Part 1 provided my reasons for “Replacing Word with MultiMarkdown” and in Part 2 I addressed the features supported and challenges that may exist in getting free of Word. In this final part, I am provides resource links for those that want to be brave and free themselves of Word. For those of you that want to see what MMD looks like, click HERE to see the source code of this post.
In Part 1 of my article about “Replacing Word with MultiMarkdown” I provided my reasons for doing so. This part will address the features supported and challenges that may exist in getting free of Word.
To exchange documents with non-MultiMarkdown users, the last stage of my workflow requires Word-level reviewing and commenting tools. Most of those documents can be created with just about any text editor and can be translated into a Word format (.doc or .docx) or even a PDF with commenting and markup features enabled without additional handling.
I have never been a great fan of Microsoft’s Word. I avoid it as much as I can and use it only to open files I receive. It is, however, the de-facto Word-processing app and file format in use, something that will not change in the near future. That said, I have been actively exploring alternatives to Word for the last 15 years. For many years I played with DocBook, but dropped since the workflow to import/export Word files for the exchange with others became to time consuming. There was also the issue with the increasing use of tracking changes between editors and reviewers.
I got my first personal computer, the Altair 8800, in 1975. It came as a kit and included only the parts to build a case, power supply, an 18-slot card cage (with four slots available), an 8080-based CPU card, and a memory card with 256 bytes of memory (not 256k or 256mb, but 256 bytes).
Oh my, those were the days. What memories! Teletype machines, paper tape, boot loaders, ADM-3 video monitors, daisywheel printers (45 characters per minute), 110 baud modems that you pressed the phone handset into; eventually 5 1/4 and then 8 inch floppy diskettes that you had to remember to mount and unmount or you would mess up the directory to your files! I soldered many boards — CPU’s, memory, interfaces.