Making Suggestions to Microsoft about Word

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 12, 2015)

8

Over the years, Microsoft has expressed a desire for user feedback. Microsoft has tried various websites and e-mail addresses for the feedback, and a lot of desire for feedback fell into the background during the days of Word 2003 while they were getting Word 2007 ready. (That's understandable—the huge changes wrought in Word 2007 would mean basically ignoring the majority of the commentary on Word 2003, plus Microsoft was—during those days—paying more attention to automatically-generated user behavior metrics.)

Now Microsoft is, again, seeking feedback. If you have a suggestion for an improvement in Word or you think that an existing feature of the program could be improved, this is your chance to be heard. In seeking the feedback, Microsoft has partnered with a third-party platform (UserVoice) to provide the framework for the feedback. Here's the URL where you can make your voice heard:

http://word.uservoice.com/

Feedback through the site is for various flavors of Word, but all of them have one thing in common—they are for the latest version of the software. Thus, if you are using an older version of Word, the site might not be of much interest or help for you.

Give it a try! Who knows, your input may be helpful in shaping future releases of Word.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10047) applies to Microsoft Word 2016.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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Comments

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What is 7 - 2?

2016-05-17 21:22:18

Stephen Gray

I seriously doubt whether MS will implement more than one or two suggestions. Every sign is that they pay very little attention to users.


2016-05-16 09:46:16

Linda Dellinger

Word has dummied-down its features. In a professional office where documents containing words are most prevalent, Word has managed to take away those features that truly automated the process. Why can't I still have my own "quick words?" where are my keystroke shortcuts? why must I use my mouse? I don't care about your endless, auto texts for a word or two; your templates are useless and take away my ability to create and save my own; ditto with my macros. If the programmers would like to contact me, gosh do I have some comments.


2015-12-17 07:32:54

ken Endacott

I doubt that Microsoft's programmers are mediocre or that Microsoft know nothing about writing Such is their prestige in Silicon Valley that they can hire the cream of the crop.

The problem with Word is its sheer size and complexity. It tries to be all things to all people from raw beginners to very advanced users, from one page letter writing to preparation of large elaborately laid out documents. The result is that Microsoft can't please everybody. Cut down and specialised versions of word processors have been tried but they don't sell. What everyone wants is a fully featured version of Word. In the past documents were either produced on a typewriter or typeset by expert typesetters using expensive machines. Today we imagine that anyone can produce documents that are nicely laid out with fancy fonts and all sorts of pretty features. The truth is that the masses turn out simple documents only marginally better than could be produced on a typewriter but it requires expertise to produce more elaborate documents. However, both are produced with the one package – Word.

Word has evolved and improved over the years. Earlier versions were terrible and greatly inferior to WordPerfect at the time. But Word powered on and WordPerfect fell by the wayside. Shades of Beta verses VHS.

Many new features that have been added over the years show signs of being bolted on. This is particularly evident when you look at the VBA coding where there are sometimes awkward fudges to make the feature work.

The nearest Microsoft came to redesigning Word was the transition from 2003 to 2007. This was necessary to accommodate HML and web page generation and to change file formats (Does anyone use Word to generate web pages?) The new file formats give smaller file sizes but Word runs slower – thankfully this has been offset by increases in computer processor speed. In theory there is backwards file compatibility but as we all know it is less than perfect.


2015-12-16 08:47:04

Lee Batchelor

I couldn’t agree more, Stephen.

The “basics” work very well in Word. It’s when you need to use the program at an advanced level that the horror stories begin. As a technical writer, I edit many documents for clients. After receiving the source document, I turn on the Format markers, and I can tell you that 90 percent of users treat Word as though it was an electric typewriter. Not to minimize the importance of their jobs, but the basics are all these people need. Therefore, when the masses are happy with the program, why fix it?

In the perfect world, Microsoft would use professional writers as the Subject Matter Experts and redesign Word from the ground floor. This will never happen until their market share is severely threatened. I submit that their programmers are mediocre and know nothing about writing. It’s like boarding a cruise ship, sailing through a heavy ice field at sea, and discovering the captain is Daffy Duck!


2015-12-15 14:00:40

Stephen Gray

I've sent many suggestions to MS. They do not respond or otherwise indicate that they have even noticed them. I am reluctant to exert more effort because to make Word truly polished and easier to use would require them to allocate hundreds of programmer-years to the job. They seem to be interested only in making more $. Word as it stands is not a finished product. I give it a B for features, C- for ease of use, and F for reliability.


2015-12-14 07:59:35

Lee Batchelor

Here you go, Rob. Just replace "word" with "excel".

http://excel.uservoice.com/

- Lee


2015-12-13 21:21:21

Rob

I never thought I would get this opportunity, and have been posting suggestions that have built up for years (and I'm worried I won't be able to remember all my little frustrations to suggest fixes)!

Do you have a link with the opportunity to submit suggestions for Excel?

Thanks.


2015-12-12 07:58:04

Lee Batchelor

I too recently heard about this site.

As for: "Feedback through the site is for various flavors of Word, but all of them have one thing in common—they are for the latest version of the software. Thus, if you are using an older version of Word, the site might not be of much interest or help for you." I wonder what they consider an "older version." I'm using Word 2010, which I'm sure they consider to be very old because there has been several new releases.

There's PLENTY of things wrong with Word 2010. I can only see corporate greed getting in the way of MS fixing anything in Word 2010, thus leaving me with only one alternative--move to their most recent release--for a price of course! I've heard horror stories about the newer releases too--mainly bugs and convenient features that were stripped away.

I'm glad MS is taking this seriously. It's about time. Makes me wonder if they're feeling the pinch from all the free word processing software out there that lacks only those elements that professionals need.


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