Posts Tagged 'word processor'

AbleWord – FreeFile Review

I only recently discovered a fantastic word processor called AbleWord, and have found it a pleasant surprise. Think of AbleWord as WordPad on steroids. It is a simple word prosessor with some powerful features. It is Windows only.

The Good – The install is quick with no extra software. AbleWord has a attractive Windows XP style interface. The menus and toolbars (only 2) are sparsely populated with only the basics. AbleWord’s real power lies in the formats that it works with. It will open, edit, and save in .doc .docx .pdf .html. Compatability with MS Office formats is good. It has Spell Check, Text Find, and Word Count. Tables and images can be inserted into documents. Everything seems to work well.

The Bad – I have trouble finding anything wrong with AbleWord. One thing that I found confusing was the “Open PDF Text” command. Initially, I tried to open existing PDF files with that command, and had mixed results. Later, I found that opening PDFs with the “Open” command gave excellent results. One suggestion I have is that simple drawing tools would be a welcome addition.

— — — — The Bottom Line — — — —

AbleWord is an excellent application that deserves much wider recognition. It is perfect for most pc users who have basic word processing needs. The PDF functionality make it a must have program.

Download AbleWord HERE

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

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Family Business – Gramercy Typewriter [video]

FreeFile Review – Microsoft Office For Free?

FFR-WP-logoOneDriveYes, you can get Microsoft Office free, but with two caveats: 1.the applications are online, so an internet connection is needed and performance can be a little sluggish, 2. the apps are stripped down versions. The free Office suite is part of OneDrive, Microsoft’s online storage, formerly called SkyDrive. Sign up for a free account on OneDrive to get 7GB of free online storage as well as access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. OneDrive is available for Windows, Mac, and most smart phones.

Word is the best of the online apps, having all the features most users will need. Once on your OneDrive webpage, simply click the “Create” button, at the top, to create a new document. Old documents can be uploaded to OneDrive and edited. Documents can be downloaded by choosing File> Save As> and then opting for .docx or .pdf.

Excel seems more limited than Word. Power users will be frustrated due to missing features, but occasional users should find it sufficient. Spredsheets can be downloaded only as .xlsx files.

PowerPoint, much like Excel, will satisfy less advanced users, while disappointing power users. Presentations can be downloaded only as .xlsx files.

– – – – The Bottom Line – – – –

For occasional, less demanding users, OneDrive is fantastic – 7GB of online storage and Microsoft Office – all for free.

Sign up for OneDrive HERE

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

 

FreeFile Review – Document.Editor

Document.Editor is a word processing program. It is an open source project which gives a very good first impression, but with closer inspection, it becomes clear that this project is far from complete. It is for Windows only.

Installation is rather unusual; an .application file is downloaded and when clicked it downloads the program and installs it (I would prefer a simple .exe). Installation is otherwise quick and painless. The program’s interface is an exceptionally well done version of Microsoft’s ribbon interface. Here’s a screenshot. It has Spell Check, Text-to-Speech, and Definitions (Bing look up). Tabs allow opening multiple documents. Unfortunately, the positive impression ended there.

The list of negatives is long. The program can open and save only the most basic formats (.txt .rtf .xdoc). Page layout functions are non existent and printing is very basic. Those two shortcomings make Document.Editor unusable for most users. The program is not stable – it crashed after about 30 minutes of inactivity and it does not remember its window size and location after being minimized to the task bar. The Translation button seems to be non functioning. Most of the links in the program are dead (WTF?). User options are limited.

– – – – The Bottom Line – – – –

I cannot recommend Document.Editor – it is simply too incomplete at this time. I hope this project continues to improve, as I see potential in it. For a better free word processor, see my review of AbiWord.
Document.Editor can be downloaded HERE.

Read more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

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

Visit DanKostecki.com for more FreeFile Reviews

FreeFile Review – LibreOffice

What is LibreOffice? For years, the number one free alternative to Microsoft Office was OpenOffice.  About a year ago, the OpenOffice developers left that project and used OpenOffice source code to launch LibreOffice. If you’ve used OpenOffice in the past, LibreOffice will be quite familiar. The entire LibreOffice suite is completely free and it is a fairly large download (about 200MB). It consists of a word processor, a spreadsheet program, a database, a PowerPoint replacement, a drawing application and a math program. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. This review is primarily about the word processor and spreadsheet applications, since these are all that most people will ever use.

Installation is relatively pain free, however, Java may, or may not need to be installed. Once installed, a single icon provides access to all of the programs in the suite through a simple ‘start center’. User Interfaces are similar for all the programs. They are attractive, but quite busy, due to the incredible amount of features and options offered. It is very much like Microsoft Office before the ribbon interface.

Writer, the word processor, is a very capable, full-featured program. It can open and save Microsoft .DOC documents. The default save option is for the LibreOffice format. Most will want to change the default to .DOC through Tools > Options. Also, it can save as a PDF. I haven’t noticed any compatibility issues with documents created in Word. Writer is all the word processor that most people will need.

Calc is the spreadsheet application of the suite. It looks very much like Excel and it can open and save to various Microsoft formats. I did notice some minor formatting inconsistencies with documents that were created in Excel – not a major problem – just irritating. I think everyone, except hardcore Excel users, will be pleased with Calc.

– – The Bottom Line – –

LibreOffice is a very capable alternative to the pricey Microsoft Office. Most people will have no need for Microsoft Office after trying LibreOffice. The only negative that I could find is that the abundance of features and options can confuse some users (just as Microsoft Office will). If you need an office suite, download LibreOffice today.

Download LibreOffice HERE

Get more FreeFile Reviews at DanKostecki.com

End Of An Era – Last Typewriter Factory Closes

The Atlantic reports –

With only about 200 machines left — and most of those in Arabic languages — Godrej and Boyce shut down its plant in Mumbai, India, today. “Although typewriters became obsolete years ago in the west, they were still common in India — until recently,” according to the Daily Mail, which ran a special story this morning about the typewriters demise. “Demand for the machines has sunk in the last ten years as consumers switch to computers.” Secretaries, rejoice. “We are not getting many orders now,” Milind Dukle, Godrej and Boyce’s general manager, told the paper. “From the early 2000s onwards, computers started dominating. All the manufacturers of office typewriters stopped production, except us. ‘Till 2009, we used to produce 10,000 to 12,000 machines a year. But this might be the last chance for typewriter lovers. Now, our primary market is among the defence agencies, courts and government offices.”

Read more HERE.


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