Thursday, January 27, 2011

Microsoft Office 2010

I'm a p.c. so whatever the software is that Mac Users out there rely upon is in that unknown territory that I label "incognito".  As such, I want to report that I absolutely love MS Office 2010 and I'm happy that I upgraded.  Features that I reliably use in my writing.  Well for starters, it has a really nice Thesaurus feature built into it.  I know that professional writers like Stephen King say that you should write your whole manuscript out without ever consulting a Thesaurus.  However, all I have to say to that is that it obviously works for him but what may be good for the goose is not always good for the gander.

Other features...well OneNote is amazing.  I can keep all of my notes in this particular program and no matter what computer I use, as long as I have access to my email and a copy of MS Office 2010, then I have access to all of my scribbles.  With a click, I can save a huge web page of information.  This has been an invaluable tool in penning my second novel (the sequel to Slipstream) in which my protagonist goes to play ice hockey for the Cornell Big Red.  I wanted to make the experience and the details as real as possible about this famous Ivy League school.  So my research required a lot of articles, interviews, testimonials, and newspaper clippings about either Cornell or the games that the Big Red played. 

Additionally, I got really lucky and met Louis Harris online.  He's a super-talented, super-smart Editor that lives in South Africa.  At first, I didn't trust him completely and to assuage my trust issues, MS Office 2010 has security features that allow you to lock and safeguard your document (including placing a signature on every page).  This is a really awesome thing and mimics in many ways the security features available in Adobe Acrobat Professional but for way cheaper.

I know that there are people out there that disparrage Windows and/or Microsoft.  One of them happens to go by the name Admiral Potato.  I met this guy at my friend Meg's home for a night of board games and good food.  I have to admit, I was a little taken aback by the guy insisting to be called Admiral Potato, especially when I knew that this wasn't his name.  But he turned out to be pretty cool.  However, he was one of those that really hates Microsoft products. 

All I have to say to that is that Microsoft Products for me, seem to do exactly what I want them to do.  The Windows 7 operating system runs smoothly, it has backup and restore capability to my external hard drive, and all of the programs I run work well on it.  Additionally, I work with a lot of handicapped people, and MS Word really does well by Dragon Naturally Speaking.  Also, for people that can't afford DNS, Windows comes with its own voice-recognition software.  Truth be told, the company has inserted a lot into its operating system to help those with disabilities.

Anyway, if you're a writer like me, and don't know what to pick to help you get your words onto the page, I'd go with MS Office 2010.

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