Software

'Utterly unusable' MS Word dumped by SciFi author Charles Stross

LibreOffice on MacOSX is now Laundry Files man's preferred change-tracking tool

British SciFi author Charles Stross once had the protagonist of his Laundry Files series, sysadmin/demon-hunter Bob Howard, narrate his day by saying “I'm sitting in my office, shivering over a cooling cup of coffee and reading The Register when my door opens without warning ...”*.

Stross is welcome in these pages for that inclusion alone, but in the past we've also featured his declaration that Microsoft Word is ”a tyrant of the imagination” . And that was just for starters. He went on to call it “a petty, unimaginative, inconsistent dictator that is ill-suited to any creative writer's use.”

Stross yesterday returned to that theme in a series of Tweets that started with this one featuring his cat.

A Tweet later, this sentiment landed.

Not long afterwards came the decision to ditch Word in favour of LibreOffice.

And then, the explanation.

Stross is a long-time Linux user who only uses Word because the publishing industry expects he will. But he's not alone in loathing the necessity to do so: fellow UK science fiction writer Alastair Reynolds says the application "drives me to distraction."®

* See page 29 of The Fuller Memorandum, Kindle edition.

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