While you consider phrase processors, your thoughts in all probability defaults to Microsoft Phrase, Microsoft Workplace or Workplace 365. There is a good purpose for this, as a result of Microsoft’s different is probably the most broadly used one world wide. Nevertheless, that does not imply that Microsoft Phrase is the one possibility. The truth is, there are higher alternate options obtainable which might be cheaper, higher, and extra dependable.

However what makes a phrase processor higher and extra dependable? From my perspective, higher implies that it is equal components user-friendly, versatile, and succesful. An utility UI ought to be intuitive and (up to a degree) customizable in order that it may slot in with the person’s workflow. With out spending a lot (if any) time researching methods to make the interface work extra effectively, customers ought to have the ability to know instantly what they’re doing. So far as reliability is anxious, customers mustn’t fear about shedding work or compatibility points when sharing paperwork with others.

And that’s the tipping level. When confronted with compatibility, many customers will argue that the choices do not work with Microsoft Phrase. Nevertheless, it is truly the other which has been a difficulty for thus lengthy. Sure, Microsoft holds market share in phrase processors, and so they have gotten a lot better at adhering to open specs. However, it hasn’t at all times been like this. Over the a long time, Microsoft has modified the requirements in such a method that different functions had a really arduous time with interoperability. A Microsoft Phrase doc won’t at all times open as anticipated on a competing utility.

It isn’t that a lot of a difficulty anymore. Why? As a result of different functions have come a good distance and Microsoft has expressed requirements for compatibility metropolis instantly on board.

I’ve spent a few years preventing this battle; Working with editors that solely use Microsoft Phrase and have to leap by way of hoops to get issues to operate as anticipated. Up to now 5 or so years, I’ve hardly ever had an occasion the place somebody utilizing Microsoft Phrase had an issue with a doc I despatched. It appears to work it doesn’t matter what utility I’m utilizing for the duty.

However which apps do I take advantage of? In my case, I’ve relied on about 4 phrase processors over time and I need to share that listing with you. I assure that any of those functions will serve you nicely.

Google Docs

Picture: Google Workspace

I am not going to lie, Google Docs is the software I take advantage of probably the most. The truth is, the one utility I take advantage of greater than Google Docs is Firefox, and I take advantage of it to entry Google Docs. I spend perhaps eight hours a day in Google Docs and it hardly ever (if ever) frustrates me. To make it extra interesting, Google has gone out of its method to make its providing Microsoft Phrase pleasant. When engaged on a doc inside Google Drive, the default file sort to obtain is Microsoft Phrase, so Google what’s up with Collaboration.

And talking of collaboration, Google Docs makes real-time collaboration a snap. Merely invite customers to work with the doc and you can begin modifying all collectively. The truth is, the collaboration performance of Google Docs is a lot better than that of Microsoft Phrase’s co-authoring possibility. With Google Docs, collaboration is not solely extremely easy, it is so a lot better than something in the marketplace. Mix this with feedback and revision historical past and Google Docs cannot be beat for collaboration.

Though Google Docs might not embody all of the superior options present in Microsoft Phrase, 90% of customers who do not make the most of these high-end choices will discover Docs that meets their each phrase processing want.

See: Google Workspaces vs. Microsoft 365: Aspect-by-side Evaluation w/ Guidelines (techrepublic premium)

apple pages

picture: apple

Apple Pages is available in second for my phrase processing wants. And it is due to one easy purpose – I’ve an editor that makes use of Microsoft Phrase and leaves a whole bunch of feedback and tracks modifications to my e book manuscripts. When I attempt to open these closely edited manuscripts with the likes of LibreOffice, the software program chokes. So, with no copy of Microsoft Workplace, what do I do?

I take advantage of Apple’s tackle the phrase processor, Pages. Though Pages has its personal peculiarities, it’s far superior to Microsoft Phrase. I’ve at all times discovered the Pages interface to be some of the user-friendly out there. With the flexibility to shortly cover and present varied sidebars (reminiscent of formatting, feedback, and doc settings) and simply collaborate with paperwork, Pages affords extra superior options with a decrease studying curve than the competitors. Is.

So far as the interface is anxious, you’ll not discover a higher designed phrase processing UI out there. Apple Pages is probably the most intuitive person expertise obtainable.

One of many only a few caveats to utilizing Apple Pages is that it does not help the .odt format. There is not any drawback opening .docx recordsdata, however should you’re working with somebody who prefers the open doc textual content format, you will be out of luck.

LibreOffice Author

Picture: LibreOffice

So, as you have in all probability already guessed, I’ve a slight drawback with LibreOffice, in that it may’t deal with full-novel manuscripts in addition to it ought to. However exterior of that one challenge, LibreOffice has been a wonderful different to Microsoft Phrase for a really very long time. And, despite the fact that I am unable to use it as an modifying software for books, I take advantage of it to format them. Why? As a result of I just like the formatting options of LibreOffice the perfect out there. Not solely are the formatting choices intensive, however they’re additionally very simple to make use of.

LibreOffice additionally gives the flexibility to change interfaces between a single toolbar, sidebar, tabbed compact, groupbar compact and contextual single. Every of those interfaces will attraction to a selected person sort, so is certain to align completely along with your workflow. Personally, I discover the sidebar interface to be the most efficient. Of all of the UIs obtainable for phrase processors, none is as versatile as LibreOffice Author.

LibreOffice can also be adept at opening and saving most file sorts. You’ll have no drawback working with .odt, .docx, .rtf, textual content and different doc sorts.

Apart from its incapability to deal with giant recordsdata, one other weak spot of LibreOffice is… Sure, it consists of fundamental modifying instruments (monitor modifications and feedback), however does not embody model historical past, and, though it consists of the flexibility to avoid wasting to the likes of Google Drive, the function hasn’t labored for years.

Other than these caveats, LibreOffice is a wonderful different to Microsoft Phrase.

FreeOffice TextMaker

Picture: TextMaker

SoftMaker gives one of many alternate options to Microsoft Phrase that may routinely and immediately be acquainted to Microsoft Phrase customers. The truth is, if the Microsoft Phrase ribbon interface is to your liking, you will love this feature. SoftMaker affords its personal FreeOffice software which incorporates TextMaker. TextMaker is without doubt one of the most Microsoft Phrase suitable instruments in the marketplace. This specific utility is the one you need whenever you want each Microsoft Phrase function (even some superior choices), however you do not need to pay for Microsoft Workplace or use extra dependable instruments. need to do.

TextMaker can open and save any file you throw at it, and even export as EPUB and PDF. The software additionally features a very user-friendly mailing function that works with an embedded SQLite database to be able to shortly create the contacts you employ for mail merging. And, like every good phrase processor, TextMaker consists of modifying instruments like feedback and monitor modifications.

See: Home windows 11: Recommendations on Set up, Safety and Extra (Free PDF) (Tech Republic)

reliability is prime

One factor I have never actually talked about for every software is reliability. This was not a mistake. As a substitute, I needed to finish by saying that every of the above instruments present unmatched reliability throughout the phrase processor area. I’ve used each software on this listing and there are only some cases (spanning a long time) the place I’ve misplaced work. And but, instruments like LibreOffice embody options that make restoration from a crash attainable and easy.

In all my years of working with out Microsoft Workplace, I am unable to say (even for a second) that I have never missed something. With the assistance of one in every of these functions, you might be as productive as it’s essential to be, with out worrying about time loss attributable to an accident or studying curve.

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