Word Attachments

I have received a number of Word attachments recently. Nowadays, I only touch MS Word when I am forced to by other people, as I rely on TextWrangler, TextEdit, OpenOffice and LaTex for my various text related activities.

I started to summarize why I think people should avoid Word, especially as e-mail attchments, but then I found some web pages with more well-thought and well-rounded arguments:

– Manuel M T Chakravarty’s Attachments in Proprietary Formats Considered Harmful

– Jeff Goldberg’s MS-Word is {Not} a document exchange format

– Richard M. Stallman’s We Can Put an End to Word Attachments

Good alternatives to the word DOC format is RTF or HTML, and this are easily writable and readable on all software and platforms I have tested recently.

Concerning PDFs: OS X has PDF-support built into the system. Windows people without an acrobat license can use CutePDF which supposedly is a totally free PDF maker for windows (many of the other free programs around are not that free when you start using them), but I don’t have any windows machines aroundt to test it right now.