Microsoft Office is one of the most ubiquitous suites of software anywhere. Especially on Mac OS X, Office 2004 (and its predecessor, Office X) offers features not available anywhere else. Comprised of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Entourage (an email, calendar, and address book program), and MSN Messenger, Office provides just about everything you could need to conduct personal or business work on a Mac—as long as you can accept a suite of memory- and space-sucking programs. The Professional version even includes VirtualPC, so you can (gasp!) run Windows on your Mac.
Although Mac OS X lets you use up to 255 characters in file names, Office programs (up through Office X) are more limited. If you open a document that has more than 31 characters, edit it, and save it, Office retains the long file name. In other words, Office can understand long file names—it just can’t create them. If you rename a document in the Finder, say, Uncle Rumpelstiltskin’s Extraordinary Adventure at Fort Ticonderoga, Office will open it and respect its name without batting an eye. However, if you create a new document, you can’t give it a name with more than 31 characters.
The permanent solution to this problem is to upgrade to Office 2004, which removes the 31-character limitation.
Office programs are particularly vulnerable to damaged fonts. Even when a particular font plays nicely with other programs, it may cause ...