Microsoft Word
Overview
 
Microsoft Word is a word processor
Word processor
A word processor is a computer application used for the production of any sort of printable material....

 designed by Microsoft
Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

. It was first released in 1983 under the name Multi-Tool Word for Xenix
Xenix
Xenix is a version of the Unix operating system, licensed to Microsoft from AT&T in the late 1970s. The Santa Cruz Operation later acquired exclusive rights to the software, and eventually superseded it with SCO UNIX ....

 systems. Subsequent versions were later written for several other platforms including IBM PC
IBM PC
The IBM Personal Computer, commonly known as the IBM PC, is the original version and progenitor of the IBM PC compatible hardware platform. It is IBM model number 5150, and was introduced on August 12, 1981...

s running DOS
DOS
DOS, short for "Disk Operating System", is an acronym for several closely related operating systems that dominated the IBM PC compatible market between 1981 and 1995, or until about 2000 if one includes the partially DOS-based Microsoft Windows versions 95, 98, and Millennium Edition.Related...

 (1983), the Apple Macintosh (1984), the AT&T Unix PC
3b1
The 3B1 was a Unix workstation computer originally developed by Convergent Technologies , and marketed by AT&T in the mid- to late-1980s...

 (1985), Atari ST
Atari ST
The Atari ST is a home/personal computer that was released by Atari Corporation in 1985 and commercially available from that summer into the early 1990s. The "ST" officially stands for "Sixteen/Thirty-two", which referred to the Motorola 68000's 16-bit external bus and 32-bit internals...

 (1986), SCO UNIX
SCO OpenServer
SCO OpenServer, previously SCO UNIX and SCO Open Desktop , is, misleadingly, a closed source version of the Unix computer operating system developed by Santa Cruz Operation and now maintained by the SCO Group....

, OS/2
OS/2
OS/2 is a computer operating system, initially created by Microsoft and IBM, then later developed by IBM exclusively. The name stands for "Operating System/2," because it was introduced as part of the same generation change release as IBM's "Personal System/2 " line of second-generation personal...

, and Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows is a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft.Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces . Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal...

 (1989). It is a component of the Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office is a non-free commercial office suite of inter-related desktop applications, servers and services for the Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X operating systems, introduced by Microsoft in August 1, 1989. Initially a marketing term for a bundled set of applications, the first version of...

 software system; it is also sold as a standalone product and included in Microsoft Works Suite
Microsoft Works
Microsoft Works is an integrated package software that is produced by Microsoft. Works is smaller, less expensive, and has fewer features than Microsoft Office or other major office suites. Its core functionality includes a word processor, a spreadsheet and a database management system...

.
Encyclopedia
Microsoft Word is a word processor
Word processor
A word processor is a computer application used for the production of any sort of printable material....

 designed by Microsoft
Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

. It was first released in 1983 under the name Multi-Tool Word for Xenix
Xenix
Xenix is a version of the Unix operating system, licensed to Microsoft from AT&T in the late 1970s. The Santa Cruz Operation later acquired exclusive rights to the software, and eventually superseded it with SCO UNIX ....

 systems. Subsequent versions were later written for several other platforms including IBM PC
IBM PC
The IBM Personal Computer, commonly known as the IBM PC, is the original version and progenitor of the IBM PC compatible hardware platform. It is IBM model number 5150, and was introduced on August 12, 1981...

s running DOS
DOS
DOS, short for "Disk Operating System", is an acronym for several closely related operating systems that dominated the IBM PC compatible market between 1981 and 1995, or until about 2000 if one includes the partially DOS-based Microsoft Windows versions 95, 98, and Millennium Edition.Related...

 (1983), the Apple Macintosh (1984), the AT&T Unix PC
3b1
The 3B1 was a Unix workstation computer originally developed by Convergent Technologies , and marketed by AT&T in the mid- to late-1980s...

 (1985), Atari ST
Atari ST
The Atari ST is a home/personal computer that was released by Atari Corporation in 1985 and commercially available from that summer into the early 1990s. The "ST" officially stands for "Sixteen/Thirty-two", which referred to the Motorola 68000's 16-bit external bus and 32-bit internals...

 (1986), SCO UNIX
SCO OpenServer
SCO OpenServer, previously SCO UNIX and SCO Open Desktop , is, misleadingly, a closed source version of the Unix computer operating system developed by Santa Cruz Operation and now maintained by the SCO Group....

, OS/2
OS/2
OS/2 is a computer operating system, initially created by Microsoft and IBM, then later developed by IBM exclusively. The name stands for "Operating System/2," because it was introduced as part of the same generation change release as IBM's "Personal System/2 " line of second-generation personal...

, and Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows is a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft.Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces . Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal...

 (1989). It is a component of the Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office is a non-free commercial office suite of inter-related desktop applications, servers and services for the Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X operating systems, introduced by Microsoft in August 1, 1989. Initially a marketing term for a bundled set of applications, the first version of...

 software system; it is also sold as a standalone product and included in Microsoft Works Suite
Microsoft Works
Microsoft Works is an integrated package software that is produced by Microsoft. Works is smaller, less expensive, and has fewer features than Microsoft Office or other major office suites. Its core functionality includes a word processor, a spreadsheet and a database management system...

. The current versions are Microsoft Office Word 2010 for Windows and Microsoft Office Word 2011 for Mac.

Origins and growth: 1981 to 1995

In 1981, Microsoft hired Charles Simonyi
Charles Simonyi
Charles Simonyi is a Hungarian-American computer software executive who, as head of Microsoft's application software group, oversaw the creation of Microsoft's flagship Office suite of applications. He now heads his own company, Intentional Software, with the aim of developing and marketing his...

, the primary developer of Bravo
Bravo (software)
Bravo was the first WYSIWYG document preparation program. It provided multi-font capability using the bitmap displays on the Xerox Alto personal computer...

, the first GUI
Gui
Gui or guee is a generic term to refer to grilled dishes in Korean cuisine. These most commonly have meat or fish as their primary ingredient, but may in some cases also comprise grilled vegetables or other vegetarian ingredients. The term derives from the verb, "gupda" in Korean, which literally...

 word processor,which was developed at Xerox PARC. Simonyi started work on a word processor
Word processor
A word processor is a computer application used for the production of any sort of printable material....

 called Multi-Tool Word and soon hired Richard Brodie
Richard Brodie
Richard Reeves Brodie is an American computer programmer and author. He was the original creator of Microsoft Word. After leaving Microsoft, Brodie became a motivational speaker and authored two bestselling books.-Early Life:...

, a former Xerox intern, who became the primary software engineer.
Microsoft announced Multi-Tool Word for Xenix
Xenix
Xenix is a version of the Unix operating system, licensed to Microsoft from AT&T in the late 1970s. The Santa Cruz Operation later acquired exclusive rights to the software, and eventually superseded it with SCO UNIX ....

 and MS-DOS in 1983. Its name was soon simplified to Microsoft Word. Free demonstration copies of the application were bundled with the November 1983 issue of PC World
PC World (magazine)
PC World is a global computer magazine published monthly by IDG. It offers advice on various aspects of PCs and related items, the Internet, and other personal-technology products and services...

, making it the first program to be distributed on-disk with a magazine
Magazine
Magazines, periodicals, glossies or serials are publications, generally published on a regular schedule, containing a variety of articles. They are generally financed by advertising, by a purchase price, by pre-paid magazine subscriptions, or all three...

. Unlike most MS-DOS programs at the time, Microsoft Word was designed to be used with a mouse, and it was able to display some formatting, such as bold, italic, and underlined text, although it could not render font
Font
In typography, a font is traditionally defined as a quantity of sorts composing a complete character set of a single size and style of a particular typeface...

s. It was not initially popular, since its user interface was different from the leading word processor at the time, WordStar
WordStar
WordStar is a word processor application, published by MicroPro International, originally written for the CP/M operating system but later ported to DOS, that enjoyed a dominant market share during the early to mid-1980s. Although Seymour I...

. However, Microsoft steadily improved the product, releasing versions 2.0 through 5.0 over the next six years.

In 1985, Microsoft ported
Porting
In computer science, porting is the process of adapting software so that an executable program can be created for a computing environment that is different from the one for which it was originally designed...

 Word to the Macintosh
Macintosh
The Macintosh , or Mac, is a series of several lines of personal computers designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc. The first Macintosh was introduced by Apple's then-chairman Steve Jobs on January 24, 1984; it was the first commercially successful personal computer to feature a mouse and a...

. This was made easier by the fact that Word for DOS has been designed for use with high-resolution displays and laser printers, even though none were yet available to the general public. Following the precedents of LisaWrite and MacWrite, Word for Mac added true WYSIWYG
WYSIWYG
WYSIWYG is an acronym for What You See Is What You Get. The term is used in computing to describe a system in which content displayed onscreen during editing appears in a form closely corresponding to its appearance when printed or displayed as a finished product...

 features. After its release, Word for Mac's sales were higher than its MS-DOS counterpart for at least four years.

The second release of Word for Macintosh, shipped in 1987, was named Word 3.0 to synchronize its version number with Word for DOS; 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
Rich Text Format
The Rich Text Format is a proprietary document file format with published specification developed by Microsoft Corporation since 1987 for Microsoft products and for cross-platform document interchange....

 (RTF) specification, but was plagued with bugs. Within a few months Word 3.0 was superseded by a more stable Word 3.01, which was mailed free to all registered users of 3.0. After MacWrite
MacWrite
MacWrite was a word processor application released along with the first Apple Macintosh systems in 1984. It was the first such program that was widely available to the public to offer WYSIWYG operation, with multiple fonts and styles...

, Word for Mac never had any serious rivals on the Mac. Word 5.1 for the Macintosh, released in 1992, was a very popular word processor
Word processor
A word processor is a computer application used for the production of any sort of printable material....

 owing to its elegance, relative ease of use and feature set. Many users say its the best version of Word for Mac ever created.

In 1986, an agreement between Atari
Atari
Atari is a corporate and brand name owned by several entities since its inception in 1972. It is currently owned by Atari Interactive, a wholly owned subsidiary of the French publisher Atari, SA . The original Atari, Inc. was founded in 1972 by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney. It was a pioneer in...

 and Microsoft brought Word to the Atari ST
Atari ST
The Atari ST is a home/personal computer that was released by Atari Corporation in 1985 and commercially available from that summer into the early 1990s. The "ST" officially stands for "Sixteen/Thirty-two", which referred to the Motorola 68000's 16-bit external bus and 32-bit internals...

 under the name Microsoft Write. The Atari ST version was a port of Word 1.05 for the Apple Macintosh and was never updated.

The first version of Word for Windows was released in 1989. With the release of Windows 3.0
Windows 3.0
Windows 3.0, a graphical environment, is the third major release of Microsoft Windows, and was released on 22 May 1990. It became the first widely successful version of Windows and a rival to Apple Macintosh and the Commodore Amiga on the GUI front...

 the following year, sales began to pick up and Microsoft soon became the market leader for word processors for IBM PC-compatible computers. In 1991, Microsoft capitalized on Word for Windows' increasing popularity by releasing a version of Word for DOS, version 5.5, that replaced its unique user interface with an interface similar to a Windows application. When Microsoft became aware of the Year 2000 problem
Year 2000 problem
The Year 2000 problem was a problem for both digital and non-digital documentation and data storage situations which resulted from the practice of abbreviating a four-digit year to two digits.In computer programs, the practice of representing the year with two...

, it made Microsoft Word 5.5 for DOS available for download free. As of August 2011, it is still available for download from Microsoft's web site.

In 1991, Microsoft embarked on a project code-named Pyramid to completely rewrite Microsoft Word from the ground up. Both the Windows and Mac versions would start from the same code base. 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. Instead, the next versions of Word for Windows and Mac, dubbed version 6.0, both started from the code base of Word for Windows 2.0.

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 DOS, Macintosh, and Windows (this was the last version of Word for DOS). It introduced AutoCorrect, which automatically fixed certain typing errors, and AutoFormat, which could reformat many parts of a document at once. While the Windows version received favorable reviews (e.g.,), the Macintosh version was widely derided. Many accused it of being slow, clumsy and memory intensive, and its user interface differed significantly from Word 5.1. In response to user requests, Microsoft was forced to offer Word 5 again, after it had been discontinued. Subsequent versions of Word for Macintosh are no longer ported versions of Word for Windows.

Microsoft Word for Windows since 1995

Word 95 for Windows was the first 32-bit version of the product, released with Office 95 around the same time as Windows 95. It was a straightforward port of Word 6.0 and it introduced few new features, one of them being red-squiggle underlined spell-checking. Starting with Word 95, releases of Word were named after the year of its release, instead of its version number. Word 2010 allows more customization of the Ribbon, adds a Backstage view for file management, has improved document navigation, allows creation and embedding of screenshots, and integrates with Word Web App
Office Web Apps
Microsoft Office Web Apps is a web-based version of the Microsoft Office productivity suite. It includes the web-based versions of Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Microsoft OneNote. The web applications allow users to access their documents directly from anywhere within a...

.

Microsoft Word for Mac since 1995

In 1997, Microsoft formed the Macintosh Business Unit
Macintosh Business Unit
Macintosh Business Unit is an operating unit of Microsoft that, as of 2009, is the largest software developer outside of Apple Inc. for the Mac OS operating system...

 as an independent group within Microsoft focused on writing software for the Mac. Its first version of Word, Word 98, was released with Office 98 Macintosh Edition. Document compatibility reached parity with Word 97, and it included features from Word 97 for Windows, including spell and grammar checking with squiggles. Users could choose the menus and keyboard shortcuts to be similar to either Word 97 for Windows or Word 5 for Mac.

Word 2001, released in 2000, added a few new features, including the Office Clipboard
Clipboard manager
A clipboard manager is a computer program that adds functionality to basic clipboard usage.All existing window managers provide only one buffer, overwritten by each new clipping....

, which allowed users to copy and paste multiple items. It was the last version to run on classic Mac OS
Mac OS
Mac OS is a series of graphical user interface-based operating systems developed by Apple Inc. for their Macintosh line of computer systems. The Macintosh user experience is credited with popularizing the graphical user interface...

 and, on Mac OS X
Mac OS X
Mac OS X is a series of Unix-based operating systems and graphical user interfaces developed, marketed, and sold by Apple Inc. Since 2002, has been included with all new Macintosh computer systems...

, it could only run within the Classic Environment. Word X, released in 2001, was the first version to run natively on, and required, Mac OS X, and introduced non-contiguous text selection.

Word 2004 was released in May 2004. It included a new Notebook Layout view for taking notes either by typing or by voice. Other features, such as tracking changes, were made more similar with Office for Windows.

Word 2008, released on January 15, 2008, included a Ribbon-like feature, called the Elements Gallery, that can be used to select page layouts and insert custom diagrams and images. It also included a new view focused on publishing layout, integrated bibliography management, and native support for the new Office Open XML format. It was the first version to run natively on Intel-based Macs. Word 2011, released in October 2010, replaced the Elements Gallery in favor of a Ribbon user interface that is much more similar to Office for Windows, and includes a full-screen mode that allows users to focus on reading and writing documents, and support for Office Web Apps
Office Web Apps
Microsoft Office Web Apps is a web-based version of the Microsoft Office productivity suite. It includes the web-based versions of Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Microsoft OneNote. The web applications allow users to access their documents directly from anywhere within a...

.

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:
  1. Word for DOS
  2. Word for Windows 1 and 2; Word 4 and 5 for Mac
  3. Word 6 and Word 95 for Windows; Word 6 for Mac
  4. Word 97, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007 and 2010 for Windows; Word 98, 2001, X, and 2004 for Mac


The newer ".docx" extension signifies the Office Open XML international standard
International standard
International standards are standards developed by international standards organizations. International standards are available for consideration and use, worldwide...

 for Office documents and is used by Word 2007 and 2010 for Windows, Word 2008 and 2011 for the Macintosh, as well as by a growing number of applications from other vendors, including OpenOffice.org Writer
OpenOffice.org Writer
OpenOffice.org Writer is the word processor component of the OpenOffice.org software package. Writer is a word processor similar to Microsoft Word and Corel's WordPerfect, with some of their features....

, an open source
Open source
The term open source describes practices in production and development that promote access to the end product's source materials. Some consider open source a philosophy, others consider it a pragmatic methodology...

 word processing program.

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, primarily due to page layout depending on the current printer. 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)

During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the default Word document format (.DOC
DOC (computing)
In computing, DOC or doc is a filename extension for word processing documents; most commonly for Microsoft Word. Historically, the extension was used for documentation in plain-text format, particularly of programs or computer hardware, on a wide range of operating systems...

) became a de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

standard of document file format
Document file format
A document file format is a text or binary file format for storing documents on a storage media, especially for use by computers.There currently exist a multitude of incompatible document file formats....

s 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
Object Linking and Embedding is a technology developed by Microsoft that allows embedding and linking to documents and other objects. For developers, it brought OLE Control eXtension , a way to develop and use custom user interface elements...

 (Object Linking and Embedding) structured storage
Structured storage
COM Structured Storage is a technology developed by Microsoft as part of its Windows operating system for storing hierarchical data within a single file...

 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 has published specifications for the Word 97-2003 Binary File Format. However, these specifications were criticised for not documenting all of the features used by Word binary file format.

Word 2007 and 2010 continue to support the DOC file format, although it is no longer the default.

XML Document (Word 2003)

The XML format introduced in Word 2003 was a simple, XML
XML
Extensible Markup Language is a set of rules for encoding documents in machine-readable form. It is defined in the XML 1.0 Specification produced by the W3C, and several other related specifications, all gratis open standards....

-based format called WordprocessingML.

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 (such as changing the font, or the handling of more complex tasks like footnotes), creating a "lock in" phenomenon to the base Wastemans(proprietary) standard. 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
Rich Text Format
The Rich Text Format is a proprietary document file format with published specification developed by Microsoft Corporation since 1987 for Microsoft products and for cross-platform document interchange....

 (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. Though an .html extension is applied to the file produced, that file will fail the W3C Validator
W3C Markup Validation Service
The Markup Validation Service is a validator by the World Wide Web Consortium that allows Internet users to check HTML and XHTML documents for well-formed markup...

 spectacularly. If the file is intended to be uploaded as a Web page, use of a tool such as HTML Tidy
HTML Tidy
HTML Tidy is a computer program and a library whose purpose is to fix invalid HTML and to improve the layout and indent style of the resulting markup....

 is a necessary step so that visitors' downloads aren't bloated with the unnecessary Microsoft-specific markup.

Third party formats

Plugins permitting the Windows versions of Word to read and write formats it does not natively support, such as international standard
International standard
International standards are standards developed by international standards organizations. International standards are available for consideration and use, worldwide...

 OpenDocument
OpenDocument
The Open Document Format for Office Applications is an XML-based file format for representing electronic documents such as spreadsheets, charts, presentations and word processing documents....

 format (ODF) (ISO/IEC 26300:2006), are available. 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. The implementation faces substantial criticism, and the ODF Alliance and others have claimed that the third party plugins provide better support. Microsoft later declared that the ODF support has some limitations.

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
Portable Document Format
Portable Document Format is an open standard for document exchange. This file format, created by Adobe Systems in 1993, is used for representing documents in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems....

 and XPS
XML Paper Specification
Open XML Paper Specification , is an open specification for a page description language and a fixed-document format originally developed by Microsoft as XML Paper Specification that was later standardized by Ecma International as international standard ECMA-388...

 formats, but only after manual installation of the Microsoft 'Save as PDF or XPS' add-on. On later releases, this was offered by default.

Features and flaws

Word has a built-in spell checker, thesaurus, dictionary, Office Assistant
Office Assistant
The Office Assistant was a Microsoft Office feature to assist users by way of an interactive animated character, which interfaced with the Office help content. It used technology initially from Microsoft Bob and later Microsoft Agent, offering advice based on Bayesian algorithms...

 and utilities for transferring, copy, pasting and editing text, such as PureText
PureText
PureText is a small utility for Windows that allows the user to paste the contents of the clipboard as plain text. Any formatting of the text is removed. This is equivalent to pasting formatted text into Notepad then copying it back out again; or using "Paste Special" in Microsoft Word to paste...

.

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, starting at version 2007, and prevalent in Office 2010. Users can apply formatting effects such as shadow, bevel, glow, and reflection to their document text as easily as applying bold or underline. Users can also spell-check text that uses visual effects, and add text effects to paragraph styles.

Macros

Like other Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office is a non-free commercial office suite of inter-related desktop applications, servers and services for the Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X operating systems, introduced by Microsoft in August 1, 1989. Initially a marketing term for a bundled set of applications, the first version of...

 documents, Word files can include advanced macros and even embedded programs. The language was originally WordBasic, but changed to Visual Basic for Applications
Visual Basic for Applications
Visual Basic for Applications is an implementation of Microsoft's event-driven programming language Visual Basic 6 and its associated integrated development environment , which are built into most Microsoft Office applications...

 as of Word 97.

This extensive functionality can also be used to run and propagate viruses
Computer virus
A computer virus is a computer program that can replicate itself and spread from one computer to another. The term "virus" is also commonly but erroneously used to refer to other types of malware, including but not limited to adware and spyware programs that do not have the reproductive ability...

 in documents. The tendency for people to exchange Word documents via email, USB flash drive
USB flash drive
A flash drive is a data storage device that consists of flash memory with an integrated Universal Serial Bus interface. flash drives are typically removable and rewritable, and physically much smaller than a floppy disk. Most weigh less than 30 g...

s, and floppy disk
Floppy disk
A floppy disk is a disk storage medium composed of a disk of thin and flexible magnetic storage medium, sealed in a rectangular plastic carrier lined with fabric that removes dust particles...

s made this an especially attractive vector in 1999. A prominent example was the Melissa virus, but countless others have existed in the wild. Nearly all anti-virus software can detect and clean common macro viruses
Macro virus (computing)
In computing terminology, a macro virus is a virus that is written in a macro language: that is to say, a language built into a software application such as a word processor...

.

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
Mac OS X
Mac OS X is a series of Unix-based operating systems and graphical user interfaces developed, marketed, and sold by Apple Inc. Since 2002, has been included with all new Macintosh computer systems...

 system up until the advent of video codec trojans
Zlob trojan
The Zlob Trojan, identified by some antiviruses as Trojan.Zlob, is a trojan horse which masquerades as a needed video codec in the form of ActiveX...

 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

Before Word 2010 (Word 14) for Windows, the program was unable to handle ligatures
Ligature (typography)
In writing and typography, a ligature occurs where two or more graphemes are joined as a single glyph. Ligatures usually replace consecutive characters sharing common components and are part of a more general class of glyphs called "contextual forms", where the specific shape of a letter depends on...

 defined in TrueType
TrueType
TrueType is an outline font standard originally developed by Apple Computer in the late 1980s as a competitor to Adobe's Type 1 fonts used in PostScript...

 fonts those ligature glyphs with Unicode
Unicode
Unicode is a computing industry standard for the consistent encoding, representation and handling of text expressed in most of the world's writing systems...

 codepoints may be inserted manually, but are not recognized by Word for what they are, breaking spell checking, while custom ligatures present in the font are not accessible at all. Since Word 2010, the program now has advanced typesetting
Typesetting
Typesetting is the composition of text by means of types.Typesetting requires the prior process of designing a font and storing it in some manner...

 features which can be enabled: OpenType
OpenType
OpenType is a format for scalable computer fonts. It was built on its predecessor TrueType, retaining TrueType's basic structure and adding many intricate data structures for prescribing typographic behavior...

 ligatures, kerning
Kerning
In typography, kerning is the process of adjusting the spacing between characters in a proportional font, usually to achieve a visually pleasing result. Kerning is the adjustment of the space between individual letter forms vs. tracking which is the uniform adjustment of spacing applied over a...

, and hyphenation
Hyphenation algorithm
A hyphenation algorithm is a set of rules that decides at which points a word can be broken over two lines with a hyphen...

. Other layout deficiencies of Word include the inability to set crop mark
Crop mark
Crop mark may refer to*in printing, marks placed at the corners of a form to indicate where the page is to be trimmed*Cropmarks, in archaeology: differential growth indicating buried sites*Crop circles...

s 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.

Additionally, as of Word 2002, Word does automatic font substitution
Font substitution
Font substitution is the process of using one font in place of another when the intended font either is not available or does not contain glyphs for the required characters.Font substitution can be aided by:...

 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 the user to freshly begin page numbering an even page after a section break (and vice versa). Instead it inserts a mandatory blank page which cannot 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
Apple Advanced Typography
Apple Advanced Typography is Apple Inc's computer software for advanced font rendering, supporting internationalization and complex features for typographers, a successor to Apple's little-used QuickDraw GX font technology of the mid-1990s...

 features like ligatures or glyph variants.

Bullets and numbering

Word has extensive list of bullets and numbering features used for tables, lists, 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. 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.

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.

AutoSummarize was removed from Microsoft Word for Mac 2011, although it was present in Word for Mac 2008. AutoSummarize was also removed from the Office 2010 release version (14) as well.

Versions

Versions for Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows is a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft.Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces . Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal...

 include the following:
Year Released Name Version Comments
1989 Word for Windows 1.0
1990 Word for Windows 1.1 1.1 Code-named Bill the Cat
Bill the Cat
Bill the Cat, or Bill D. Cat, according to the final Outland strip, is a fictional cat appearing in the works of cartoonist Berkeley Breathed, beginning with the comic strip Bloom County in the 1980s and continuing in Outland and Opus in the following decades...

1990 Word for Windows 1.1a 1.1a For Windows 3.1
1991 Word for Windows 2.0 2.0 Code-named Spaceman Spiff
1993 Word for Windows 6.0 6.0 Code-named T3 (renumbered 6 to bring Windows version numbering in line with that of DOS version, Macintosh version and also WordPerfect
WordPerfect
WordPerfect is a word processing application, now owned by Corel.Bruce Bastian, a Brigham Young University graduate student, and BYU computer science professor Dr. Alan Ashton joined forces to design a word processing system for the city of Orem's Data General Corp. minicomputer system in 1979...

, the main competing word processor at the time; also a 32-bit version for Windows NT
Windows NT
Windows NT is a family of operating systems produced by Microsoft, the first version of which was released in July 1993. It was a powerful high-level-language-based, processor-independent, multiprocessing, multiuser operating system with features comparable to Unix. It was intended to complement...

 only)
1995 Word 95 7.0 Included in Office 95
1997 Word 97 8.0 Included in Office 97
1998 Word 98 8.5 Only sold as part of Office 97 Powered By Word 98, which was only available in Japan and Korea.
1999 Word 2000 9.0 Included in Office 2000
2001 Word 2002 10.0 Included in Office XP
2003 Office Word 2003 11.0 Included in Office 2003
2006 Office Word 2007 12.0 Included in Office 2007; released to businesses on November 30, 2006, released worldwide to consumers on January 30, 2007
2010 Word 2010 14.0 Included in Office 2010
Note: Version number 13 was skipped due to superstition
Superstition
Superstition is a belief in supernatural causality: that one event leads to the cause of another without any process in the physical world linking the two events....

.


Versions for the Macintosh
Macintosh
The Macintosh , or Mac, is a series of several lines of personal computers designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc. The first Macintosh was introduced by Apple's then-chairman Steve Jobs on January 24, 1984; it was the first commercially successful personal computer to feature a mouse and a...

 (Mac OS and Mac OS X) include the following:
Year Released Name Comments
1985 Word 1
1987 Word 3
1989 Word 4 Part of Office 1.0 and 1.5
1991 Word 5jkj
  • Part of Office 3.0
  • Requires System 6.0.2, 512 KB of RAM (1 MB for 5.1, 2 MB to use spell check and thesaurus), 6.5 MB available hard drive space
1992 Word 5.1
  • Part of Office 3.0
  • Last version to support 68000-based Macs
  • 1993 Word 6
  • Part of Office 4.2
  • Shares code and user interface with Word for Windows 6
  • Requires System 7.0, 4 MB of RAM (8 MB recommended), at least 10 MB available hard drive space, 68020 CPU
  • 1998 Word 98
  • Part of Office 98 Macintosh Edition
    Microsoft Office 98 Macintosh Edition
    Microsoft Office 98 Macintosh Edition is a Mac OS version of Microsoft Office unveiled at Macworld Expo/San Francisco on January 6, 1998. It introduced the Internet Explorer 4.0 browser and Outlook Express, an Internet e-mail client and usenet newsgroup reader...

  • Requires PowerPC-based Mac
  • 2000 Word 2001
  • Part of Microsoft Office 2001
  • Last version compatible with Classic (OS 9 or earlier) Mac OS
    Mac OS
    Mac OS is a series of graphical user interface-based operating systems developed by Apple Inc. for their Macintosh line of computer systems. The Macintosh user experience is credited with popularizing the graphical user interface...

  • 2001 Word v. X
  • Part of Office v. X
    Microsoft Office v. X
    Microsoft Office v. X was released in 2001 for the new Mac OS X platform.Office v.x was followed by Office 2004, while Support for Office v. X ended on January 9, 2007 after the release of the final update, 10.1.9-External links:*...

  • First version for Mac OS X
    Mac OS X
    Mac OS X is a series of Unix-based operating systems and graphical user interfaces developed, marketed, and sold by Apple Inc. Since 2002, has been included with all new Macintosh computer systems...

     only
  • 2004 Word 2004 Part of Office 2004
    Office 2004 for Mac
    Office 2004 for Mac is a version of Microsoft Office developed for Apple's Mac OS X operating system. The software was originally written for the PowerPC Macs, so Macs with Intel CPUs must run the program under Mac OS X's Rosetta emulation layer....

    2008 Word 2008 Part of Office 2008
    Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac
    Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac is a version of the Microsoft Office productivity suite for Mac OS X. It supersedes Office 2004 for Mac and is the Mac OS X equivalent of Office 2007. Office 2008 was developed by Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit and released on January 15, 2008...

    2010 Word 2011 Part of Office 2011
    Microsoft Office for Mac 2011
    Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 is the most recent version of the Microsoft Office productivity suite for Mac OS X. It is the successor to Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac and is comparable to Microsoft Office 2010 for Windows....



    Versions for MS-DOS
    MS-DOS
    MS-DOS is an operating system for x86-based personal computers. It was the most commonly used member of the DOS family of operating systems, and was the main operating system for IBM PC compatible personal computers during the 1980s to the mid 1990s, until it was gradually superseded by operating...

    Year Released Name Comments
    1983 Word 1
    1985 Word 2
    1986 Word 3
    1987 Word 4
    1989 Word 5
    1991 Word 5.1
    1991 Word 5.5 First DOS version to use a Windows-like user interface
    1993 Word 6.0


    Versions for the Atari ST
    Atari ST
    The Atari ST is a home/personal computer that was released by Atari Corporation in 1985 and commercially available from that summer into the early 1990s. The "ST" officially stands for "Sixteen/Thirty-two", which referred to the Motorola 68000's 16-bit external bus and 32-bit internals...

    :
    Year Released Name Comments
    1988 Microsoft Write Conversion of Microsoft Word 1.05 for Mac


    Versions for OS/2
    OS/2
    OS/2 is a computer operating system, initially created by Microsoft and IBM, then later developed by IBM exclusively. The name stands for "Operating System/2," because it was introduced as part of the same generation change release as IBM's "Personal System/2 " line of second-generation personal...

     include the following:
    Year Released Name Comments
    1992 Microsoft Word for OS/2 version 1.1B

    See also

    • List of word processors
    • Comparison of word processors
      Comparison of word processors
      -General information:This table provides general information about selected word processors.-Characteristics:This table gives characteristics of each word processor.-Operating System Compatibility:...

    • Microsoft Word Viewer
      Microsoft Word Viewer
      Microsoft Word Viewer is a standalone freeware program for Microsoft Windows that lets users who do not own Microsoft Word view and print documents that were created in Microsoft Office....



    Further reading

    • Tsang, Cheryl. Microsoft: First Generation. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN 978-0-471-33206-0.
    • Liebowitz, Stan J. & Margolis, Stephen E. WINNERS, LOSERS & MICROSOFT: Competition and Antitrust in High Technology Oakland: Independent Institute. ISBN 978-0-945999-80-5.

    External links

    The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
     
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