TidBITS Updates -- The rapidity of important news releases surrounding the clone licensing situation recently prompted us to launch a Web-based project we'd been considering for some time. When news breaks after we've published an issue of TidBITS, as it has for the last few weeks, we'll provide a tight summary on our TidBITS Updates page (with headlines on our home page). We also plan to publish announcements of important software releases, occasional letters to the editor, and information about other appropriate topics. As with TidBITS, however, TidBITS Updates will focus on what we consider to be the most important news, not everything that happens. We're still completing our internal tools for TidBITS Updates, so, for now, use our home page to access TidBITS Updates content. [ACE]
Word 97-98 Importer Available -- Recently, Microsoft announced plans to release Office 98 for the Macintosh by the end of this year, and - of more immediate interest - released a beta version of the Word 97-98 Import Converter. Macintosh Word 5 and 6 users can use the software to read Word 97-98 format, used by Word for Windows 97, the upcoming Word for Windows 98, and the upcoming Word for Macintosh 98. The importer is available as a 1.4 MB download from the Microsoft Web site, and according to a contact at Microsoft, it will remain a beta for at least a little while. If you've experienced problems with Word 97 users not remembering to convert documents into Word 5 or 6 format for you, the beta may prove helpful, though I recommend you skim the list of known problems in the Read Me file. The installer installs the importer (called Word 97-98 Import version 97081800), some new graphics filters (JPEG, PNG, and metafile), and a batch converter. The importer requires a 68020-based Macintosh or better.
In its announcement of Office 98, Microsoft noted Office 98 will run on PowerPC-based Macs only and will be self-repairing - that is, if a user unwittingly removes one of the many shared libraries required by Office 98, the software will automatically generate a new library. [TJE]