Thursday, April 02, 2009

Off topic

I note that guys aren't shy about sharing computer problems from time to time. Here is one. I bought a new Toshiba laptop with Vista recently. In spite of everything that has been said, I didn't notice the shift to Vista. I work on a lot of laptops at school, a rotating pool of this and that, so I had already been using Vista and MS Word 07, for a while without knowing it. I use Macs too sometimes and I don't blather on too much about OS's. They just are, if you know what I mean.

However, I did start using the Microsoft Works word processor which was bundled with my laptop for free, or at least it was part of the deal. In MS Works, on a right click on any word, a dictionary opens up with a thesaurus tab as well. This window is accessible to my favourite screen reader which I use for LD readers at school. But in MS Word this dictionary is not available although a thesaurus opens in the right hand task window. This thesaurus does not interact with my screen reader. What is this? Why is MS Word so lame?

Now I have to contact IT and bribe someone to install MS Works for the special needs kids instead of MS Word. Come on. Who doesn't need a dictionary? We are all special needs. Am I missing something here? Is the dictionary in MS Word somewhere else? Has my IT dept. disabled the dictionary in order to save space? That's always possible.


mike said...

Right clicking on a word in Word for me (incidentally, I typed and clicked on the word "word," too), gives me a thesaurus option - under "Synonyms."

Its possible it wasn't installed.

My wife when she's working at the Writing Center at TWU, is always frustrated with the international students using Word because they always think all the suggestions about grammar and lexicon are correct. It makes for terrible writing if you rely on it too much.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

I do get the thesaurus option to open on the righthand side. But the dictionary in Works is far superior and it includes the thesaurus as well.

So in Works I get a dictionary and a thesuarus, a list of other entries for the same word, that is if there are two separate meanings for a word, AND the screen reader can read all this out loud.

If the kids import an electronic text into Works they have the dictionary option available and a readaloud. It is a lot more sophisticated than just using the spellcheck.

Lin said...

I do not like vista at all. I want my xp back!

Suzanne McCarthy said...

I know that a lot of people say this. What is it about Vista that you don't like. Is it just change or is there something specific?

Lin said...

The first thing I did not like was the new outlook which would not read my old outlook. I just quit using outlook. The other thing I do not like is how the files/programs are set up. It is harder for me to access my external hard drive (more clicking).

I am sure there is an easy way to do these things but I expected it to be seamless.

I have gotten used to it now but I do have trouble with some formats going back and forth between my xp laptop and my vista desk top.