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March 31st is Document Freedom Day! OK, I feel a bit silly celebrating it given the number of documents I churn out in Word format, but that’s largely because I’m editing what my students and colleagues write. Conflicting principles: support open standards or use the format your readers can open easily?

Speaking of opening documents in different formats, one of my students recently sent me an assignment in Microsoft Works format! Most people don’t even remember MS Works, let alone use it, and even OpenOffice Writer, known as the Rosetta Stone of word processors, couldn’t open it. And that it is one of the points behind Document Freedom Day. You may think .docx files are standard, but they aren’t, and in not so many years’ time, they could be as unreadable as MS Works files.

Categories: Writing
  1. Tim
    April 21, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    I’m interested in this document free day… I’m still on Office 2003 – I despise 2007, yet I remember as a student using ’97 that I would always keep up to date with the new trends… funny how even at my age (34) we can stuck in our ways.

    • April 21, 2010 at 5:24 pm

      When I have to save in Word format, I use 97/2000/XP (actually all the same format) for the benefit of people using older versions of Word – and there are a lot of those in our university.

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