Posts Tagged 'text editor'

DocPad – FreeFile Review

Text editors are supposed to do one thing – edit plain text, but DocPad is a text editor that includes many useful tools, such as Spellcheck, Calendar, and a Macro Recorder. The default user interface is a colorful, slightly dated Windows Xp look. The interface has an incredible number of user adjustable options; however, simply changing the skin to one of the less colorful options (Understated or Old School) helps greatly. DocPad is Windows only.

The Good – So many useful tools are included, it’s difficult to decide which ones deserve a mention. My favorites are Spellcheck and Character Map. There are also Search & Replace, a simple Calendar, a Calculator, one-click access to Change Text Case, and a Statistics panel. The program also offers access to many Windows tools through the ‘Interface’ menu. Most of the tools and options are available via right-click as well as on the toolbar and menu. User adjustments are available for most aspects of the interface. 100 levels of undo.

The Bad – I found no real issues with DocPad. Minor annoyances include the default interface needing an update from the dated Xp look. The Spellcheck requires an additional download and installation (definitely well worth it). Being a text editor, it opens and outputs only plain text.

— — — — The Bottom Line — — — —

I really like DocPad. It has replaced Notepad on my PC, but I’m still trying to get used to my text editor not being a stripped down, one-trick pony. If you’re a Notepad user, DocPad will be a great upgrade.

Download DocPad HERE

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FreeFile Review – AbiWord

Originally, this review was to be titled “WordPad – The Forgotten Word Processor”, however, it soon became clear that WordPad was forgotten for very good reasons. Support for Word’s .doc format was removed from WordPad when Windows Vista debuted. Little was expected and even less was delivered by WordPad. It may be a reasonable application if your needs begin and end with .rtf (rich text format), but better solutions exist.

Next up is AbiWord which has long been considered the best of the free word processor applications. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Installation was problem free. A few add-ons can be selected during the install, however, the search and translation options merely place internet shortcuts on the ‘Tools’ menu – skip those. The interface is pleasant and relatively uncluttered. AbiWord will open, edit and save to a long list of formats, including .doc and .html. Although, AbiWord is not as full featured as Word, it has spell check, mail merge and supports the embedding of graphics and tables. During my short test, I found no issues opening, editing and saving .doc documents.

Only one negative surfaced. I found a bug (or, is it a feature?). While in the Print layout, the horizontal ruler on top does not line up with the page. It does not affect the page layout, but, I found it annoying.

– – The Bottom Line – –

AbiWord is a capable word processor that should meet most people’s needs. If you want more, consider Libre Office which was reviewed here 3 months ago.

Download AbiWord HERE

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