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Microsoft Word is a word processor designed by Microsoft. It was first released in 1983 under the name Multi-Tool Word for Xenix systems. Subsequent versions were later written for several other platforms including IBM PCs running DOS (1983), the Apple Macintosh (1984), Atari ST (1986), SCO UNIX, OS/2, and Microsoft Windows (1989). It is a component of the Microsoft Office system; however, it is also sold as a standalone product and included in Microsoft Works Suite. Beginning with the 2003 version, the branding was revised to emphasize Word's identity as a component within the Office suite; Microsoft began calling it Microsoft Office Word instead of merely Microsoft Word.
Word 1981 to 1989 Concepts and ideas of Word were brought from Bravo, the original GUI writing word processor developed at Xerox PARC. on February 1, 1983. With this, development on what was originally named Multi-Tool Word began. Richard Brodie renamed it Microsoft Word, and Microsoft released the program on October 25, 1983, for the IBM PC. Free demonstration copies of the application were bundled with the November 1983 issue of PC World, making it the first program to be distributed on-disk with a magazine. However, it was not well received, and sales lagged behind those of rival products such as WordPerfect. Although MS-DOS was a characterbased system, Microsoft Word was the word processor for the IBM PC that showed actual line breaks and typeface markups such as bold and italics directly on the screen while editing, although this was not a true WYSIWYG system because available displays did not have the resolution to show actual typefaces. Other DOS word processors, such as WordStar and WordPerfect, used simple text only display with markup codes on the screen or sometimes, at the most, alternative colors. As with most DOS software, each program had its own, often complicated set of commands and nomenclature for performing functions that had to be learned. For example, in Word for MS-DOS, a file would be saved with the sequence Escape-T-S: pressing Escape called up the menu box, T accessed the set of options for Transfer and S was for Save (the only similar interface belonged to Microsoft's own Multiplan spreadsheet). As most secretaries had learned how to use WordPerfect, companies were reluctant to switch to a rival product that offered few advantages. Desired features in Word such as indentation before typing (emulating the F4 feature in WordPerfect), the ability to block text to copy it before typing, instead of picking up mouse or blocking
after typing and a reliable way to have macros and other functions that always replicate the same function time after time, were just some of Word's problems for production typing. Word for Macintosh, despite of the major differences in look and feel from the DOS version, was ported by Ken Shapiro with only minor changes from the DOS source code, which had been written with high-resolution displays and laser printers in mind although none were yet available to the general public. Following the precedents of LisaWrite and MacWrite, Word for Macintosh attempted to add closer WYSIWYG features into its package. After Word for Mac was released in 1985, it gained wide acceptance. There was no Word 2.0 for Macintosh. Instead, the second release of Word for Macintosh, shipped in 1987, was named Word 3.0; this was Microsoft's first attempt to synchronize version numbers across platforms. Word 3.0 included numerous internal enhancements and new features including the first implementation of the Rich Text Format (RTF) specification, but was plagued with bugs. Within a few months Word 3.0 was superseded by Word 3.01, which was much more stable. All registered users of 3.0 were mailed free copies of 3.01, making this one of Microsoft's most expensive mistakes up to that time. In 1986, an agreement between Atari and Microsoft brings Word to the Atari ST. The Atari ST version was a translation of Word 1.05 for the Apple Macintosh, however it was released under the name Microsoft Write (the name of the word processor included with Windows during the 80s and early 90s). Unlike other versions of Word, the Atari version was a one time release with no future updates or revisions. The release of Microsoft Write was one of two major PC applications that were released for the Atari ST (the other application being WordPerfect). Microsoft Write was released for the Atari ST in 1988. Word 1990 to 1995 The first version of Word for Windows was released in 1989 at a price of 500 US dollars. With the release of Windows 3.0 the following year, sales began to pick up (Word for Windows 1.0 was designed for use with Windows 3.0, and its performance was poorer with the versions of Windows available when it was first released). The failure of WordPerfect to produce a Windows version proved a fatal mistake. It was version 2.0 of Word, however, that firmly established Microsoft Word as the market leader. After MacWrite, Word for Macintosh never had any serious rivals, although programs such as Nisus Writer provided features such as non-contiguous selection which were not added until Word 2002 in Office XP. In addition, many users complained that major updates reliably came more than two years apart, too long for most business users at that time. Word 5.1 for the Macintosh, released in 1992, was a very popular word processor owing to its elegance, relative ease of use and feature set. However, version 6.0 for the Macintosh, released in 1994, was widely derided, unlike the Windows version. It was the
first version of Word based on a common codebase between the Windows and Mac versions; many accused it of being slow, clumsy and memory intensive. In response to user requests, Microsoft offered a free "downgrade" to Word 5.1 for dissatisfied Word 6.0 purchasers. With the release of Word 6.0 in 1993 Microsoft again attempted to synchronize the version numbers and coordinate product naming across platforms; this time across the three versions for DOS, Macintosh, and Windows (where the previous version was Word for Windows 2.0). There may have also been thought given to matching the current version 6.0 of WordPerfect for DOS and Windows, Word's major competitor. However, this wound up being the last version of Word for DOS. In addition, subsequent versions of Word were no longer referred to by version number, and were instead named after the year of their release (e.g. Word 95 for Windows, synchronizing its name with Windows 95, and Word 98 for Macintosh), once again breaking the synchronization. When Microsoft became aware of the Year 2000 problem, it released the entire DOS port of Microsoft Word 5.5 instead of getting people to pay for the update. As of January 2010, it is still available for download from Microsoft's web site. Word 6.0 was the second attempt to develop a common codebase version of Word. The first, code-named Pyramid, had been an attempt to completely rewrite the existing product. It was abandoned when it was determined that it would take the development team too long to rewrite and then catch up with all the new capabilities that could have been added in the same time without a rewrite. Supporters of Pyramid claimed that it would have been faster, smaller, and more stable than the product that was eventually released for Macintosh, and which was compiled using a beta version of Visual C++ 2.0 that targets the Macintosh, so many optimizations have to be turned off (the version 4.2.1 of Office is compiled using the final version), and sometimes use the Windows API simulation library included. Pyramid would have been truly cross-platform, with machine-independent application code and a small mediation layer between the application and the operating system. More recent versions of Word for Macintosh are no longer ported versions of Word for Windows, although some code is often appropriated from the Windows version for the Macintosh version. Later versions of Word have more capabilities than merely word processing. The drawing tool allows simple desktop publishing operations such as adding graphics to documents. Collaboration, document comparison, multilingual support, translation and many other capabilities have been added over the years. Word 97 Word 97 had the same general operating performance as later versions such as Word 2000. This was the first copy of Word featuring the Office Assistant, "Clippit", which
was an animated helper used in all Office programs. This was a take over from the earlier launched concept in Microsoft Bob. Word 98 Word 98 for the Macintosh gained many features of Word 97, and was bundled with the Macintosh Office 98 package. Document compatibility reached parity with Office 97 and Word on the Mac became a viable business alternative to its Windows counterpart. Unfortunately, Word on the Mac in this and later releases also became vulnerable to future macro viruses that could compromise Word (and Excel) documents, leading to the only situation where viruses could be cross-platform. A Windows version of this was only bundled with the Japanese/Korean Microsoft Office 97 Powered By Word 98 and could not be purchased separately. Word 2001/Word X Word 2001 was bundled with the Macintosh Office for that platform, acquiring most, if not all, of the feature set of Word 2000. Released in October 2000, Word 2001 was also sold as an individual product. The Macintosh version, Word X, released in 2001, was the first version to run natively on (and required) Mac OS X. Word 2002/XP Word 2002 was bundled with Office XP and was released in 2001. It had many of the same features as Word 2000, but had a major new feature called the 'Task Panes', which gave quicker information and control to a lot of features that were before only available in modal dialog boxes. One of the key advertising strategies for the software was the removal of the Office Assistant in favor of a new help system, although it was simply disabled by default. Word 2003 For the 2003 version, the Office programs, including Word, were rebranded to emphasize the unity of the Office suite, so that Microsoft Word officially became Microsoft Office Word. Microsoft Word 2003 also has a page limit of 32,727 pages. Word 2004 A new Macintosh version of Office was released in May 2004. Substantial cleanup of the various applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and feature parity with Office 2003 (for Microsoft Windows) created a very usable release. Microsoft released patches through the years to eliminate most known macro vulnerabilities from this version. While Apple released Pages and the open source community created NeoOffice, Word remains the most widely used word processor on the Macintosh. Word 2007
The release includes numerous changes, including a new XML-based file format, a redesigned interface, an integrated equation editor and bibliographic management. Additionally, an XML data bag was introduced, accessible via the object model and file format, called Custom XML - this can be used in conjunction with a new feature called Content Controls to implement structured documents. It also has contextual tabs, which are functionality specific only to the object with focus, and many other features like Live Preview (which enables you to view the document without making any permanent changes), Mini Toolbar, Super-tooltips, Quick Access toolbar, SmartArt, etc. Word 2007 uses a new file format called docx. Word 2000-2003 users on Windows systems can install a free add-on called the "Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack" to be able to open, edit, and save the new Word 2007 files. Alternatively, Word 2007 can save to the old doc format of Word 97-2003. It is also possible to run Word 2007 on Linux using Wine. Word 2008 Word 2008 is the most recent version of Microsoft Word for the Mac, released on January 15, 2008. It includes some new features from Word 2007, such as a ribbon-like feature that can be used to select page layouts and insert custom diagrams and images. Word 2008 also features native support for the new Office Open XML format, although the old doc format can be set as a default. Word 2010 The next version of Word is scheduled to be released sometime in 2010. It will include many new features common to other applications in Office 2010. Microsoft Word 2010 will have the new WordArt styles and effects replacing the old styles.
File extension Microsoft Word's native file formats are denoted either by a .doc or .docx file extension. Although the ".doc" extension has been used in many different versions of Word, it actually encompasses four distinct file formats: Word for DOS Word for Windows 1 and 2; Word 4 and 5 for Mac Word 6 and Word 95 for Windows; Word 6 for Mac Word 97, 2000, 2002 and 2003 for Windows; Word 98, 2001, X, and 2004 for Mac
The newer ".docx" extension signifies the Office Open XML international standard for Office documents and is used by Word 2007 for Windows, Word 2008 for the Macintosh, as well as by a growing number of applications from other vendors. Microsoft does not guarantee the correct display of the document on different workstations, even if the two workstations use the same version of Microsoft Word. This means it is possible the document the recipient sees might not be exactly the same as the document the sender sees. Binary formats (Word 97-2003) As Word became the dominant word processor in the late 1990s and early 2000s, its default Word document format (.DOC) became a de facto standard of document file formats for Microsoft Office users. Though usually just referred to as "Word Document Format", this term refers primarily to the range of formats used by default in Word version 97-2003. Word document files by using the Word 97-2003 Binary File Format implement OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) structured storage to manage the structure of their file format. OLE behaves rather like a conventional hard drive file system and is made up of several key components. Each Word document is composed of so-called "big blocks" which are almost always (but do not have to be) 512-byte chunks; hence a Word document's file size will in most cases be a multiple of 512. "Storages" are analogues of the directory on a disk drive, and point to other storages or "streams" which are similar to files on a disk. The text in a Word document is always contained in the "WordDocument" stream. The first big block in a Word document, known as the "header" block, provides important information as to the location of the major data structures in the document. "Property storages" provide metadata about the storages and streams in a doc file, such as where it begins and its name and so forth. The "File information block" contains information about where the text in a Word document starts, ends, what version of Word created the document and other attributes. Microsoft Office Open XML (Word 2007 and above) Word 2007 uses Office Open XML (DOCX) as its default format, but retains the older binary format for compatibility reasons. Office Open XML used in Word 2007 is not identical to approved ISO/IEC 29500:2008 Office Open XML because of changes in format specification during standardization process. Microsoft has declared that Office Open XML is already partially supported in Office 2007, but the company plans to update that support to full ISO standard in the next major version release of the Microsoft Office system, named "Microsoft Office 2010". Microsoft has published specifications for the Word 97-2007 Binary File Format and the Office Open XML format. Microsoft has moved towards an XML-based file format for
their Office applications with Office 2007: Office Open XML. This format does not conform fully to standard XML. It is, however, publicly documented as Ecma International standard 376. Public documentation of the default file format is a first for Word, and makes it considerably easier, though not trivial, for competitors to interoperate. During the standardization process of Office Open XML, the specification of the format changed after following some of proposed changes submitted by ISO members. It has been approved as an international standard by ISO (ISO/IEC 29500:2008), but the approval is under review following objections by ISO members South Africa, Brazil, India and Venezuela. Another XML-based, public file format supported by Word 2003 and upwards is the Microsoft Office Word 2003 XML Format. In August 2009, Microsoft was sued by Canadian firm i4i for infringing on a software patent involving custom XML in a document. In December 2009 Microsoft was again declared guilty of infringing on a patent by i4i after appealing to a panel of three judges of the U.S Federal Appeals Court. An injunction was issued that bans Microsoft from selling copies of Word with the code that infringes on the the patent after January 11, 2010. Several days after the court ruling, Microsoft released a "mandatory patch" that brings the software into compliance with the court's decision. Attempts at cross-version compatibility Opening a Word Document file in a version of Word other than the one with which it was created can cause incorrect display of the document. The document formats of the various versions change in subtle and not so subtle ways; formatting created in newer versions does not always survive when viewed in older versions of the program, nearly always because that capability does not exist in the previous version. Rich Text Format (RTF), an early effort to create a format for interchanging formatted text between applications is an optional format for Word, that retains most formatting and all content of the original document. Later, after HTML appeared, Word supported an HTML derivative as an additional full-fidelity roundtrip format similar to RTF, with the additional capability that the file could be viewed in a web browser. Third party formats It is possible to write plugins permitting Word to read and write formats it does not natively support, such as international standard OpenDocument format (ODF) (ISO/IEC 26300:2006). Up until the release of Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Office 2007, Word did not natively support reading or writing ODF documents without a plugin, namely the SUN ODF Plugin or the OpenXML/ODF Translator. With SP2 installed, ODF format 1.1 documents can be read and saved like any other supported format in addition to those already available in Word 2007. However, the implementation faces substantial criticism, and the ODF Alliance and others have claimed that the third party plugins provide better support. In October 2005, one year before the Microsoft Office 2007 suite was released, Microsoft declared that there was insufficient demand from Microsoft customers for the
international standard OpenDocument format support, and that therefore it would not be included in Microsoft Office 2007. This statement was repeated in the following months. As an answer, on October 20, 2005 an online petition was created to demand ODF support from Microsoft. The petition was signed by approximately 12000 people. In May 2006, the ODF plugin for Microsoft Office was released by the OpenDocument Foundation. Microsoft declared that it had no relationship with the developers of the plugin. In July 2006, Microsoft announced the creation of the Open XML Translator project tools to build a technical bridge between the Microsoft Office Open XML Formats and the OpenDocument Format (ODF). This work was started in response to government requests for interoperability with ODF. The goal of project was not to add ODF support to Microsoft Office, but only to create a plugin and an external toolset. In February 2007, this project released a first version of the ODF plugin for Microsoft Word. In February 2007, Sun released an initial version of its ODF plugin for Microsoft Office. Version 1.0 was released in July 2007. Microsoft Word 2007 (Service Pack 1) supports (for output only) PDF and XPS formats, but only after manual installation of the Microsoft 'Save as PDF or XPS' add-on.
Features and flaws
Word has a built-in spell checker, thesaurus, dictionary, Office Assistant and utilities for transferring, copy, pasting and editing text, such as PureText. Normal.dot Normal.dot is the master template from which all Word documents are created. It is one of the most important files in Microsoft Word. It determines the margin defaults as well as the layout of the text and font defaults. Although normal.dot is already set with certain defaults, the user can change normal.dot to new defaults. This will change other documents that were created using the template and saved with the option to automatically update the formatting styles. WordArt WordArt enables drawing text in a Microsoft Word document such as a title, watermark, or other text, with graphical effects such as skewing, shadowing, rotating, stretching in a variety of shapes and colors and even including three-dimensional effects. Macros
Like other Microsoft Office documents, Word files can include advanced macros and even embedded programs. The language was originally WordBasic, but changed to Visual Basic for Applications as of Word 97. This extensive functionality can also be used to run and propagate viruses in documents. The tendency for people to exchange Word documents via email, USB flash drives, and floppy disks made this an especially attractive vector in 1999. A prominent example was the Melissa worm, but countless others have existed in the wild. Nearly all anti-virus software can detect and clean common macro viruses. These macro viruses were the only known cross-platform threats between Windows and Macintosh computers and they were the only infection vectors to affect any Mac OS X system up until the advent of video codec trojans in 2007. Microsoft released patches for Word X and Word 2004 that effectively eliminated the macro problem on the Mac by 2006. Word's macro security setting, which regulates when macros may execute, can be adjusted by the user, but in the most recent versions of Word, is set to HIGH by default, generally reducing the risk from macro-based viruses, which have become uncommon. Layout issues As of Word 2007 for Windows (and Word 2004 for Macintosh), the program has been unable to handle ligatures defined in TrueType fonts; those ligature glyphs with Unicode codepoints may be inserted manually, but are not recognized by Word for what they are, breaking spellchecking, while custom ligatures present in the font are not accessible at all. Other layout deficiencies of Word include the inability to set crop marks or thin spaces. Various third-party workaround utilities have been developed. Similarly, combining diacritics are handled poorly: Word 2003 has "improved support", but many diacritics are still misplaced, even if a precomposed glyph is present in the font. Word 2010 (Word 14) is the first version of MS Word that will have support for OpenType ligatures. Additionally, as of Word 2002, Word does automatic font substitution when it finds a character in a document that does not exist in the font specified. It is impossible to deactivate this, making it very difficult to spot when a glyph used is missing from the font in use. If "Mirror margins" or "Different odd and even" are enabled, Word will not allow you to freshly begin page numbering an even page after a section break (and vice versa). Instead it inserts a mandatory blank page which can't be removed. In Word 2004 for Macintosh, support of complex scripts was inferior even to Word 97, and Word 2004 does not support Apple Advanced Typography features like ligatures or glyph variants. Bullets and numbering
Word has extensive list bullets and numbering feature used for tables, list, pages, chapters, headers, footnotes, and tables of content. Bullets and numbering can be applied directly or using a button or by applying a style or through use of a template. Some problems with numbering have been found in Word 97-2003. An example is Word's system for restarting numbering. However, the Bullets and Numbering system has been significantly overhauled for Office 2007, which is intended to reduce the severity of these problems. For example, Office 2007 cannot align tabs for multi-leveled numbered lists. Often, items in a list will be inexplicably separated from their list number by one to three tabs, rendering outlines unreadable. These problems cannot be resolved even by expert users. Even basic dragging and dropping of words is usually impossible. Bullet and numbering problems in Word include: bullet characters are often changed and altered, indentation is changed within the same list, bullet point or number sequence can belong to an entirely different nest within the same sequence. Creating tables Users can also create tables in MS Word. Depending on the version, Word can perform simple calculations. Formulas are supported as well. Using formulas As mentioned in Creating Tables, MS Word supports the use of formulas. To access Word's formula function in Word 2007, click anywhere in a table, then choose Table Tools>>Layout. To access Word's formula function in Word 2003, select Table>>Formula. The formula function is on the ribbon in the Data section. Click on the Formula icon to open the Formula Dialog box. At the top of the Formula box is a place to enter a formula. Formulas use a similar convention as that used in Excel. Cell references use the "A1" reference style. Formulas are written using cell references (for example =A1+A2). Word tables don't display column and row ids, the address must be determined by counting the number of columns and rows. For example, cell C4 appears three columns from the left and four rows down. Once cell addresses are known the formula can be written. Examples are: =C3+C4; =sum(C2:C10). An optional Microsoft Word add-in program called Formula Builder provides cell references in a number of different ways so the user doesn't have to determine it by counting columns and rows. For example, cell references may be added to a formula by double-clicking the cell. As an alternative to using actual cell references as the arguments in the formula, you can use ABOVE, BELOW, LEFT, or RIGHT instead (i.e., =SUM(ABOVE)) which adds a range of cells. There are limitations to this method. The cells in the range must not be empty and they must contain numeric values otherwise the calculation will not include the entire range expected. Another problem is that ABOVE, BELOW, LEFT, or RIGHT doesn't recognize negative numbers when the number is surrounded by parenthesis and as a result does not calculate correctly. Word also adds the heading row if it contains a numeric value provided the cells in the range are contiguous and all contain values. AutoSummarize
AutoSummarize highlights passages or phrases that it considers valuable. The amount of text to be retained can be specified by the user as a percentage of the current amount of text. According to Ron Fein of the Word 97 team, AutoSummarize cuts wordy copy to the bone by counting words and ranking sentences. First, AutoSummarize identifies the most common words in the document (barring "a" and "the" and the like) and assigns a "score" to each word—the more frequently a word is used, the higher the score. Then, it "averages" each sentence by adding the scores of its words and dividing the sum by the number of words in the sentence—the higher the average, the higher the rank of the sentence. "It's like the ratio of wheat to chaff," explains Fein. AutoCorrect In Microsoft Office 2003, AutoCorrect items added by the user stop working when text from sources outside the document is pasted in. Subscript and superscript issues In any of the Microsoft word packages, it is impossible to display superscript exactly lying above subscript. It can only be done using the equation editor.
On August 11, 2009, a judge of the US Federal court in the Eastern District of Texas Tyler Division, ordered an injunction due to be implemented within 60 days, banning the sale of Microsoft Word in the United States, after accepting claims that Microsoft willfully infringed US patent 5787449 held by the Toronto based Canadian company i4i that described the utility of separately editing Structure (e.g. SGML, XML) and Content of Microsoft Word documents, originally implemented in 1998 within i4i's XML editor add-on for Microsoft Word called S4. Microsoft was also ordered to pay i4i $40 million enhanced damages for willful infringement plus other costs, an award in addition to a $200 million award against Microsoft in May 2009. Patent suits are often brought in the courts of the Eastern District of Texas, as it is known for favoring plaintiffs and for its role in patent suits. Microsoft filed an emergency motion in which they asked for a stay of the injunction ruling. The motion was granted on September 4, 2009. On December 22, 2009, a U.S. Court of Appeals denied Microsoft's appeal and ordered Microsoft to cease sale of the current version of Word 2007 by January 11, 2010. One day later, Microsoft released a "mandatory patch" that brings Word up to compliance with the court ruling.
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