Monday, February 2, 2015
Nuxy Cruxy Wordy F*cksy
Right now, I feel like a stunt man, legs strung out in a gymnastic split-crotch stretch between the leathery backs of two rampaging rhinos.
Up ahead, the canyon forks.
One rhino will charge left, the other will thunder on to the right — and I must choose the direction of my imminent flick-flacking triple salchow to single rhino vertebrae safety.
Such is life when you know to the marrow of your soul how badly Word sucks.
It’s the word processing software equivalent of Satan’s most evil tumescent protuberance, wudda-wuddaed from rectum through to throat like a road drill wielded by a crack-crazed dentist.
I’d rather use chalk and slate than write in Word — maybe even tattoo by hand on a T Rex’s eyeballs.
Luckily, alternatives to Microsoft’s personal take on inflicting misery have presented themselves over the years.
Of these, WordPerfect has been my favourite, closely followed by the tattoo deal (using shaved goats and the occasional Rex-esque giant turtle).
Principally this is down to the Reveal Codes feature.
For those of you yet to question precisely why it is that a cursor, when dropped onto a Word page, can transform into any font, style, size, colour or emoji with the randomness of a zillion-chimerae chromosome splice, WordPerfect’s Reveal Codes feature allows you to see exactly what you’re doing.
Everything is up front, making it the writing software equivalent of a buxom transsexual flasher to Bill Gates’ covert spy hidden under the desk who can’t even find his wristwatch-STROKE-walkietalkie, let alone operate its inflatable canoe feature.
Call me a purist, but it matters to me whether FFS! wears its italic jacket over its bold jacket, or vice versa.
Conversely, I am not interested in working with a menu that looks like you’re supposed to colour it in with crayons.
That, my friends, is just piss.
But the fork in the canyon looms, and I must pick sides.
Windows — because it’s convenient?
Or Linux — because it’s Beyond Good?
If I somersault onto the Windows-bound rhino, I trust to a future of WordPerfectivity — albeit a-swill as a drunkard’s sick bucket with viruses, trojans, costly cosmetic updates, and an interface increasingly mirroring the goober intuitiveness of Apple’s glossy Wank Machinery.
If I barrel roll left onto the Linux-bound rhino, WordPerfect is gone forever.
(Tech note: yes, I know it’s possible to run WordPerfect on a virtual Windows machine from inside Linux, but in this scenario, that would be like barrel rolling onto the rhino on the left only to spend most of my time checking fluff in my navel rather than riding bareback towards the sunset with my arms outstretched á la Full “pre-dive Tom Daley” Monty.)
In every respect, LibreOffice Writer (the Linux answer to the Not Word Not Rex Possibly Sheep Now I Think Of It option) ticks all the WordPerfectly ease of use boxes — and, having studied the layout of the CLEARLY NOT A FUCKING TOY menu, I suspect large parts of its interface have been designed using Corel’s baby as a model — with the exception of a Reveal Codes function.
It’s like I have the whole universe at my disposal — but want it in white instead of black.
So if you’re eyeballing my imminent rhino leap stunt from a helicopter over the canyon, and you’ve figured solutions to either the “WordPerfect In ‘Nux” conundrum or the “Twist LibreOffice’s Coding Arm” hack, then can you lower down a rope ladder before I done go heck split my goddamn pants?