Adobe Buzzword

This is a test of Adobe's BUZZWORD on-line word processing application. The idea is pretty simple, and I'd wager to say that it even works fairly well. The whole thing is pretty nice, the formatting works pretty well, and unlike Google Docs at its launch, the display is really nice. I would probably be comfortable using this to prepare a document for handing in to an instructor at the university. I would probably also be comfortable using this environment for a bigger project like NaNoWriMo, although I'm really not sure how well it scales up to larger documents, which is something AppleWorks 5 did decently, and something that really let Word 2007 prove itself to me.

The biggest thing I use word processors for is collecting, creating, organizing and presenting documents. What I've found in the past is that different word processors are good at different things. Adobe's Buzzword, so far, is great at creation of documents, and designing beautiful, presentable documents. Part of Adobe's goal with Buzzword, and other parts of the new Acrobat.com suite, is to "to change the way the world works together on documents, for the better."

Initially my biggest concern about Adobe's Buzzword is what seems like a lack of styles. I don't mind too terribly much because Buzzword purports to be "the first real web-based word processor," so I'm giving it some slack. However, these days styles really do seem to be a very basic and rudimentary thing, on which a lot of formatting and document control implements are really nice. However, styles would make long-form documents such as the NaNoWriMo novel much easier to manage. Buzzword does allow endnotes but it doesn't have any implement for footnotes, page breaks, section breaks, or a Table of Contents.

The major success of Adobe's Buzzword is it's power in the department of text formatting. For shorter documents where you don't need to do very much in the way of organizing. More importantly, it would be really nice if you need to create graphics-heavy documents. Commenting and change tracking are great, although I haven't yet seen actual collaborative editing at work in Buzzword.

Adobe Buzzword is a capable word processor, but like Pages from Apple and Google Docs have done, this app needs a lot of growing in a few major areas. Whether or not it'll actually grow in the way I personally need is yet to be seen, but I'm going to be keeping track of it. It's a great writing tool. It's not so great at organization, which is what I tend to look for in a word processor, and it's a great presentation tool.

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