Microsoft Word X is the ninth iteration of Word on the Mac and as such this version
is an evolutionary advance. This version runs natively under Mac OS X, has a nice
Aqua interface, and renders text beautifully using Quartz. But Word 2001 does run
under Classic mode and there are few other new features in Word X. If you already
have Word 2001, is it worth the cost of the upgrade? Word X has a suggest retail
price of $399 for full product and $149 for the version upgrade.
was reviewed on a Power Macintosh G4 Quicksilver 867 MHz with 1.125 GB of RAM running
Mac OS X 10.2.3.
Besides being Mac OS X native, Word X has a couple of notable new features:
- You can select multiple items in paragraphs, lists, or table cells that are
not contiguous. Select the first item, then hold down the Command (Apple) key, and
select any additional items you want to change or format all at once. You can also
use Multi-selection when finding and replacing text or formatting.
- Clear Formatting
- Under the Edit menu, you can use Clear Formats to remove and reset formatting.
Clear Formatting removes any applied character and paragraph formatting, and resets
the default text style.
As expected with any native OS X application, Word X has a nice Aqua interface.
Below are screen-shots of the Word X and 2001 interfaces. As you can see, interfaces
are functionally identical. The Word X toolbar icons are larger and their functions
are easier to interpret. One notable interface difference is the Word 5.1 Menus and
toolbar are now gone.
Screenshot of Word X for Mac
Screenshot of Word 2001 for Mac
If you also use Word for Windows, you find that the menus and toolbars are similar
which makes it easy to switch between platforms.
Word X for Mac uses the same file format as Word 98, Word 2001, as well as Word
97, Word 2000, and Word XP for Windows. Exchanging documents between platforms is
easy as long as you append the extension when you save the file. Also, use fonts
that are standard on both platforms for best results. I used both Word X and Word
97 for Windows to create this review.
You can now open AppleWorks 6 word processing documents as well as AppleWorks 5.
I do not have AppleWorks 5 or 6 to try this. You cannot save a document to AppleWorks
After starting up the Mac, Word X initially launched in about 4 seconds and you
barely see the splash screen before the Project Gallery appears. Subsequent launches
took less than 2 seconds. Word X took 13 seconds to scroll through a sample 73-page
document in Page Layout View. It only took 6.5 seconds for Word 2001 running under
Classic to perform the same task although it seems a bit clunky and has a few display
glitches. Although the operation of Word X seems to be crisp and performs solidly,
it appears a bit of performance tweaking could be done.
As with Word 2001, Word X has no printed manual, but it now comes with a Getting
Started Book PDF file on the CD. As the title implies, this document will help you
to get started, but if you want a more comprehensive manual, you have to get out
the wallet for a third-party book.
The friendly Office Assistant returns with a nice improvement in the Help window.
You can now print a help topic for future reference.
For further support, visit Microsoft's Mactopia web site.
Word X is an excellent
word processing application that has evolved nicely over the years. My only solid
gripe is its cost. If you do want to buy Word X, consider the full Office X suite
unless you have no use for Excel or PowerPoint. Office X costs relatively little
more and there are more deals available. Also, consider the Mac OS X compatible ThinkFree
Office or OpenOffice for a fraction of the cost.
- Native for OS X
- Aqua interface
- Solid performance
- Excellent compatibility
with Word for Windows documents
- Getting Started PDF
file now included on CD
- Expensive to buy
- No paper user manual
4 out of 5 Mice