NeoOffice a try. It's free and includes import filters for all the new MSOffice formats.

 

Lorinda

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  • 2 months later...
That's why I'm sticking with Pages and Mellel. Oh, and I'm so glad TextEdit can open .docx files because everyone around here is getting Vista and the new Office. If it weren't for TextEdit, I'd have people griping about my perfectly wonderful Macs.

Hi: I am fairly new to Accordance, but Accordance 8 is simply beautiful. I have used Accordance 7 on my Intel Mac, along with Appleworks and Office Mac 2008. Maybe I am missing something, but I could always drop-drag hebrew, greek, or English into Appleworks, iWORKs, and Office. Had major problems with iWORKs so I removed it. Glad that iWORKS works for you. What is Mellel? Jonna from MIchigan

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Mellel is a word processor on the Mac, and is the word processor on Mac that best handles unicode script, particularly right-to-left scripts. It also has some good integration with Bookends or Sente for bibliographic management.

 

http://www.redlers.com/

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  • 2 months later...

I'm kind of a word processor junkie, and while Mellel certainly handles all of this very well, it lacks (imo) some of the graphical pop that you will find in some of the higher end word processors like Word '08 or Pages. FWIW, my go-to wp has been Pages for about a year now. I like it very much, although it is a hassle interacting with folks that use Word (which is, sadly, most of the known world).

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