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WOPR and Enhancements

Moving On
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Word processors are closely linked to the way that a user thinks. When commands are second nature and features flow naturally and transparently, the whole writing process seems to flow smoothly. For that matter, word processors allow people to write the way their brains work.

This point was made extremely pertinent to me when I went through three word processors in less than a year. I had learned WordStar because it came as my first program on an Osborne CP/M computer. Work requirements forced me to switch to WordPerfect and, then, to Word for Windows. I found myself having to think about the key strokes to do simple operations rather than expressing what I wanted to.

Fortunately for me, the second time around with WinWord I got a break with Woody's Office Power Pack -- or WOPR. It ironed out most of the pestering pecuarities in Word. When I moved on to Word for Windows 95, I found that the WOPR continued to keep several steps ahead of Microsoft in making the program more pliable in the operator's hands.

You are getting more than just a piece of software; you're buying into a whole computer experience. Woody Leonard and his crew put out a newsletter called WOW, short for Woody's Office Watch, that is great for keeping up to date on the MS Office suite of programs. It's enjoyable, breezy reading, written with a sense of humor and irony. It throws in useful news about viruses, bugs and upgrades, as well as tips and assistance on programs. There are other newsletters on Windows, Access, Project, Windows for Mere Mortals and Palm.

The WOPR web site has a lot of aids for MS Office users. Some things are just for fun while others pull together tips on upgrading or operations. There is also a forum, WOPR Lounge, where you can get free answers to any problems you might be having with the programs. This is where you should start when you hit a deadend with troubleshooting.

In addition, Woody's gang has brought out a series of books on Windows 96 and Microsoft Office programs that are extremely helpful. The Mother of All Windows 95 Books is among the best resources on the operating system. The Annoyance series deals with the MS Office package from the vantage point of identifying the shortcomings of the programs and then devising workarounds or tactics that make them more useable.