This post isn’t about TeX, really, but relates to why I prefer to use TeX to other systems. I’ve recently bought a MacBook, so that I can run Unix software in addition to Windows things. For work, I need Windows, whereas outside of work it does not really matter what I use (everything is cross-platform).

One particular issue for me is Microsoft Word. When writing papers at work, things have to be done in Word. My boss is never going to understand anything else, and most journals only take Word submissions. A lot of people will think ‘why not use OpenOffice?’. Unfortunately, there are a few things that Word can do that OpenOffice cannot. One is handle pasted ChemDraw diagrams properly. If you paste them into a Word file using Word on Windows, they can be edited after saving and moving the file about. That is not the case for OpenOffice. As a chemist, ChemDraw is a must, and so I have to be able to run Word. A pain, but that is how it is.

All went well with the new Mac until I tried to open some Word files. Thy open fine, but I can’t edit the ChemDraw’s. A quick look at the support site reveals this is a known issue. It seems Microsoft have changed Word on the Mac so it looses the all-important data for editing the diagrams: disaster. The people who write ChemDraw can do nothing about this, and since Word files are not documented there is nothing much that anyone outside Microsoft can do. The result: I’ll have to install Office for Windows on my Mac!