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FREE Alternative to MS Word

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  • FREE Alternative to MS Word

    Some people do not have the money to purchase Microsoft Word and others simply despise Microsoft (I'm looking at you, Berry). What's more, similar word-processing programs aren't any cheaper than Word.

    And while I'm sure notepad-type text editors are perfectly suited for some purpose, I am not really sure what it is. Hand-coding HTML, I suppose.

    Anyway, Google has just (re)launched Writely, an online word-processor that can do literally everything Word can do... free. It can even save its output as a .pdf! Sweeeeeet! It also lets you save out to a file in your blog, as opposed to your hard-drive, thus it is also great for bloggers.

    It is Mac-compatible, depending on your browser.

    Storage space is currently unlimited, but a single document cannot be more than half a meg and any embedded images (which are tabulated separately) must be under 2 megs each.

    Of course, everything must have its balance. So, the drawback? Well, everything is stored on Google's servers, so if Google ever rolls over and exposes its belly to the NSA, anything you wrote in Writely may be scrutinized.

    Via BoingBoing
    "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
    --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

  • #2
    Not sure what the options are if you use Windows, but on Mac OSX Textedit can do most of what Microsoft Word does:

    TextEdit reads and writes documents in Rich Text Format and Rich Text Format with attachments as well as plaintext, Microsoft Word document format and HTML. It also has access to the operating system's built-in spell-checking service. The version included in Mac OS X v10.3 added the ability to read and write documents in Word format, and the version in Mac OS X v10.4 the ability to read and write Word XML documents.

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    • #3
      I'll have to take a look.

      I've used Open Office before, but have had compatibility issues with some of the documents, so (unhappily) I still use MS Office.
      What I really resent is that I own a professional copy of MS Office XP, but can only install it on one of my computers - causes rather more than annoyance whenever I have to switch files between the two.
      Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

      Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

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      • #4
        Thanks for the post PWV. I heard about the Writely thing a couple of months ago. Expectations were that Google would adopt OpenOffice.org, but I suspect the "imperial entanglements" between OpenOffice.org and Sun were the deal breaker. Writely seems to have spell-check, and since Google owns it, one might assume that the spell-check will remain/become robust, while OpenOffice.org is maintained by volunteers giving Microsoft a key advantage in the spell-check arena. They have people with degrees in English ensuring their product has the best, and it is the best.

        My current resume was composed with OpenOffice.org and it has served me well. Writely seems like a slightly entangled, but viable MS alterantive. I'll check this out eventually.
        Infinite complexity according to simple rules.

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        • #5
          Open office, www.openoffice.org, started life as Star Office, I believe and was further developed by Sun Systems. It is brilliant and easily replaces Microsoft Office, almost seemlessly.

          It is very good.

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          • #6
            I have to agree about Open Office.

            I am currently running v2.0.2 and have had no trouble with it. Load times are finally up to scratch and it can read and write the most common formats. It can have some trouble with heavily structured word documents, clip art etc, but overall does a good job.

            I've been using various flavours of *nix now for around 10 years. My server runs OpenBSD and my desktop is installed with RedHat's Fedora.

            I do have a Winbloze box purely for online gaming and a bit of emulation, however I could not imagine working with it as a desktop.
            My signature is

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            • #7
              FWIW

              I've used emacs as my text editor to write a 130,000 word novel; I've used OpenOffice and MS Office to set the novel in a style that most people are comfortable reading. I've also used AbiWord to write a novella in Windows which I then rewrote in AbiWord in Linux. A friend suggested LyX for writing plays; I've found celtx to contain additional detail for actually setting up a film. Though I have yet to complete a play/screenplay - I've been thinking about making a docudrama from Cordwainer Smith's "The Dead Lady of Clown Town", since the Chinese novel style that Smith used for that novella fits the docudrama format better than the conventional three-hour filim.

              I have never used vi or edlin to write anything of any length.
              sigpic Myself as Mephistopheles (Karen Koed's painting of me, 9 Nov 2008, U of Canterbury, CHCH, NZ)

              Gold is the power of a man with a man
              And incense the power of man with God
              But myrrh is the bitter taste of death
              And the sour-sweet smell of the upturned sod,

              Nativity,
              by Peter Cape

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              • #8
                [QUOTE=In_Loos_Ptokai;113856] I've been thinking about making a docudrama from Cordwainer Smith's "The Dead Lady of Clown Town"QUOTE]

                Please do!
                "A man is no man who cannot have a fried mackerel when he has set his mind on it; and more especially when he has money in his pocket to pay for it." - E.A. Poe's NICHOLAS DUNKS; OR, FRIED MACKEREL FOR DINNER

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by In_Loos_Ptokai View Post
                  I've used emacs as my text editor to write a 130,000 word novel;

                  Holy crap! That's almost as big as emacs, itself.

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                  • #10
                    Which publisher picked it up?
                    Ani Maamin B'emunah Sh'leimah B'viyat Hamashiach. V'af al pi sheyitmahmehah im kol zeh achake lo b'chol yom sheyavo.

                    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." - Phillip K. Dick

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kyrinn S. Eis View Post
                      Which publisher picked it up?
                      No one as yet. I parked it on lulu.com, and in between then and now, I seem to have misplaced my lulu.com password. I suspect it needs a rewrite, but I'd worked on it for over a four-year period, and needed it off my mind. I couldn't get started on anything new while it was just sitting there.
                      sigpic Myself as Mephistopheles (Karen Koed's painting of me, 9 Nov 2008, U of Canterbury, CHCH, NZ)

                      Gold is the power of a man with a man
                      And incense the power of man with God
                      But myrrh is the bitter taste of death
                      And the sour-sweet smell of the upturned sod,

                      Nativity,
                      by Peter Cape

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm back on MS Office at the mo. To be honest I find MS rock solid - apart from the price that is! I did use OpenOffice quite a bit but got sick of the dictionary chaging back to US spelling at random intervals. A problem I've noticed on several different PCs. Is this problem fixed now because its very annoying.
                        forum

                        1. a meeting or assembly for the open discussion of subjects of public interest
                        2. a medium for open discussion, such as a magazine
                        3. a public meeting place for open discussion

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The English Assassin View Post
                          To be honest I find MS rock solid - apart from the price that is! I did use OpenOffice quite a bit but got sick of the dictionary chaging back to US spelling at random intervals. A problem I've noticed on several different PCs. Is this problem fixed now because its very annoying.
                          Conversely, I have that same problem with MS Word on my work PC. I suspect it's down to either something in my PC's Regional Settings defaulting to US spelling (even though I have everything nailed down for the UK) or some configuration in my NORMAL.DOT file.
                          _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                          _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                          _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                          _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by David Mosley View Post
                            Conversely, I have that same problem with MS Word on my work PC. I suspect it's down to either something in my PC's Regional Settings defaulting to US spelling (even though I have everything nailed down for the UK) or some configuration in my NORMAL.DOT file.
                            I've lost count of the number of times I've had to manually correct MS Office's Letter to A4 settings. I've also lost count of the ways I have tried to ensure that once set to A4, it won't flip-flop back to Letter, but no luck. It seems MS Office is addicted to Letter.
                            sigpic Myself as Mephistopheles (Karen Koed's painting of me, 9 Nov 2008, U of Canterbury, CHCH, NZ)

                            Gold is the power of a man with a man
                            And incense the power of man with God
                            But myrrh is the bitter taste of death
                            And the sour-sweet smell of the upturned sod,

                            Nativity,
                            by Peter Cape

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Alongside WORD I use Wordperfect. Although not for free, but you can obtain up to very recent editions of this wonderful software for very little money.

                              I already used Wordperfect 6.0 when it was still a Novell product and now I have 12.0 running on my computers. In case it is necessary you can easily "save as" .doc
                              Google ergo sum

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