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5 Useful (and Free) Word Processing Programs

iPad Writing App (as yet without a name)
Almost everyone who uses a computer will need a word processing program at some point.

Whether you’re writing a document for work, an essay for school, a blog post or just working on email – you’ll probably need a word processor that is fancier than Notepad.  Notepad is a little too simple for most text editing – it can’t indent text, insert bullet lists (without html mark-up) or spell-check your work.

There are lots of useful and free word processing programs out on the net. Narrowing them down can be hard simply because there are so many to choose from.

Here are some of the top choices that other users love and recommend:

AbiWord:

AbiWord is a word processing program that is very useful indeed. It can do all the basics like Wordpad – bullet lists, font color and font type – and some of the complicated functions like Microsoft Office, such as tables, headers and footers, spell-check and styles. It can save files in .doc, .docx, .odt, .rtf and .txt. Oh, and in HTML format too.

Jarte:

Jarte is based on Wordpad and like AbiWord, it’s somewhere in between Wordpad and MS Word. The free version is more than enough since it comes with a spell checker, multiple language support and can export into PDFs. It saves files in several formats including .doc, .rtf, .txt, .docx and HTML.

Ted:

Ted is perfect for older computers or computers that are tight on memory. It doesn’t spell-check as you type, but it has a spell-check feature. It’s wonderfully fast and very compact.

It can do everything Wordpad can and a bit more. It comes with options for headers, footers, tables, font types, bullet lists and text alignment. Ted is an excellent choice for laptops.

Atlantis Word Processor:

Like the others on this list, Atlantis lets you change bullets, font colors, headers, footers and so on – but it has something that is unique; an Overused Words tool. This tool helps you avoid using the same word too many times and offers you options for other words you can use as you write. It also tells you your typing speed and writing time for each file. Lastly, it’s so tiny it can be installed and launched from a jump drive.

OpenOffice:

If you’re a serious writer or use word processing programs constantly, OpenOffice is for you. This massive open source program has made a place for itself in the freeware hall of fame.

It can do everything all of the other programs on this list can do (minus Atlantis’s Overuse Word tool) including text editing, spell-checking, font colors, font styles, tables, graphs, bullet, number or symbol lists, indentation, word count and so much more.

The only downside is that it isn’t very portable, which won’t matter if you have it on all of your computers. It’s free to install on as many machines as you want and is on par with Microsoft Word Suite.

That might help you narrow your search down a little.  All of these are free and ready to use. Just go and download them, install them and then you’ll be ready to create some really impressive works of word art.

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