Pitfalls of using Microsoft Word

by Dave on November 8, 2005

in Computing

Great post from John Naughton.

The United Nations have released a Word file which, in the meta data and changes tracking, reveals some pretty embarassing edits…

When will people learn to stop using MS file formats to distribute material?

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Software Channels » Blog Archive » Choosing the right file format
November 8, 2005 at 12:51 pm

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rick Green November 9, 2005 at 4:07 am

That’s wild. I hadn’t heard of it before. Unintentional transparency is a good thing, right?

2 Dave November 9, 2005 at 9:38 am

Well, not always! For example, it is possible that Word will record what you are writing in one document in another, if you have them open at the same time. It has caught people out who were applying for new jobs in work time, I believe!

On a government level, like this, you might be right I guess. But on a personal level, it is always best to use RTF or PDF formats, for two reasons. One, it stops embarrasment like this happening, and two, it means that anyone can open your file, even if they don’t have Word installed.

Also, there could possibly be serious ramifications if Word documents are used in a legal context…

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