Why I Hate Microsoft Office (this week)


Everytime I’m forced to use Microsoft Office, I find something else I hate about it. Today I was editing the 50 page document I talked about a few days ago.

I stupidly assumed Microsoft Word 2003 documents were backwards compatible with Microsoft Word XP. While they are in theory, in practice the results can be a little bizarre.

First, a number of my copied & pasted in Visio 2003 documents didn’t appear when the document was opened in Office XP. Some did, some didn’t. No big deal, I just edited text on that computer, and moved to another computer with Office 2003 to update the diagrams.

Upon saving the document in Office XP, it nearly doubled in size from a healthy 2.5 MB to a whopping 4.8 MB just by adding about a paragraph of text. Fast Save and similar Microsoft Office “features” are off on all the computers I’ve worked with this document on, so I’m not sure how 1 Paragraph = 2.3 MB.

Word 2003 opened the document perfectly except my cursor liked to disappear. And to delete Visio diagrams I had to move my invisible cursor to after the diagram and hit backspace twice. Once wouldn’t do a thing, but twice would remove the diagram. For some reason there was no Remove or Delete option when right-clicking on the diagrams (and the Delete key did nothing).

But once I worked through the kinks, I updated some diagrams with no noticeable change in file save.

Moral of the story: Next time I just tell my co-workers to install OpenOffice if they want to edit my documents.