PROS and Cons of Using Microsoft Word
November, 21 2012
Pros and Cons of Using Microsoft Word
Word processing is one of the most widely used elements within the information technology family. Today instead of learning to type, which was what people did a few years ago, students are taught word processing and keyboarding. More mature users who have been in the workforce for some years have had to learn word processing as they go. In today’s society, whether in private life or professional, it is safe to say that people of all ages have encountered a word processing program at one time or another. Without a doubt word processing software has greatly improved efficiency in the office, allowed for users to more easily keep copies of documents that they prepare and has forced most of us to become just a little more tech savvy than we would have been using just a typewriter.
Among the word processing titles available in the market today, Microsoft Word is the number one choice. With its user friendly design and wide range of features, Microsoft Word is an essential tool for most computer users. Another benefit that Microsoft Word enjoys is its long life in the market place. Word has been the choice for many businesses for well over a decade, virtually ensuring that most people who use a word processing software package in their workplace have used Word, and are familiar with it at some level.
As with all products there are benefits that are easy to enjoy, and there are also some elements which challenge most users. In most cases the significant challenges in using Microsoft Word are found in the features which are not regularly used. It is the lack of familiarity due to limited practice which creates these challenges. This paper will now review some of these challenges, along with some of the benefits.
For the basic user, Microsoft Word is unquestionably a powerful word processing package. The basic formatting options are just a click away, the names and functions of these options are intuitive and easy to understand. Quick corrections, or even moving blocks of text around the document is extremely easy. Spelling and grammatical mistakes are pointed out immediately, bullets and numbers can be done automatically, aligning text takes just one click, images and figures can be attached and laid out easily, copying documents is fast and easy, there is a thesaurus feature when needed, there are templates for just about everything, and there is always the option to ask for help via the program. Listed here are only a very small portion of all the great features Microsoft Word has to offer.
While Microsoft is indeed a very solid package, it is not without its challenges. More advanced formatting options can be difficult to find and use. Many times users will see documents and presentations and want to model their own output after these things, only to become very frustrated at their own computer looking through countless menus and doing searches in the help directory. People can also become careless in terms of spelling and grammar, as they know if they make an error, Microsoft Word will come to the rescue. Unfortunately, these composition aids are not absolutely foolproof, and do let some word use and application errors go right on through to the final document without a moment’s protest. Other challenges include such things as when a format has been implemented and as a user one is unable to remove it. These formatting issues can extend all the way down to the appearance of a bullet pointed or numbered list in terms of the formatting rejecting user input in favor of an existing format. These types of challenges can be very frustrating when one has a very specific idea of the desired appearance of a document but a path just cannot be found within Word to make the correction. The temptation of plagiarism also exists due to the ease of using the copy and paste feature from virtually any one source to another.
These are just a few things about Microsoft Word. The list of the pros and cons of Microsoft Word could easily be expanded depending on the experiences of the individual. Unfortunately in order to have the level of functionality within Microsoft Word, it is impossible to avoid getting caught in formats and settings that can cause more frustrations than anything. What is important is for one to distinguish what works and what does not in relation to one’s needs and purposes while using the program. One path to improving the overall situation is a Microsoft word class, workshop, or seminar where one can learn about some of the advanced functions and better manage them.
Macinta, Timothy W. What's so Bad About Microsoft? 2012. 21 November 2012 <http://www.kmfms.com/whatsbad.html>. Pilola, Melanie. What is Microsoft Word? February 2006. 21 November 2012 <http://www.acpl.lib.in.us/ssh/Basic%20Word.pdf>.