Most people have heard of the Microsoft Office Suite its a fantastic word processing suite produced and sold my Microsoft. Its the industry standard for publishing text documents, spreadsheets, presentations and simple databases. Microsoft office is great if you are a business, or someone who can justify spending money for a word processing application, but if you are a home user and just want to write some personal documents then you may be looking for a free word processor.
There are a variety of free word processor applications available on the market, and they fantastic thing is that they all are compatible with the Microsoft office suite.
This means that even if you opt for a free word processor you can still handle word documents. Say for example someone that you know has Microsoft Office and they send you a document that they previously created using Word, you will still be able to open it in most free word processors.
the only thing you need to watch out for is creating new documents that you are planning to send to others. You will often find that by default in some free word processor applications new documents will be created in a proprietary format for that application and they will not work in other programs such as Microsoft Word.
However, if you click on “File” and “Save as” you normally have the option for choosing a document name along with an option for choosing the type of file that you want to save. You will then be presented with an option to save in a Word compatible format which means that the document will be readable and editable by others.
Free word processor: Open Office
The most popular free word processor is Open Office which is owned by the Apache software organization.
Open office is available for download here, and is compatible with Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems.
The software comes with a range of applications very similar to those found in the office suite:
- Writer – this is the free word processor and the equivalent to Microsoft Word
- Calc -Calc allows you to produce complex spreadsheets, tables, calculations and so on.
- Draw – a great graphics application capable of producing charts, graphs and complex 3D images.
- Base – Similar to Microsofts Access program, base is capable of creating advanced databases.
- Math – a graphical interface for producing advanced mathematical calculations and formulas.
If you use open office, and in particular the free word processor you will find that it is very similar to microsoft office and in particular, microsoft word.
All of the usual features are there including word formating, headings, color, size, spell checking and so on. You will find that almost anything you can do in word, you can do with the free word processor in open office writer.
the fantastic thing is that its a completely free word processor.