A Word on Breaking Free (of MS Word)

kinnon —  October 13, 2005 — 3 Comments

Microsoft Office is not cheap. I know, I own multiple cuts of the software for both PC and Mac. But there are alternatives. Available for free.
Abiword-LogoI’ve just spent the last hour playing with two capable Word competitors (with one offering Excel and PowerPoint functionality). AbiWord is available for any platform and I’ve loaded it onto the kids’ Mac computer (which didn’t have Office X on it.) I’m also playing with the on-line software ThinkFree Office On-Line. It provides you with on-line archiving of your .doc files (up to 30MB for free) and as it is Java based, runs on any platform. I found it very easy to open a document from my computer, print it out and then save it in the on-line storage. ThinkFree Office can be purchased and downloaded for $50USD if you’d rather “own” the software or don’t have a fast enough broadband connection to use it on-line.

AbiWord is Open Source and is a very functional Word replacement. I mentioned it in an earlier post but had yet to play with it. I’ve set it up for Kaili as a French Word Processor (as she does all her schooling en français). The OS X version has issues with font spacing and I may have to move Kai to a PC (yikes!) or run the Linux version within X11.

Neither one is a perfect MS Word replacement, but they are both very functional and will do 99.9% of what most students and just about everybody else wants to do with a WP program.

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A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

3 responses to A Word on Breaking Free (of MS Word)

  1. I’m ready to switch to non-MS products as soon as I’m not the only rat jumping off the ship. Keep me informed as you always seem to do and I will be the early adopter in my neighborhood thanks to you.


  2. Bill,

    Thank you for keeping up with all the latest trends and applications. You do all us techie novices a great service. And thank you for helping me set up my blog at JohnStanko.us and for coaching me how to use it. You da man! Keep up the good work.

  3. We “rats” are leaving the Death Star in droves. Why pay for bug infested software when you can get if for free (and it often has fewer bugs.)If you aren’t already, switch from Internet Explorer to Firefox. Click on the link in the bar on the right. It’s a much better browser, with fewer security holes.

    Low cost or free, open-source or Java (AJAX) based software is the wave of the future.



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