2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Great book; bad CD, Jan. 12 2004
This dictionary is indispensable to anyone in the book publishing industry, but I mourn the loss of the prior CD's format and functionality. I must use this reference daily as a copy editor, and because the speed of a CD search is crucial, I'm stuck with the new version.
The format/layout is way too cumbersome, and offers no viewing options other than color and text size. I was able to shrink the Web10 program into a 3x4 inch box that resided permanently on my computer screen alongside a Google window and a style sheet document window. The new program takes up half my desktop at its smallest usable size.
The entries were much clearer in the old version, as well. Syllables used to be notated with dots, which could not be mistaken for hyphens. They are now indicated by what looks like hyphens, whereas hyphens look like en dashes. When the #1 reason you're looking words up is to verify things like hyphenated spellings, this is a big deal.
I would have liked some sort of F5=clear key, too, since the extra steps needed to enter a new word are redundant and irritating. It used to be that as soon as I hit enter, the entry was already highlighted and ready for the next entry, no extra steps or keystrokes needed. And depending on how I proceeded through the first entry, only sometimes am I able to scroll down a word list; often the list just stops or duplicates the main entry. If I want to look for variations I have to hit clear or backspace out of the word, then start over again.
Also gone is the tables list. I think the tables are still there, but you have to know that and look up a word that would then offer you the table. I learned a lot from those tables in the Web10 edition simply because curiosity led me to view them from the menu.
That this is the consummate dictionary is undisputed, and for students or anyone else who's using it as an occasional lookup tool it's unbeatable. If you're using it every day, all day, however, its functionality will fight you. I was looking forward to that day that when I could officially transform rest room into restroom, baby-sitter into babysitter, and E-mail into e-mail. Now that it's arrived, I wish I could just find a list of the changes so that I could check that list exclusively, then use my Web10 CD for the rest until Web12 comes up with a design that works for the folks who use it the most.