Ten Things About Word Processors
Freeware Caution: always scan free downloads of anything for bugs and other threats before dumping the programs into your hard drive.
Blue Writer is a "lightweight fully functional, open source word processing application built completly in Java. Main outputs are RTF and TXT. Soon to come is BlueOffice the rest of the BlueWriter suite." (OS: designer notes that it runs on most operating systems, including Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and Solaris)
BookForm is a program that takes a file of text and reformats a
version of it in such a way that the pages printed can be put
together as a book after being printed out from a standard A4 printer (OS: Windows 95/98)[Someone was looking for this one the other day, but I couldn't remember the name of the freeware]
Breeze is an "easy to use word processor/text editor that does everything you ever wanted of a text processing program, This program has been designed with one thing in mind... PLEASURE." (Well, obviously Microsoft wasn't involved -- PBW.) "Features: pop-up hypertext help system, attractive multi-menu environment, text to .EXE converter (converts documents into self-displaying executable programs with menus, printing and text search features), multi-windows/files (multi-edit), clipboard, file selection menu, exploding windows, handles large files, RAM dictionary for fast spelling checks of whole documents or as you type, create your own personal dictionary if you wish, print spooling (lets you print and edit at the same time, saving hours of time), mail-merge/form letters, scientific calculator, ascii table, analyze text readability, sort paragraphs or lines, statistical analysis, pick list of recent files, mouse supported, fully configurable, automatic line and box drawing, fast find and replace, text styles, word wrapping, auto paragraph reformatting, autoindent, autosave, restore line function (undo), columns, comprehensive print options, menu operated printer control, full block operations including column blocks, powerful macro functions, index words, operate in condensed line mode on EGA and VGA systems, DOS shell, insert date into text, centre line, execute other programs and any DOS commands from within the editor, go to line and page functions, set place marker, duplicate lines, auto screen save" (OS: Windows)
CopyWriter is a "basic editor for all day use. As a lightweight general purpose editor it is capable of opening *.txt, *.rtf, *.doc and binary files." This one has been around for a long time, but it'sd simple, does the job, can run off a USB stick, has multi-lingual capabilities plus a ton of small helpful add-on utilities. (OS: Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP)
Twenty years in the making, and still completely free, Open Office is a "software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose" (OS: Just About Everything.)
Rizon Voice is a "text to speech program with many features. Some of the features include: Reads Text, Rich Text and Word Documents aloud." The neat thing about this one is that it includes a document editor, clipboard monitoring and processing, so you can have it read to you and do a little word processing when you hear something you don't like (OS: unspecified, probably Windows)
I can't put together a ten things list about word processors without including a link to the one writers recommend most often to other writers: Richard Salsbury's Rough Draft: "RoughDraft is a freeware word processor for Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000 and XP. Although suitable for general use, it has features specifically designed for creative writing: novels, short stories, articles, plays and screenplays. It's designed to be as practical as possible, offering all the features you need, but without being complicated or awkward to use."
Spine Page 07 is a word processing program that "has pulled out most of the features that Word Processors such as Word has, as the average user only uses 10% of them! Some of the features (it still has, apparently) include: Transparency; Saving, Printing, Opening; Bold, Underline etc.; On-Screen-Keyboard; Resizable Workspace!" (OS: Windows, Vista compatible.)
Tomahawk PDF+ is "the freeware version of Tomahawk Gold. The freeware version may not have all the bells and whistles of the full version of Tomahawk Gold but it is still one of the most advanced word processing/pdf creation software packages available for the Windows platform. This comfortably designed program with a familiar interface that's easy to use, allows documents to be produced and saved in a number of formats, including rich text; exported as HTML; or converted to PDF" (OS: Designer notes "Tomahawk PDF+ runs on all Windows systems from Win9x up to Win2003. And now Tomahawk PDF+ also runs on Linux systems using Wine 0.9.19")
Our blog pal Simon Haynes offers yEdit, "a simple text editor with frequent auto-backups and a countdown word counter." He also notes: "Last year, like every year, I used yWriter on my PC to keep all the bits and pieces of my Nano project together, and I bashed out my daily word count on the laptop. Unlike previous years where I wrote in Word or OpenOffice, this time I used a new tool called yEdit, which has a countdown word counter. (You put in 1700 as the starting count and start hammering out the prose until you see '0') I found it easy to set it up with 500 words and then type as quick as possible until I'd done them all. Music on the headphones helped, and Nano 2007 was the easiest I've ever done." Can't beat that kind of rec. (OS: Windows XP or later, Mono 2.4 or later)