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Posted on January 17, 2001

Software lets Mac open Word documents

Advertiser Staff Writer

The single biggest headache of any Macintosh user is (drumroll . . . don’t all shout at once): opening Windows-type attachments sent by e-mail. The most common source of this frustration is the ubiquitous Microsoft Word document, identifiable by the .doc extension in the file name.

The reasonably priced (and, surprisingly, legitimate) solution is a program called icWord, sold by Panergy Ltd., an Israeli software developer, licensed by Microsoft but specializing in Hebrew programs for the Macintosh. Here, the company crosses over into international and multilingual territory with icWord, a viewer that translates the contents of a Word file.

There are limits to its charm, of course. It handled text well in our test, but stumbled on translating some graphics (a publicist said improvements are expected in an “imminent” but unscheduled upgrade, version 1.2). You can’t edit the document directly, but must copy it into another word processor to do so. If there are columns, they’re presented one after another, not as they appear in the original.

But what can you expect for $19.95? (And a free trial version, which will function for 30 days, is also available at www.icword.com.) If you want the real McCoy, you can look for that under the Office suite at www.microsoft.com/mac/. Retail: around $400. My word.

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