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Re: [wpmac] WordPerfect 3.5e and Publishers Today

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  • 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 1 of 5 , Dec 7, 2008
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      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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