One of the most frightening things an editor can hear is, “Word is changing.” I, for one, am fed up with spending all my time RElearning how to use my software rather than doing my job. Constant superficial change is the bane of productivity. So, in this spookiest of weeks, let’s look at what we have to fear in Word 2019.
Like a scary clown, these are the changes that seem innocuous on the surface. Their scariness is yet to be revealed:
- native translator—From right inside Word, we can massacre words via translation. Find it on the Review ribbon.
- booklike navigation—No more scrolling, now pages can flip like a dead-tree book.
- thumbnail navigation—Now in the Zoom area of the View ribbon, we can access a thumbnail layout of the document, much like what we had in the Navigation pane of yore, but laid out in a grid rather than vertically.
- automatic update—Those of us who subscribe to 365 will get this change automatically, eventually.
Surely these changes must be for the better. Like locking up that scary clown:
- support for LaTeX—Did you faint?
- Accessibility Checker—Check the document international standards for people with disabilities.
- standalone version—This version of Word is available as a standalone, without subscribing to Office 365.
Hidden changes that make us learn new methods but don’t improve functionality will only be discovered once the software is in our hot little hands. Most of the changes Microsoft has announced are low-level frightening, but then there’s this:
- live collaboration—That’s right. Live, multi-user changes, like Google Docs. Now editors can watch the team undo their changes, add new content, and do wholesale rewrites all while the deadline ticks closer and closer.
- surprise update—Subscribers will get the 2019 update at an unspecified time. Rollout started a month ago. When will yours come!
Watch this column for more on the changes editors will notice in MS Word 2019. We’ll try to make this transition as painless as possible.
Photo by brenkee / 703 images, Pixabay. Used under CC0 license.