By Henrik V Blunck
There are indeed other sources for alternatives to Microsoft Word - even as freeware. The best thing about freeware is that you don't have to pay a fortune to get the program. But you should also be mindful that you don't have any support lines available as you would when buying the Microsoft Word program. On the other hand you have lots of online sources for some of these alternatives because many geeks (actually a compliment for IT-nerds) offer help online when you search using Google, Bing or Yahoo when you encounter a problem.
Let¨s take a look at these alternatives:
- Google Docs
- Lotus Symphony
Google Docs is a system that is available online. You don't have to install anything but can run the software directly from your browser. A very nice system when you're travelling with a lighter laptop or don't want to mess with installations and updates.
Zoho is, just as Google Docs, an online system and includes numerous tools. When you check out their website, you're bound to be pretty impressed. You should check out their website to get a taste of all the many features - http://www.zoho.com.
OpenOffice is my personal favorite among installed office suites. It takes up less than 400 megabytes and is very versatile when it comes to functionality. I have used the original Microsoft Office suite for numerous years, but as soon as I discovered OpenOffice I changed horses. Here is an office suite that is regularly updated, fully compatible with Microsoft office documents - but it could even save in the PDF-format long before Microsoft Word could do that.
One very smart thing is that you can get OpenOffice for all three operating systems on users' desktop operating systems: MacOS, Windows and Linux.
Lotus Symphony was previously a commercial product but you can get it for free now. To my taste it feels as though it's only a demo in the sense that Lotus Symphony is purely a word processing system whereas the other systems mentioned are complete office suites.
It would feel as though you would be cheating yourself by selecting a different program just for running word processing very similar to the previously commercial version.
If I was to recommend you a system I would still go with installing OpenOffice, but I would also say Zoho was the interesting alternative if you didn't want to install anything, but wanted to be constantly up-to-date without bothering with having to update your software. The online office systems will most definitely be a thing of the future.
Thanks for reading this article. I hope you enjoyed the information, and I would welcome your feedback if you were helped by this article or need any clarification. It would also be nice to know if you have questions that could give ideas for new articles on a similar subject.
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