There’s nothing that will get lawyers’ juices flowing more than a good debate about the relative merits of Word and WordPerfect.
For the life of me, I still don’t understand this phenomenon. However, I will attest to the fact that I’ve found myself in several discussions this year among otherwise seemingly rational people where glasses were raised in toasts to the glory of WordPerfect 5.1.
My memories of WordPerfect 5.1 are somewhat different. I was mainly living in the Macintosh world at the time. I don’t recall the need to memorize obscure key combinations (shift-F7 anyone) as the golden era.
David Coursey’s WordPerfect Killed Itself blog post is just what the doctor ordered for lawyers who are WP 5.1 nostalgists to get the blood boiling on a cold winter day. There are also plenty of comments to his post for bonus reading.
Coursey makes a great case for his proposition, although it is unreasonable to expect that anyone can nail the whole story in a few paragraphs.
Anyone who ever struggled with the first version of WordPerfect for Windows (who had the incredibly bad idea to change the common key commands?) will find themselves nodding in agreement to Coursey’s central argument.
Although I won’t be present at this session, ABA TECHSHOW 2005 will have a bonus informal roundtable session that we are tentatively calling a “WordPerfect Revival Meeting,” which we hope will be led by legal technology’s leading WordPerfect advocate.
For what it’s worth, I think that Word 2003 is the word processing program that really gets it right for lawyers, but that it’s OneNote that might well be the tool of choice for lawyers today. Unfortunately, most lawyers aren’t yet using Word 2003 and, if I bring up that point to WordPerfect fans, the discussion tends to go nowhere.
By the way, I’ve heard all of the arguments on the Word/WordPerfect issue many, many times, so there’s no need to try to “enlighten” me about the errors of my ways. It’s just word processing, after all. There are other programs that can do a lawyer a lot more good.