Word vs WordPerfect for Larger Academic Papers

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Nathan Parker | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Jul 2 2016 10:24 AM

When I was on my Mac, I primarily transitioned to Nisus Writer Pro for all of my Academic papers over Word for Mac since it did a better job handling Hebrew fonts, as well as had overall better performance and flexibility.

Now that I'm on a Windows workstation as my primary machine, I've been using Word for Windows this past week in school, and it handled my documents OK in terms of performance and formatting, but they were shorter documents than I usually prepare, plus I'll be preparing much longer/larger academic papers in the future (such as when I go for my PhD).

For those documents, should I stick with Word for Windows or look into WordPerfect? How does WordPerfect compare to Word in terms of ease of formatting, performance, etc., and how well does it handle RTL languages such as Hebrew? 

Thanks!

Nathan Parker

Visit my blog at http://focusingonthemarkministries.com

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DominicM | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 2 2016 10:48 AM

I have mutltiple documents over 600k words and over 225 pages in Word, I do backup - but haven't experienced any significant lag after opening - saving can take 45secs - so far have had no corruption in office365

Never Deprive Anyone of Hope.. It Might Be ALL They Have

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 2 2016 1:25 PM

Years ago I would use WordPerfect in DOS thinking it superior to Word, but I got the impression that it didn't keep up with developments.  I wasn't even sure that WordPerfect was still in production.  Use whichever seems best to you.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 2237
mab | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 2 2016 1:57 PM

WordPerfect was sold to Corel some time back. As far as I know, it's defunct. 

You might want to see how LibreOffice works for you. Or look at Nota Bene which is made for academic, multi-lingual work. 

I'm no fan of Word, but I'd test it through before ditching it. Nobody really cares what word processor you use if it is reliable. 

The mind of man is the mill of God, not to grind chaff, but wheat. Thomas Manton | Study hard, for the well is deep, and our brains are shallow. Richard Baxter

Posts 271
Don | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 2 2016 3:08 PM

I prefer WordPerfect mainly because of Alt/F3 to reveal the embedded codes. It has been a long time since I used Hebrew fonts, so I am not sure how the current version of WordPerfect handles them. I have X7. The current version is X8.

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 2 2016 3:29 PM

Do you submit print assignments? Is that still a thing? Stick out tongue

If so, use what you like. In many cases students are required to submit assignments in Word format. 

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Posts 321
Rene Atchley | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 2 2016 4:03 PM

I should have used WordPerfect for my doctoral project but didn't.  Almost didn't complete the document (and degree) on time because of formatting difficulties with Word.  My advise?  Stay with WordPerfect for completion of documents in a timely manner.

Posts 263
Greg Corbin | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 2 2016 4:08 PM

I did all of my doctoral work in Word and use it every day with no issues.

Posts 1751
Nathan Parker | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 2 2016 4:30 PM

Thanks everyone for the feedback. Here's why I was asking...

On the Mac, I had nothing but trouble with Word. Performance was laggy, Hebrew support was almost non-existent until recently, etc. So on the Mac, I definitely had to switch to Nisus Writer Pro for all of my assignments just to get through them all.

On Windows, so far (which I've only used Word for Windows for one week for school) Word has been running excellent. It's Hebrew support is working, performance seems fine, and I was able to quickly put together an assignment, format it, and get it to my professors without any hassle.

Then again, this was a really small assignment, so I haven't had a chance to "battle test" Word for Windows more.

My biggest concern is when I need to start working on more extensive papers, is Word still going to hold up, or will it crack under pressure?

I've never used WordPerfect, so I'm not sure of a direct comparison between the two. Basically I'm looking for: 1. Good performance for large papers, 2. Stability and reliability, 3. The ability to quickly and flexibly make formatting changes to my documents (Nisus Writer Pro was fantastic at this, Word for Windows so far has been OK but then again, I've only scratched the surface with this assignment), and 4. Solid Hebrew support when I need it. 

All of my assignments are electronic, and they'll take Word or PDF format, so the word processor I write on doesn't matter. I just want to know if those who have used Word vs WordPerfect vs other programs for academic use are still sticking with Word for everything or if it's worth the money to spend on WordPerfect of an alternative.

Thanks!

Nathan Parker

Visit my blog at http://focusingonthemarkministries.com

Posts 9946
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 2 2016 5:49 PM

Nathan Parker:
On the Mac, I had nothing but trouble with Word. Performance was laggy, Hebrew support was almost non-existent until recently, etc. So on the Mac, I definitely had to switch to Nisus Writer Pro for all of my assignments just to get through them all.

I'm tempted to ask whether the problem was with Word or with the MAC, but I'll refrain since I had some negative experience with Word and Hebrew; however, that was quite some time ago.  I had been a beta tester for the Office 2000 suite and continued to use Word 2000 for some time thereafter until I tried doing some work on Hebrew involving longer portions of the language.  I then found that the order of the letters did not remain stable, and I was becoming extremely frustrated.  It was only after I switched to Word 2003 that I had success with Word and Hebrew (This was a Windows machine).  Today I think Word for Windows should work fine.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 1631
Allen Browne | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 2 2016 6:28 PM

Word is fine for large documents (hundreds of thousands of words).

Make sure you use the built-in heading styles.

Use the Navigation Map.

Posts 1098
Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 2 2016 6:46 PM

mab:
You might want to see how LibreOffice works for you. Or look at Nota Bene which is made for academic, multi-lingual work. 

I use these two. I used Nota Bene for my post-grad theses, and while I don't like some of the directions its development has taken the past few years (they struggled a lot with getting out a 64-bit-compatible version for Windows), it's designed specifically for academic work. IME Greek & Hebrew paste perfectly from Logos, and you can go into its code view to have complete control over any formatting you bring over. Its user interface, however, looks about 15 years behind the rest of the world.

There is a free 30-day trial version. You'd want the Lingua Workstation version for the language work.

I use NB only for academic writing. I use LibreOffice for everything else because I refuse to pay for more than one word processor.

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 2 2016 7:42 PM

Nathan, I used to use WordPerfect and was a dedicated WP user. Once it was sold to Corel, they did almost nothing with it, except a few cosmetic enhancements (for which they charged, of course).

The biggest reason I switched to MS Word, is that WP doesn't work with unicode fonts. Back in the day, the WordPerfect corporation developed some innovations that made it cutting edge for foreign language work. But those innovations are incompatible with unicode. That means that typing in Hebrew or Greek requires a special language fonts for those languages. It also means you can't copy/paste from Logos (which uses unicode).

Word is very stable. However you may still wish to divide very large projects into multiple files simply for convenience. You can fairly easily reassemble them later into a single document. The caveat is that you need to use the same formatting template for all documents, otherwise copy/pasting them into a single document later (if required) could be problematic.

One final thing to think about is that some institutions require papers to be submitted in electronic format. If so, the industry standard is MS Word. While WP can export to MS Word, the results are less than stellar. Check with your institution for its requirements, as these have changed in the last few years, and are still changing in some places.

Libre Office can read/write both formats, though not perfectly either (IMHO). I don't find Libre Office to be very easy to work with. As a student, you should be able to get a pretty good discount on a Student/Home Edition for MS Office or for Office 365.

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

Posts 1751
Nathan Parker | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 2 2016 8:19 PM

George Somsel:

Nathan Parker:
On the Mac, I had nothing but trouble with Word. Performance was laggy, Hebrew support was almost non-existent until recently, etc. So on the Mac, I definitely had to switch to Nisus Writer Pro for all of my assignments just to get through them all.

I'm tempted to ask whether the problem was with Word or with the MAC, but I'll refrain since I had some negative experience with Word and Hebrew; however, that was quite some time ago.  I had been a beta tester for the Office 2000 suite and continued to use Word 2000 for some time thereafter until I tried doing some work on Hebrew involving longer portions of the language.  I then found that the order of the letters did not remain stable, and I was becoming extremely frustrated.  It was only after I switched to Word 2003 that I had success with Word and Hebrew (This was a Windows machine).  Today I think Word for Windows should work fine.

In terms of Hebrew, Word for Windows has supposed Hebrew well at least since 2003, but on the Mac, full RTL/Hebrew support was flat nonexistent until very very recently. It was a feature Microsoft really dragged their feet on.

In terms of my other performance issues with Word for Mac, it was probably my Mac partially at fault, plus El Capitan really caused grief for Office for Mac when I upgraded to it (I was told El Capitan would solve all my issues with Yosemite and be more stable...not quite). 

Hence why I gave up and used Nisus Writer Pro (I have a copy of Mellel as well but NWP seemed to export formatting cleaner than Mellel).

On Word for Windows, Hebrew has been very clean and "just works" without any grief.

Nathan Parker

Visit my blog at http://focusingonthemarkministries.com

Posts 1751
Nathan Parker | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 2 2016 8:21 PM

Sean:

mab:
You might want to see how LibreOffice works for you. Or look at Nota Bene which is made for academic, multi-lingual work. 

I use these two. I used Nota Bene for my post-grad theses, and while I don't like some of the directions its development has taken the past few years (they struggled a lot with getting out a 64-bit-compatible version for Windows), it's designed specifically for academic work. IME Greek & Hebrew paste perfectly from Logos, and you can go into its code view to have complete control over any formatting you bring over. Its user interface, however, looks about 15 years behind the rest of the world.

There is a free 30-day trial version. You'd want the Lingua Workstation version for the language work.

I use NB only for academic writing. I use LibreOffice for everything else because I refuse to pay for more than one word processor.

Thanks for the info. Do you feel that Nota Bene is worth the investment for academic work, or if I get into a solid workflow with Word for Windows, would I be better off with it. Do you feel that Nota Bene has anything solid to offer for academic work that Word doesn't have?

Nathan Parker

Visit my blog at http://focusingonthemarkministries.com

Posts 1751
Nathan Parker | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 2 2016 8:23 PM

Rich DeRuiter:

Nathan, I used to use WordPerfect and was a dedicated WP user. Once it was sold to Corel, they did almost nothing with it, except a few cosmetic enhancements (for which they charged, of course).

The biggest reason I switched to MS Word, is that WP doesn't work with unicode fonts. Back in the day, the WordPerfect corporation developed some innovations that made it cutting edge for foreign language work. But those innovations are incompatible with unicode. That means that typing in Hebrew or Greek requires a special language fonts for those languages. It also means you can't copy/paste from Logos (which uses unicode).

Word is very stable. However you may still wish to divide very large projects into multiple files simply for convenience. You can fairly easily reassemble them later into a single document. The caveat is that you need to use the same formatting template for all documents, otherwise copy/pasting them into a single document later (if required) could be problematic.

One final thing to think about is that some institutions require papers to be submitted in electronic format. If so, the industry standard is MS Word. While WP can export to MS Word, the results are less than stellar. Check with your institution for its requirements, as these have changed in the last few years, and are still changing in some places.

Libre Office can read/write both formats, though not perfectly either (IMHO). I don't find Libre Office to be very easy to work with. As a student, you should be able to get a pretty good discount on a Student/Home Edition for MS Office or for Office 365.

Thanks for the info. Since I pretty much exclusively work with Unicode when it comes to Biblical Language fonts, that alone is a deal breaker to even consider it. I definitely need full Unicode support in my word processor.

I do have access to Word for Windows through my school as part of Office 365, and it's working great for me so far, so I guess I just need to stick with it and keep running with it. :-)

Thanks again everyone for the info!

Nathan Parker

Visit my blog at http://focusingonthemarkministries.com

Posts 1098
Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 2 2016 9:00 PM

Nathan Parker:
Thanks for the info. Do you feel that Nota Bene is worth the investment for academic work, or if I get into a solid workflow with Word for Windows, would I be better off with it. Do you feel that Nota Bene has anything solid to offer for academic work that Word doesn't have?

I've not used a more recent version of MS Word than 2007 (?), so it's difficult for me to make a comparison. The biggest advantage of NB is its bibliography management; I don't know what all Word offers in that area. NB has a database that you enter all your works into once, then you make a citation from them with a click of a button. It comes with many preformatted style manuals (e.g., Turabian, Chicago), and dozens of ready-made citation formations. Again you can change them with a few clicks--go from Turabian to MLA, parenthetical notation to footnotes to endnotes, etc.--and the program handles all of it for you. It does have a few quirks but seems to handle these functions well enough. N.T. Wright uses it for all of his books.

Again, I don't know how well Word compares in those areas. Since I already have my NB database built up with hundreds of works, I'd be very reluctant to switch over to try it out. Someone without that investment may find it easier just to stick with Word.

Wikipedia has some a useful overview, though it hasn't been updated in a year and a half.

Posts 1751
Nathan Parker | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 2 2016 11:44 PM

Sean:

Nathan Parker:
Thanks for the info. Do you feel that Nota Bene is worth the investment for academic work, or if I get into a solid workflow with Word for Windows, would I be better off with it. Do you feel that Nota Bene has anything solid to offer for academic work that Word doesn't have?

I've not used a more recent version of MS Word than 2007 (?), so it's difficult for me to make a comparison. The biggest advantage of NB is its bibliography management; I don't know what all Word offers in that area. NB has a database that you enter all your works into once, then you make a citation from them with a click of a button. It comes with many preformatted style manuals (e.g., Turabian, Chicago), and dozens of ready-made citation formations. Again you can change them with a few clicks--go from Turabian to MLA, parenthetical notation to footnotes to endnotes, etc.--and the program handles all of it for you. It does have a few quirks but seems to handle these functions well enough. N.T. Wright uses it for all of his books.

Again, I don't know how well Word compares in those areas. Since I already have my NB database built up with hundreds of works, I'd be very reluctant to switch over to try it out. Someone without that investment may find it easier just to stick with Word.

Wikipedia has some a useful overview, though it hasn't been updated in a year and a half.

Sounds good. Usually for my bibliography I use Logos then export to my word processor, and for non-Logos stuff, my seminary is recommending I check into Zotero since it's cross-platform. I'll also check out the NB website and compare it to Word and see if I feel it'd be worth the money for my workflow. If I can do just about all of that on Word, then I'll stick with Word, but it doesn't hurt to compare for sure. Thanks for the info. My biggest thing I want out of a word processor is good performance, good reliability, good Biblical Language support, and flexible formatting so when I have to do big time work, it'll handle it. If Word can handle all of that, fantastic. If I need something else, I'm open to it. I've used enough different word processors now to get comfortable with just about anything. :-)

Nathan Parker

Visit my blog at http://focusingonthemarkministries.com

Posts 2692
DominicM | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 4 2016 1:32 PM

If you ever go bark to the Darkside (Mac) or even Linux, then Docx is a standard format, read by many applications, the notabene might not be

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Posts 9946
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jul 4 2016 1:33 PM

DominicM:
If you ever go bark to the Darkside (Mac)

I like that — well said. Big Smile

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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