I admit it, I'm not a huge fan of doodad-heavy Windows software. At least we're to the point where most of it actually does something instead of merely looking fancy and cluttered -- but it's still glitzy-looking flabware.
WYSIWYG word processors, Word in particular, use a whole lot of icons and menus to accomplish what PerfectWriter did in 64k with embedded "dot commands" and a small assortment of keyboard shortcuts on a CP/M luggable. I'm not a fan of the flashy stuff, and prefer to compose in Q10 (which can be made to look like an old, simple word processor) or Notepad, which at least has slightly less junk on the screen.
Apple's "Pages" has a cleaner user interface, but it's very much a creature of its world and doesn't share files comfortably with the more widely-used Windows software.
I went looking for something else and found LibreOffice. Its word-processor UI is slightly less cluttered than Word, it reads and write .doc and .docx files -- and there are versions of it for Mac, Windows and Linux! They all look and work the same, too. So I've got it on my MacBook, my Windows desktop and the little Raspberry Pi I've been playing with. The cost? Well, I kicked in a few dollars but it's all honor system -- and none of this hitting you up for a monthly fee, which is how the latest versions of Word want to run.
The downside is, you get what you get; there's no version for IOS (Word has a subscription-based IOS version but it's not completely compatible) and the very latest version usually comes with some caveats and glitches. Still, I'm liking it so far and if I change my mind, the files are are compatible with the Word 2010 I already own.
* The Pi doesn't seamlessly integrate with Dropbox -- I can download .doc and .txt files but uploading involves convoluted workarounds, so I'm better off e-mailing the finished work to myself. It's not a big obstacle and the well-behaved little computer is worth the additional effort.
5 weeks ago