Sunday, February 21, 2010

Can You Completely Replace MS Office with Adobe Creative Suite?

At work, I've become the resident Adobe honk. I do everything I can on the web on our Movable Type blogs. I no longer use PowerPoint for presentations, I either put my presentation out as a straight-up blog post or I embed an SWF file created in InDesign that gives me a deck of slides I can flip through from a browser with cool transition effects.

The one tricky part has been replacing Word or WordPad as my note taker. When you've got to copy down someone's address from an email and you need a temporary place to store it while you do other things, or when beloved readers leave captcha words in their comments for Jacob to turn into captchadefs, where do you put them?

I'm just starting to use Dreamweaver to do that. When you think about it, Dreamweaver can do almost everything Word can do, short of organizing things in a document with tables of contents. As I understand it, InDesign can do that part. Unfortunately, InDesign is a bit more difficult to use than Word (at least so far for me), but Dreamweaver does an outstanding job as a note taker. The files are much smaller and whatever I create there is ready for cut and paste onto a blog without having to worry that it's encrusted with formatting tags like MS Word snippets.

Like barnacles encrusting the cockpit of an F3 Hellcat downed at Guadalcanal, MS Word coats your text with all kinds of unnecessary formatting tags that later need to be removed in your blog post editor.

My initial take on this experiment is that it will be a big success. Dreamweaver replaces Word just fine.


tim eisele said...

I thought those "barnacles" looked funny - according to the article, while the plane saw service in Guadalcanal, it actually went into the drink during training exercises in Lake Michigan, near Chicago. I think those are actually zebra mussels (they've gotten to be a big issue in the Great Lakes over the last few decades, they're an invasive species that are a major nuisance).

Given that it was in fresh water for the last 65 years, not salt water, I bet that plane is much better preserved than any of the ones that are still in the Pacific.

K T Cat said...

Geez, everyone's a critic!


I was scrounging around for a quick image of something encrusted with barnacles and I liked this one. I agree, the sea creatures don't look like barnacles at all.

K T Cat said...

By the way, the one component of MS Office that can't be replaced by Adobe CS4 is Excel.

tim eisele said...

Seeing as how the page itself was calling them "barnacles", and you just needed a quick picture for an analogy, it's certainly understandable.

I've seen several actual taxonomists rail against the poor quality of the taxonomy you see on the Web. Given that in an image search for "barnacle encrusted", two out of the first three hits I get don't even involve barnacles, I have to say that they've got a point.

And as far as Adobe not having a direct replacement for Excel, all I can say is - nuts.

K T Cat said...

I have to admit that I like Excel. In my poverty-stricken days, I used Open Office and I found their replacement for Excel to be a very poor copy.