Best format for working with Word?

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BobHughes
Posts: 15
Joined: 2012-09-21 13:04:20
Location: Oxford, UK

Best format for working with Word?

Post by BobHughes »

Just to get this clear myself:

When transferring work from Nisus to Word (especially if one hopes to take it back into Nisus again) do you recommend:

a. 'Save as' .rtf
b. 'Save as' .doc
c. 'Export as' .doc ['Microsoft Word format (binary)']

So far (a.) seems to work best for me. (At least, on the bookmark-and-cross-reference-preservation front).

Or is it horses for courses? (And is there a handy faq on all this somewhere, to save you time replying?)

I'm using Word 2004; I imagine there are different considerations with Word 2007 and XML.

Cheers,

Bob

xiamenese
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Joined: 2006-12-08 00:46:44
Location: London or Exeter, UK

Re: Best format for working with Word?

Post by xiamenese »

I'll jump in again as Martin will still be asleep!

Going from NWP to Word, in my experience:

RTF is the best for exchange. it keeps everything from NWP and I've never had any feedback from Word users about problems.

The "Save as .doc" is the worst. It is actually an RTF file with a changed creator code, which gives it the DOC extension. This was perfectly fine by earlier versions of Word, and was the solution to the problem of where the co-operating party would only accept a DOC file, and would return an RTF unseen ... yes they do exist. For me, the big problem with this route was that, if the first recipient then forwarded that email immediately using Entourage or whatever on Windows, the "DOC" would be re-encoded as binary and would be unusable by subsequent recipients. The solution was that the first recipient had to open the RTF, save as DOC and send that; but of course I had no control over that.

"Export to DOC" creates a binary, but if I understand the situation correctly, Nisus — as is Scrivener — is dependent on third party converters, and as what they have had to do is to reverse engineer the .doc format, there can be problems.

From Word to Nisus, everything is normally OK. The one thing that can cause problems in my experience, is tables, though that may be that my Chinese colleagues create the most horrendous tables by combining cells in a default grid of about 21 columns — and they don't always combine cells in the same columns! — rather than working out what they need first. So to get a file with a table into NWP, I usually open it in Pages, sort out the table there, save as RTF and open that in NWP to edit the content.

I now wait for Martin to correct me!

Mark

BobHughes
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Location: Oxford, UK

Re: Best format for working with Word?

Post by BobHughes »

Thanks - really interesting and useful informaton.

B

martin
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Re: Best format for working with Word?

Post by martin »

Mark, that's very gracious of you to be considerate of my sleeping schedule! I appreciate that ;)

I have no corrections to offer here, Mark has hit the nail on the head: RTF will serve you best. That's NWP's native file format and doesn't rely on any 3rd party code, so will always offer 100% fidelity when using Nisus Writer exclusively. Word also has excellent support for RTF, as it was essentially as thoroughly developed as ".doc", so you shouldn't have any trouble moving documents back and forth between NWP and Word using RTF.

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scottwhitlock
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Re: Best format for working with Word?

Post by scottwhitlock »

I'll chime in in agreement. Save as RTF. The only problems I ever run in to, and these are small, are paragraph spacing issues around headers. Other than that, the formatting and the document is surprisingly preserved.
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zwick_genetics
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Re: Best format for working with Word?

Post by zwick_genetics »

The only problem I see with .rtf is not with the file format per se. Rather, I think the default program on many users' Macs is to open .rtf files is TextEdit, so on occasion when I send an .rtf to a MSW user, they will indicate that they cannot open the file with MSW. This of course is a user education issue and has nothing to do with the file format, but it happens often enough that I tend to use the save as .doc option and send that along.

xiamenese
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Re: Best format for working with Word?

Post by xiamenese »

zwick_genetics wrote:The only problem I see with .rtf is not with the file format per se. Rather, I think the default program on many users' Macs is to open .rtf files is TextEdit, so on occasion when I send an .rtf to a MSW user, they will indicate that they cannot open the file with MSW. This of course is a user education issue and has nothing to do with the file format, but it happens often enough that I tend to use the save as .doc option and send that along.
It's a long time since I met one of those people, though I know they still exist. They've obviously never tried opening an RTF since Word does so. They see the extension is RTF and say "No can do". Yes, user education ...

Mark

pschlacter01
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Joined: 2012-11-20 10:01:56

Re: Best format for working with Word?

Post by pschlacter01 »

save as .rtf works best for me....it's not perfect, but it's better than the others.

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