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WordPerfect 3.5e and Publishers Today

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  • gary.badcock
    I am an old WordPerfect hand, having written in the program (v. 4.2) on DOS, and then for some years in the 90s on the Mac (v. 3.5e). I just came across and
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 7, 2008
      I am an old WordPerfect hand, having written in the program
      (v. 4.2) on DOS, and then for some years in the 90s on the
      Mac (v. 3.5e). I just came across and joined this group. It's
      great to know that you exist!

      I have for some weeks been thinking of returning to renewed
      WordPerfect 3.5e use, and starting a new writing project with
      it, for reasons relating to a desire to "re-use and recycle" old
      computer hardware and software, the wordprocessing
      capabilities of which are still basically unsurpassed (who
      really needs graphics and Quartz for composing text?).
      WordPerfect fits the bill because it runs on really old hardware
      as well as newer equipment.

      However, I want to ask a basic question. How viable is
      WordPerfect 3.5e for writing a manuscript today, given that
      publishers need to be able to read and typeset what an
      author produces? Is conversion to RTF for these purposes
      sufficient?

      Basically, I am worried that WordPerfect's "codes" approach
      to formatting might cause problems later down the line, as
      it is rather alien (from what I understand) to today's standards.
      Very few programs, even on the Mac, can read native WP 3.5e
      format any more.

      Any advice appreciated, especially with regards to what
      conversion software does with the hidden codes. My publisher
      does not like hidden codes, objecting even to the use of
      EndNote and such!

      (By the way, contrary to the Home page for this group, WP3.5e
      runs happily on MacOS 7.0 or above, not 7.5 – unless, perchance,
      you want Applescript add-ons.)
    • johnhokanson1980
      ... I agree. I just bought a 350Mhz G3 iMac recently, and it s perfectly adequate for word processing in WP 3.5e. Maybe even a little overkill seeing as it was
      Message 2 of 5 , Dec 7, 2008
        --- In wordperfectmac@yahoogroups.com, "gary.badcock"
        <gary.badcock@...> wrote:
        >
        > I am an old WordPerfect hand, having written in the program
        > (v. 4.2) on DOS, and then for some years in the 90s on the
        > Mac (v. 3.5e). I just came across and joined this group. It's
        > great to know that you exist!
        >
        > I have for some weeks been thinking of returning to renewed
        > WordPerfect 3.5e use, and starting a new writing project with
        > it, for reasons relating to a desire to "re-use and recycle" old
        > computer hardware and software, the wordprocessing
        > capabilities of which are still basically unsurpassed (who
        > really needs graphics and Quartz for composing text?).
        > WordPerfect fits the bill because it runs on really old hardware
        > as well as newer equipment.
        >

        I agree. I just bought a 350Mhz G3 iMac recently, and it's perfectly
        adequate for word processing in WP 3.5e. Maybe even a little overkill
        seeing as it was originally programmed for the 68k Macs.

        > However, I want to ask a basic question. How viable is
        > WordPerfect 3.5e for writing a manuscript today, given that
        > publishers need to be able to read and typeset what an
        > author produces? Is conversion to RTF for these purposes
        > sufficient?
        >

        It depends a lot on how you're formatting your manuscript. WP 3.5e
        comes with a document titled "About Conversions" (or somesuch) that
        includes tables concerning how format styles convert between document
        types (or how they don't).

        Some people have also had problems getting .RTF conversions working.
        Thanks to Edward, we might have made progress towards identifying and
        nipping that in the bud (it now works for me). When all the patches
        and conversions are installed, you can save in Word 6.0 format, which
        is still loadable in the current revisions of Microsoft Office, and
        it might be the best format for portability (WP for PC format is
        kinda so-so).

        Also, as you noted, you won't want to save in the WP Mac (4.x)
        format, since it's an esoteric format that no modern word process
        seems to recognize.

        - John
      • Geoff Gilbert
        As a professor of law who has to write monographs, it is still the best programme as far as I am concerned. I work with OUP a lot who want everything in Word,
        Message 3 of 5 , Dec 7, 2008
          As a professor of law who has to write
          monographs, it is still the best programme as far
          as I am concerned. I work with OUP a lot who want
          everything in Word, so I save as Word 6.
          Cross-referenced footnotes do not bring cross the
          generated footnote number, but I can save as
          WPWin 6-8, I run Parallels on my MBP, open the
          fie in WPWin and save as Word from there and the
          footnote references are saved.

          I may be a victim of the adage that you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

          Geoff

          >I am an old WordPerfect hand, having written in the program
          >(v. 4.2) on DOS, and then for some years in the 90s on the
          >Mac (v. 3.5e). I just came across and joined this group. It's
          >great to know that you exist!
          >
          >I have for some weeks been thinking of returning to renewed
          >WordPerfect 3.5e use, and starting a new writing project with
          >it, for reasons relating to a desire to "re-use and recycle" old
          >computer hardware and software, the wordprocessing
          >capabilities of which are still basically unsurpassed (who
          >really needs graphics and Quartz for composing text?).
          >WordPerfect fits the bill because it runs on really old hardware
          >as well as newer equipment.
          >
          >However, I want to ask a basic question. How viable is
          >WordPerfect 3.5e for writing a manuscript today, given that
          >publishers need to be able to read and typeset what an
          >author produces? Is conversion to RTF for these purposes
          >sufficient?
          >
          >Basically, I am worried that WordPerfect's "codes" approach
          >to formatting might cause problems later down the line, as
          >it is rather alien (from what I understand) to today's standards.
          >Very few programs, even on the Mac, can read native WP 3.5e
          >format any more.
          >
          >Any advice appreciated, especially with regards to what
          >conversion software does with the hidden codes. My publisher
          >does not like hidden codes, objecting even to the use of
          >EndNote and such!
          >
          >(By the way, contrary to the Home page for this group, WP3.5e
          >runs happily on MacOS 7.0 or above, not 7.5 – unless, perchance,
          >you want Applescript add-ons.)
          >
          >
          >------------------------------------
          >
          >Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
        • Rick Albright
          I believe I can answer part of your question, because I am currently in the process of reviewing first proofs of a book manuscript from an academic press. I
          Message 4 of 5 , Dec 7, 2008
            I believe I can answer part of your question, because I am currently
            in the process of reviewing first proofs of a book manuscript from an
            academic press. I did the entire book in WordPerfect. 3.5e, and my
            publisher was apparently able to convert it without any problems. The
            publisher had specified that they preferred electronic copies of
            manuscripts in Word or WordPerfect. I let them know that it was
            coming in WPMac, and no one seemed to have any problem, because the
            editor's response was simply, "WordPerfect is fine."

            I wondered if I'd get any calls or emails, and did not; the first
            proofs arrived a few weeks ago, and look just fine. (First proofs
            come from the typesetting software.) Nor should this be surprising.
            After all, this is publishing, which was long dominated by Mac
            hardware and software, so I figured they would have access to
            necessary software. You usually have to complete an information form
            that specifies the software used, the version, and the operating
            system. I made it clear that, at least in my case, it was WordPerfect
            Mac 3.5e, and that it ran under "Classic" (MacOS 9.2.2) under Mac OS
            10.4.11. That's pretty much the way that I filled out the form, and
            no one ever asked any questions.

            I'm only speculating here about RTF, but it may be that publishers
            would prefer that the MS be in a format that has more robust
            formatting features than RTF. Another wrinkle is that usually
            publishers are pretty specific (mine was) that the hardcopy you give
            them has to match *exactly* the electronic file, because the editors
            and printers will often compare the two. (The Chicago Manual of
            Style, which is the "bible" for most book publishers, emphasizes this
            point very strongly.) Mine indicated that they did not want a
            converted file, but one that matched the hardcopy exactly.

            On Dec 7, 2008, at 6:07 PM, gary.badcock wrote:
            > However, I want to ask a basic question. How viable is
            > WordPerfect 3.5e for writing a manuscript today, given that
            > publishers need to be able to read and typeset what an
            > author produces? Is conversion to RTF for these purposes
            > sufficient?
            >
            >

            =========================================================
            “No dark sarcasm in the classroom”
            --Roger Waters, “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2”
            from Pink Floyd, The Wall
            -------------------------------------------
            Rick Albright
            logres@...
          • Geoffrey S. Mendelson
            ... It seems to run reasonably well on anything running System 7.5 on up, which is any Mac with at least 4m RAM and a hard disk. ... Where WP falls down in
            Message 5 of 5 , Dec 7, 2008
              On Sun, Dec 07, 2008 at 11:07:05PM -0000, gary.badcock wrote:

              >I have for some weeks been thinking of returning to renewed
              >WordPerfect 3.5e use, and starting a new writing project with
              >it, for reasons relating to a desire to "re-use and recycle" old
              >computer hardware and software, the wordprocessing
              >capabilities of which are still basically unsurpassed (who
              >really needs graphics and Quartz for composing text?).
              >WordPerfect fits the bill because it runs on really old hardware
              >as well as newer equipment.

              It seems to run reasonably well on anything running System 7.5 on up,
              which is any Mac with at least 4m RAM and a hard disk.

              >However, I want to ask a basic question. How viable is
              >WordPerfect 3.5e for writing a manuscript today, given that
              >publishers need to be able to read and typeset what an
              >author produces? Is conversion to RTF for these purposes
              >sufficient?

              Where WP falls down in writting books is that it lacks the "large document"
              features that real publishing software includes. Most word processors,
              include OpenOffice and the current Microsoft Word do too, so it's not
              much of a loss.

              However if you are writing a book that is mostly text from one source,
              without needing to combine various sub documents, illustrations of varying
              kinds and sources, etc, you can produce a decent looking book, pamphlet,
              etc.

              As for typeseting, you can always produce a postscript document, which will
              do ok for small volume typesetting and may do be fine for larger documents
              if the published does not need to add to them.

              If you have Acrobat (the publisher version) installed on the computer you
              can produce PDF files, which are the standard for on-line distribution,
              and if you don't they can be easily converted from postscript files.

              >Basically, I am worried that WordPerfect's "codes" approach
              >to formatting might cause problems later down the line, as
              >it is rather alien (from what I understand) to today's standards.
              >Very few programs, even on the Mac, can read native WP 3.5e
              >format any more.

              It's a reasonable concern and to be quite blunt, if you want compatibility
              with modern computers, in a form that can be read 20 years from now, you
              probably should stick to Microsoft Office. I'm not saying that 20 years
              from now you won't be able to find someone who can convert the files
              to something usable, but it won't be a computer you buy at the supermarket.

              >Any advice appreciated, especially with regards to what
              >conversion software does with the hidden codes. My publisher
              >does not like hidden codes, objecting even to the use of
              >EndNote and such!

              I suggest in that case you use alternate methods of publishing if you want
              to use WP. There still is lots of room in the world for postscript and PDF
              files, and working old computers for people who need them but don't have
              them.

              Despite what people said about the "paperless office" when small computers
              first came out, people still need and want hard copy books. Many people
              I know (including myself) print out PDF files for off-line reading.

              Geoff.

              --
              Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Jerusalem, Israel gsm@... N3OWJ/4X1GM
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