Word Processor Software

(For other software, see the software section. If less fancy software is desired, the section on editing a text file may list some additional software options.)

[#wordproc]: Word Processor software
[#abiword]: Abiword

Quite a few people don't like Abiword; at least not yet. It may not feel quite as polished as some other alternatives. However, it also may be a lot lighter weight than other options, meaning that it may have lower requirements including requiring less disk space to be used, and installation may be quite a bit quicker than other options. Also, the software is available at no cost. This software has been made the word processor which is part of the GNOME Office suite of office software.

OpenAccess Writer
KWord
Part of the KOffice office suite (for KDE/Linux, and more recently also for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X). Wikipedia's page about KWord: “History” section.
[#wordpad]: Microsoft Wordpad

(Easily confused with Microsoft/Windows Write, since in some Microsoft Windows operating systems there was an executable called Write.exe which ran Microsoft Wordpad.)

Newer versions of Microsoft Windows came with Microsoft Wordpad, and at least some versions included a file called WRITE.EXE which either was the Wordpad executable or was a simple wrapper executable which then ran Wordpad. Therefore, it seems that Wordpad was meant to be the successor to this software, although Wordpad did not necessarily have all of the functionality: particularly the supported file formats may have differred from older versions of the software.

Different versions of Wordpad have worked with document files created with different versions of Microsoft Word. Using a document created with some version(s) of Microsoft Word have been known to cause instability with Wordpad, crashing Wordpad. Some further details are mentioned in the section about Wordpad: file formats.

Microsoft has released source code for Wordpad. (See: Wordpad: section about source code.) For some information about Wordpad not showing all of the available fonts on the system, see the following page and section: Wordpad: info on only some fonts showing.

Additional information may also be found in the section on Wordpad.

[#mswinwri]: “Microsoft Write”/“Windows Write”

This software may be officially named “Microsoft Write” or “Windows Write”. (Perhaps the actual name varied based on the actual release?)

This software came bundled with some versions of Microsoft Windows, including Windows 3.1. (Was there also a Macintosh version of this, and Paintbrush?) Supporting various fonts and text formatting, it serves many purposes for basic word processing, with a noticable functional exception of not supporting color. Also, it does not support a spell checker, or some other features that were once considered more advanced such as grammer checking, tables, or integration with other office software like spreadsheets. It did, however, have some support for pasting images into documents. The file format of this word processor had a filename extention of .WRI since Microsoft Windows version 1.03. Microsoft KB Q32905: Windows Version History notes that the file extention of “.DOC” was used by Windows 1.01.) This software also supported Rich Text Format (*.RTF) files. (The hyperlink just provided goes to a general area, which may or might not yet have related details.)

Newer versions of Microsoft Windows came with Microsoft Wordpad, and at least some versions included a file called WRITE.EXE which either was the Wordpad executable, or was a simple wrapper executable which then ran Wordpad. Therefore, it seems that Wordpad was meant to be the successor to this software, although Wordpad did not necessarily have all of the functionality: particularly the supported file formats may have differred.

Google's Offerings
Google Docs
See info about office software suites: section on Google Docs.
Google Cache

Note: If the intent is just to view a document with one of Microsoft Word's native formats, especially just for the purposes of searching for text or reading text, using Google's Cache may be a faster method. See: Google Cache conversion to HTML files.

[#msword]: Microsoft Word

This softare may be officially called “Microsoft Word” or, depending on the version, it might instead have an official name of “Microsoft Office Word”.

Viewing documents (with software which requires Microsoft Windows but is otherwise available at no cost)
For versions up to Word 2003, see TOOGAM's Software Archive: Word processor viewing software. Note that there have been newer releases of Office (Office 2007 and Office 2010).
Modifying/creating such documents

Microsoft Word may be available. (Additionally, other word processors can also support Word's documents. Support for Microsoft Word's documents is rather good. (With older software, such as software released near the start of the third millenium, compatibility by other software was less stellar.)

Word XP/2002

Support for additional file formats can be added.

Support for Office Open XML formats

For:

  • Office 2000
  • Office XP Service Pack 3
  • Office 2003 Service Pack 3

See: Redirection to Office Compatibility Pack page, Office Compatibility Pack (download details), MS KB 924074, MS KB 923505, another page of info, Documentation Topic 7 of 18: Use Office Open XML Format files in earlier versions of Microsoft Office

Also: Office Compatibility Pack 2007 SP3

Office Compatibility Pack Service Pack 2

ODF support

MS KB 953331: Description of Office Compatibility Pack Service Pack 2 says: “To open or edit OpenDocument format file types in pre-Office 2007 versions of Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, use the ODF Add-in for Microsoft Office.” See: file formats startting with O: ODF compatibility with older Office versions. Wikipedia's article for OpenDocument: section called “Application support” indicates that the “pre-Office 2007” versions that are supported are Office XP (also known as “Office 2002”) and “Office 2003”.

XPS support
See: MS KB 953331: Description of Office Compatibility Pack Service Pack 2
[#mworkswp]: The Word Processor from Microsoft Works
Microsoft Works has the historical distinction of providing both a text mode and a graphical interface in the versions meant to be run under MS-DOS, possibly making this the nicest software to use in that environment. For the most part, the word processor from Microsoft Works was a part of an Office Suite called Microsoft Works. However, some versions of Microsoft Office included the Word Processor from Microsoft Works, and came with neither any other word processor, nor any of the other major applications from Microsoft Works (although some other software that is typically part of Office, such as Excel, may have been included).
[#msoffcwp]: Microsoft Office's Word Processors
Most versions of Microsoft Office have been bundled with Microsoft Word. Some lower-cost versions have come with the word processor from Microsoft Works instead of including Microsoft Word. Microsoft has released a publicly-available trial of Microsoft Office which may be freely obtainable. For freely available software that handles the file formats, see the section about Microsoft Word and the section about Microsoft Works.
Other options
Web pages can often provide substantial markup and so some web page editing software may be sufficient, as well as providing documents which are widely supported by many computers. For simple tasks, even a simple text editor may be sufficient. For more options on software that may handle a word processor file, see the section of Office Suites and/or see: Possibly see: Wikipedia's comparison of word processors, Wikipedia's list of word processors, Wikipedia's comparison of Office Open XML software, Wikipedia's comparison of software that handles OpenDocument, TOOGAM's software archive: Word processors.
FrEdWriter
This program is basically being mentioned as a historical note. FrEdWriter History, Al Rogers article, FrEdWriter downloads, FrEdWriter documentation, Blog (by Josh Burker) about FrEdWriter. See also: Flickr screen showing FreeWriter's intro screen, a similar Flickr screen showing FrEdWriter's intro screen, and Apple 2 History page that mentions FreeWriter.
Office software suites
Some office software suites may include some of the above programs, or provide some other Word Processor functionality.