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BARE FEATS -- "BARE facts on Mac speed FEATS"
by Mad Scientist:
Rob-ART Morgan and Partner In Crime: Bet-TAY Morgan

Wordprocessing Shootout

Updated 3/14/04 by Rob-ART Morgan, chief mad scientist
Updated May 20th, 2004 with quick take on Word X versus Word 2004.

We tested Mariner Write 3.6 against MS Word X, AppleWorks 6.27, Think Free Write 2.0, and Nisus Express 1.1 to see which was the FASTEST.

We used a 250 page test file (194K words). It was the sentence, "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs" repeated over and over (8 sentences to a paragraph).

We ran three speed tests:
1. Find and replace all "dogs" with "cats."
2. Spell check whole document. (Last word in document was misspelled "doogz" instead of "dogs.")
3. Scroll from top of file to bottom. (Place cursor at bottom of scroll bar and hold mouse button down until it reaches the bottom.)

Here's what we found (times in tenths of seconds):

MS Word X
Mariner Write
AppleWorks
Think Free
Office Write
NisusWriter Express
Find/Replace
6.6
21.8
1.6
9.7
forever (a)
Spell Check
11.1 (b)
4.6
9.5
forever (a)
6.7
Scroll Test
10.8 (c)
6.0
12.7
forever (a)
forever (a)
Price
$229
$139.95
($69.96
net)
$79
(all
modules)
$49
(all
modules)
$59.95
($39.95
net)

(a) Forever = took more than 3 minutes to complete the task
(b) Takes "forever" unless you turn off "check as you type."
(c) PAGE view took "forever." NORMAL view took 10.8 seconds.

INSIGHTS

1. Mariner Write scored the best times in two out of three tests, so I suppose they can claim "fastest" honors. Yet AppleWorks' total time for the three tests is the lowest, so Apple could claim "fastest" honors.

To break the "tie," I timed how long each took to import an MS Word file. Mariner Write took 5 seconds. AppleWorks took 144 seconds! So based on that excercise, I declare Mariner Write the "world's fastest Mac wordprocessing application."

2. The abysmal performance of Think Free Office Write and Nisus Express entitles them to the "un-acceptable" award.

P.S. I most often use TextEdit for preparing articles for the website or making notes and labels that don't require fancy formatting. It's faster than any of the "real" wordprocessing apps when it comes to Find/Replace (1.1 sec) and Spell Check (3.8 sec). It didn't do too bad in the Scroll Test (14.8 sec). Best of all: it comes FREE with OS X.

WORD 2004 RELEASED on MAY 19th, 2004

Is MS Word 2004 for Mac faster than MS Word X for Mac? Short answer: NO.

Long answer: We ran our three typical WP tests with a 250 page document on our PowerBook G4/1.5GHz.

Word X
Word 2004
Word X advantage
Find/Replace
7 sec
30 sec
329%
Spell Check*
14 sec
21 sec
50%
Scroll Thru**
11 sec
23 sec
109%

* "Check spelling as you type" and "Check grammar with spelling" turned OFF in Preferences. Otherwise it takes "forever."
** View set to "Normal. "Page Layout" View takes "forever."

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1995-2004 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
Email webmaster at
rob-art@barefeats.com

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