Microsoft Word 2008 – Initial Impressions

Office 2008.jpg

So I’ve been complaining about Microsoft Word 2004 for some time now. It is sort of a love tolerate/hate relationship that goes back years. I know some people love it but I’m more of a Scrivener and Pages kinda guy myself. This doesn’t change the fact that my law office runs on Microsoft Word and we have some fairly complex document formatting. Pages is great for general Word compatability but is not up to scratch for some of the more complex stuff I seem to bang into.

Using Scrivener and exporting text files for my office staff has generally worked out pretty good. A few months ago I had decided I probably wouldn’t bother with Office 2008. A few things changed that. First, on black Friday, Microsoft had a great deal that gave a $100 rebate on any copy of Office 2004 purchased that day along with a free upgrade to 2008. So I got in for a very reasonable price. Second, I was at David Pogue’s session at Macworld when he interviewed the chief Office 2008 Microsoft honcho. Imagine a room of about 1,000 Mac geeks and in walks a Microsoft executive. Talk about a hostile environment! The guy (I’ve been trying to find his name but can’t so I’ll just call him “the guy”) was actually very friendly and passionate about the Office 2008. I had to hand it to him for just showing up.

Anyway, I’ve now been using Word 2008 for three days and these initial impressions are just that … initial impressions.

1. Word 2008 Runs Faster.

Word 2004 was dog slow on my Intel Mac. It was slow to load and (if this makes any sense) text input. There was a delay between my typing the letter and it appearing.

2. Word 2008 is More Mac Friendly.

I don’t know how to put this but it feels more like a Mac application than Word 2004. The inspectors are cleaner and the general look is much improved.

3. Word 2008 is very Compatible with PC Word.

This has always been true but thankfully all of the complex formatting still works. It seems to be even better on some accounts which (I believe) is related to fonts but it is too early to say.

I’ll keep you posted as I dig a bit deeper.

———–Post Update ——-

“The Guy”, Craig Eisler, was kind enough to write in on the comments. Craig, along with the improved Word 2008, is really doing a good job of smashing up a lot of my bias against Microsoft.

30 Comments Microsoft Word 2008 – Initial Impressions

  1. craig@theeislers.com

    Hi David – I was “The guy” :-). I’m glad your first impressions of Word 2008 are good – the team worked really hard to make Word 2008 (and the entire suite) a really great Mac experience.

    Reply
  2. craig@theeislers.com

    Hi David – I was “The guy” :-). I’m glad your first impressions of Word 2008 are good – the team worked really hard to make Word 2008 (and the entire suite) a really great Mac experience.

    Reply
  3. craig@theeislers.com

    Hi David – I was “The guy” :-). I’m glad your first impressions of Word 2008 are good – the team worked really hard to make Word 2008 (and the entire suite) a really great Mac experience.

    Reply
  4. craig@theeislers.com

    Hi David – I was “The guy” :-). I’m glad your first impressions of Word 2008 are good – the team worked really hard to make Word 2008 (and the entire suite) a really great Mac experience.

    Reply
  5. craig@theeislers.com

    Hi David – I was “The guy” :-). I’m glad your first impressions of Word 2008 are good – the team worked really hard to make Word 2008 (and the entire suite) a really great Mac experience.

    Reply
  6. anthonyjross@mac.com

    I have been getting some preliminary wonky results trying to use the Compare Documents function in this version of Word to generate a marked version showing changes made to a document using Word 08 (and saved in compatibility mode) to a version originally saved in Word 04. Perhaps you will look at that feature set but in any event I will look forward to reading your further impressions.

    Reply
  7. anthonyjross@mac.com

    I have been getting some preliminary wonky results trying to use the Compare Documents function in this version of Word to generate a marked version showing changes made to a document using Word 08 (and saved in compatibility mode) to a version originally saved in Word 04. Perhaps you will look at that feature set but in any event I will look forward to reading your further impressions.

    Reply
  8. anthonyjross@mac.com

    I have been getting some preliminary wonky results trying to use the Compare Documents function in this version of Word to generate a marked version showing changes made to a document using Word 08 (and saved in compatibility mode) to a version originally saved in Word 04. Perhaps you will look at that feature set but in any event I will look forward to reading your further impressions.

    Reply
  9. anthonyjross@mac.com

    I have been getting some preliminary wonky results trying to use the Compare Documents function in this version of Word to generate a marked version showing changes made to a document using Word 08 (and saved in compatibility mode) to a version originally saved in Word 04. Perhaps you will look at that feature set but in any event I will look forward to reading your further impressions.

    Reply
  10. anthonyjross@mac.com

    I have been getting some preliminary wonky results trying to use the Compare Documents function in this version of Word to generate a marked version showing changes made to a document using Word 08 (and saved in compatibility mode) to a version originally saved in Word 04. Perhaps you will look at that feature set but in any event I will look forward to reading your further impressions.

    Reply
  11. jd@rhalljrlaw.com

    Microsoft Office 2008, slow, unresponsive while interface loads. Interface reloads whenever bringing app back to front. Very annoying behavior. Interrupts work flow by causing multi-minute pauses while I wait for MS Word or MS Excel to “unfreeze” and accept input.

    Reply
  12. jd@rhalljrlaw.com

    Microsoft Office 2008, slow, unresponsive while interface loads. Interface reloads whenever bringing app back to front. Very annoying behavior. Interrupts work flow by causing multi-minute pauses while I wait for MS Word or MS Excel to “unfreeze” and accept input.

    Reply
  13. jd@rhalljrlaw.com

    Microsoft Office 2008, slow, unresponsive while interface loads. Interface reloads whenever bringing app back to front. Very annoying behavior. Interrupts work flow by causing multi-minute pauses while I wait for MS Word or MS Excel to “unfreeze” and accept input.

    Reply
  14. jd@rhalljrlaw.com

    Microsoft Office 2008, slow, unresponsive while interface loads. Interface reloads whenever bringing app back to front. Very annoying behavior. Interrupts work flow by causing multi-minute pauses while I wait for MS Word or MS Excel to “unfreeze” and accept input.

    Reply
  15. jd@rhalljrlaw.com

    Microsoft Office 2008, slow, unresponsive while interface loads. Interface reloads whenever bringing app back to front. Very annoying behavior. Interrupts work flow by causing multi-minute pauses while I wait for MS Word or MS Excel to “unfreeze” and accept input.

    Reply
  16. hfriedberg@wesleyan.edu

    Word 2008 takes forever to load especially on my old PowerBook. I’ve unchecked WYSIWYG fonts and Project Gallery with no appreciable speed bump. Anyone had any luck making the sucker open faster?

    Reply
  17. hfriedberg@wesleyan.edu

    Word 2008 takes forever to load especially on my old PowerBook. I’ve unchecked WYSIWYG fonts and Project Gallery with no appreciable speed bump. Anyone had any luck making the sucker open faster?

    Reply
  18. hfriedberg@wesleyan.edu

    Word 2008 takes forever to load especially on my old PowerBook. I’ve unchecked WYSIWYG fonts and Project Gallery with no appreciable speed bump. Anyone had any luck making the sucker open faster?

    Reply
  19. hfriedberg@wesleyan.edu

    Word 2008 takes forever to load especially on my old PowerBook. I’ve unchecked WYSIWYG fonts and Project Gallery with no appreciable speed bump. Anyone had any luck making the sucker open faster?

    Reply
  20. hfriedberg@wesleyan.edu

    Word 2008 takes forever to load especially on my old PowerBook. I’ve unchecked WYSIWYG fonts and Project Gallery with no appreciable speed bump. Anyone had any luck making the sucker open faster?

    Reply
  21. whiteelephants@hotmail.com

    Word 2008 for Macintosh is absolutely TERRIBLE! I had it installed on my Mac G5 and it has been nothing but a burden since. There is up to a huge typing lag – causing me to have to wait up to several minutes for the type to catch up after every few sentences. Also, ALL functions are incredibly slow – from initial launch, which takes several minutes, to the simplest of cut/paste/move cursor functions in a simple text document. Also, the program crashes at least 3-4 times a day. This program causes major obstacles to my work flow and productivity, and I am necessarily reverting back to Word 2004 to remedy it. This program should have been better tested before it was released for market – as there is no way I am paying additional money to have a service technician come out and fix a problem that is with the software’s basic design. What a scam.

    Reply
  22. whiteelephants@hotmail.com

    Word 2008 for Macintosh is absolutely TERRIBLE! I had it installed on my Mac G5 and it has been nothing but a burden since. There is up to a huge typing lag – causing me to have to wait up to several minutes for the type to catch up after every few sentences. Also, ALL functions are incredibly slow – from initial launch, which takes several minutes, to the simplest of cut/paste/move cursor functions in a simple text document. Also, the program crashes at least 3-4 times a day. This program causes major obstacles to my work flow and productivity, and I am necessarily reverting back to Word 2004 to remedy it. This program should have been better tested before it was released for market – as there is no way I am paying additional money to have a service technician come out and fix a problem that is with the software’s basic design. What a scam.

    Reply
  23. whiteelephants@hotmail.com

    Word 2008 for Macintosh is absolutely TERRIBLE! I had it installed on my Mac G5 and it has been nothing but a burden since. There is up to a huge typing lag – causing me to have to wait up to several minutes for the type to catch up after every few sentences. Also, ALL functions are incredibly slow – from initial launch, which takes several minutes, to the simplest of cut/paste/move cursor functions in a simple text document. Also, the program crashes at least 3-4 times a day. This program causes major obstacles to my work flow and productivity, and I am necessarily reverting back to Word 2004 to remedy it. This program should have been better tested before it was released for market – as there is no way I am paying additional money to have a service technician come out and fix a problem that is with the software’s basic design. What a scam.

    Reply
  24. whiteelephants@hotmail.com

    Word 2008 for Macintosh is absolutely TERRIBLE! I had it installed on my Mac G5 and it has been nothing but a burden since. There is up to a huge typing lag – causing me to have to wait up to several minutes for the type to catch up after every few sentences. Also, ALL functions are incredibly slow – from initial launch, which takes several minutes, to the simplest of cut/paste/move cursor functions in a simple text document. Also, the program crashes at least 3-4 times a day. This program causes major obstacles to my work flow and productivity, and I am necessarily reverting back to Word 2004 to remedy it. This program should have been better tested before it was released for market – as there is no way I am paying additional money to have a service technician come out and fix a problem that is with the software’s basic design. What a scam.

    Reply
  25. whiteelephants@hotmail.com

    Word 2008 for Macintosh is absolutely TERRIBLE! I had it installed on my Mac G5 and it has been nothing but a burden since. There is up to a huge typing lag – causing me to have to wait up to several minutes for the type to catch up after every few sentences. Also, ALL functions are incredibly slow – from initial launch, which takes several minutes, to the simplest of cut/paste/move cursor functions in a simple text document. Also, the program crashes at least 3-4 times a day. This program causes major obstacles to my work flow and productivity, and I am necessarily reverting back to Word 2004 to remedy it. This program should have been better tested before it was released for market – as there is no way I am paying additional money to have a service technician come out and fix a problem that is with the software’s basic design. What a scam.

    Reply
  26. chico_che@mac.com

    Word 2004 is pretty crappy compared to Word 5.0.2, the last killer version of Word for the Mac. But Word 2008 takes the cake for all-time worst MS upgrade. As you all know, the ONLY reason to use Word at all is to ability to write powerful macros in VBA (Visual Basic for Applications). VBA, incredibly, was removed from Word 2008. MS expects us to rewrite thousands of lines of code in AppleScript? That’s an insult — to the ONLY Mac market that really needed Word. Idiots.

    Reply
  27. chico_che@mac.com

    Word 2004 is pretty crappy compared to Word 5.0.2, the last killer version of Word for the Mac. But Word 2008 takes the cake for all-time worst MS upgrade. As you all know, the ONLY reason to use Word at all is to ability to write powerful macros in VBA (Visual Basic for Applications). VBA, incredibly, was removed from Word 2008. MS expects us to rewrite thousands of lines of code in AppleScript? That’s an insult — to the ONLY Mac market that really needed Word. Idiots.

    Reply
  28. chico_che@mac.com

    Word 2004 is pretty crappy compared to Word 5.0.2, the last killer version of Word for the Mac. But Word 2008 takes the cake for all-time worst MS upgrade. As you all know, the ONLY reason to use Word at all is to ability to write powerful macros in VBA (Visual Basic for Applications). VBA, incredibly, was removed from Word 2008. MS expects us to rewrite thousands of lines of code in AppleScript? That’s an insult — to the ONLY Mac market that really needed Word. Idiots.

    Reply
  29. chico_che@mac.com

    Word 2004 is pretty crappy compared to Word 5.0.2, the last killer version of Word for the Mac. But Word 2008 takes the cake for all-time worst MS upgrade. As you all know, the ONLY reason to use Word at all is to ability to write powerful macros in VBA (Visual Basic for Applications). VBA, incredibly, was removed from Word 2008. MS expects us to rewrite thousands of lines of code in AppleScript? That’s an insult — to the ONLY Mac market that really needed Word. Idiots.

    Reply
  30. chico_che@mac.com

    Word 2004 is pretty crappy compared to Word 5.0.2, the last killer version of Word for the Mac. But Word 2008 takes the cake for all-time worst MS upgrade. As you all know, the ONLY reason to use Word at all is to ability to write powerful macros in VBA (Visual Basic for Applications). VBA, incredibly, was removed from Word 2008. MS expects us to rewrite thousands of lines of code in AppleScript? That’s an insult — to the ONLY Mac market that really needed Word. Idiots.

    Reply

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