Although the most common word processors are commercial, their non-commercial counter parts are also carving themselves a niche in the market. The free word processors are commonly referred to as open source software. They are available for distribution especially through free downloads. Currently their number is steadily on the increase. The following are some of these word processors.
Abi Word is the first example. This was part of the Abi suite that was being initially developed for Source Gear. The company later shifted focus to Internet applications but the production of the software continued. It can run on the Microsoft Windows, Linux, React OS and Solaris operating systems. It supports the common word formats such as doc, docx, html, rtf and txt. It can also carry out the basic editing and formatting features just as Microsoft Word.
The Bean word processor was developed by James Hoover and first released back in 2007 with a more recent version in February 2010. This word processor only runs on the Mac OS X operating system platform. It is considered to have a friendlier interface than the common Microsoft Word. The word formats that it supports are rtf, rtfd, html, txt, bean and web archive that is used in Apple’s web archive.
EZ word was the first Linux based word processor that used the graphical user interface. It was developed for UNIX in an IBM joint venture with Carnegie Mellon University. Its production was discontinued after falling out of favor with most users. However it is still available.
KWord is another open source word processor. It is part of the K Suite that has been developed since 1998. It borrows heavily from Adobe’s Frame maker in terms of looks. Many desktop publishing individuals prefer KWord.
LYX is another free word processor from the LYX stable. It is based on ‘what you see is what you mean.’ This means that one only worries about the content as the formatting is taken care of by the LaTeX system in the word processor. Another impressive feature is its support for non-conventional writing such as left to right and bi-directional. This makes it highly appreciable among the users that are Arabic, Hebrew, Korean, Chinese and several others. LYX can run on Mac OS2, Max OS X, Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems platforms
The Open Office.org writer is another word processor that cannot stay unnoticed. It has been developed by the Oracle community. It is very similar to Microsoft word for windows and Word Perfect from Corel. The basic features are common to all these word processors. It supports a varied number of formats such as the Open Office Document format, doc, docx, rtf, html and xhtml. It is able to work across various platforms including; Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, Solaris, FreeBSD, Linux and Irix.
These are the main free word processors that are currently available. However, there are many more that have been developed but have not caught on with the users. When choosing a free word processor, always consider the platform and formats supported.
Category: Microsoft Office