Following the Ag Sci computer lab debacle this afternoon (don’t even ask), I went to the library to do some statistics homework on the computer (I needed SAS). In the end, I ended up using Microsoft Word quite a bit, too. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem; however, the computers here in the library updated over Christmas break to the new Microsoft Office 2007, as you all probably know. Normally I stay clear of this new abomination unto mankind as much as I can, but today it was unavoidable. So two hours later when my struggle with the new Microsoft Word 2007 was over, I decided to blog about my experience with it. So here it is.
This is the most counter-intuitive program I’ve ever seen. You know how everyone else always used to complain that Microsoft Word was too difficult to navigate, and that tables were too difficult to construct, and the numbering system was too stubborn to even try to manipulate? Well, if they’d spent any time actually trying to figure things out, they would have realized that the old versions of Microsoft Word were very easily manipulated. I, for one, can manipulate my version of Microsoft Word on my laptop (Microsoft 2003, I refuse to upgrade) to do anything I wish. Tables, numberings, etc.
Now, can you do these things the same way you used to, using the new Microsoft Word 2007?
No. You have to learn a whole new way of manipulating things.
The absolute worst thing about the new Microsoft Office 2007 is the default settings. The old ones worked perfectly fine: Times New Roman font, set at size 12, with single-spacing. Classic, simple. So what do they implement in the new version? An entirely new user interface. The new font is called “Calibri,” and it looks like this:
Calibri sounds an awful lot like Cabrini to me—Cabrini as in Cabrini Greens, probably one of the worst housing project failures in the history of Chicago. So already, even before, I began typing in it, Calibri brought to mind a disaster. And that’s essentially what it is.
I’m not saying the font as a font is bad, I’m saying the font as a default font is bad. Microsoft, I’m pretty sure you’re aware of the fact that your products (such as, oh I don’t know, MICROSOFT WORD) are used quite often in academia. I don’t know what you know about academia, Bill Gates, so I’m assuming you know a lot—after all, you’re freaking Bill Gates—but here’s something your new product does not demonstrate you know: professors really, really like Times New Roman. They really, really like it to be 12-point size. And they really, really like double-spacing.
So what does Microsoft give us as a default font to replace their previous default font that had been working perfectly fine for years and years?
CALIBRI. In SIZE 11. With MULTIPLE LINE SPACING. I can see the letters just pouring into Microsoft’s mailroom:
I must admit, however, that there are some pretty cool new features to this ’07 version of Microsoft Word. I can’t remember what they are now, though, ’cause the positive has been overshadowed by the freaking horrible default settings.
I don’t care what you say about making it more “user fluent” or whatever term you’re using. This is a disaster, Microsoft. Fix it.