Windows Talk: 3 Free Alternatives to Microsoft Word

By James M Fisher

Without a doubt, Microsoft Office is the most popular desktop office suite of all time. You probably use it at home, at work and perhaps even on your mobile device. It even
comes in a Mac version. Microsoft Office 2003, 2007 and 2010 version remain popular and have a huge install base, although to my knowledge Microsoft never publishes such information. However, it was not always so, and there exists many alternatives to Office, some free, others for a very reasonable price. Since Word is undoubtedly the most often used portion of the Office suite, let’s consider some free alternatives to Microsoft Word.

Perhaps the best free alternative to Word exists on your PC already: WordPad. Now, WordPad has been around since Windows 95, but it was not until recently that Microsoft updated it from an application that was little advanced from NotePad (a plain text editor and part of Windows) to something that now comes close to doing what Word does. It may well be all you need to do basic word processing and document creation for your personal use. To access WordPad (since Microsoft kind of hides it away), click on the Start button and type WordPad into the Search box. Or, look under All Programs> Accessories for WordPad.

Note the difference between the Windows 95 version of WordPad (top) and the Windows 7 version:

Give WordPad a closer look before you spend any money on a retail Office suite or download any of the following free alternatives:

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This excerpt is shared with permission from Windows Talk.

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5 thoughts on “Windows Talk: 3 Free Alternatives to Microsoft Word

  1. September 17, 2011
    There is a much superior program to replace wordpad….. Jarte, just google it, it’s FREE & you can open all MS documents with it….. In fact, you can convert MS docs to Jartes format if you want….. Plus you can have about 10+/- docs opened & stay open in Jarte when it’s closed to restart your PC. It makes exact backups in a safe folder as well.

  2. Yeah Ken, I use microsoft works also. not only a great word processor, but has a basic database and spreadsheet programs

  3. Many people mention simpler versions for WORD, such as in this article. However most either don’t read or produce WORD documents or don’t have a spell check.
    I have been using PolyEdit which does both.
    Tony

  4. @Ken H.

    I don’t believe they make MS Works anymore…haven’t seen it at the local best buy for example in a couple years. I used to grab it since it was only $40 versus the first-time fee of getting office is like $200+.

    MS has many “viewers” for all its programs including a PPT viewer…just search online for something like “Power Point Viewer.”

  5. What about Microsoft Works Word processor? I don’t remember paying anything for it. Also I was able to use “something” for viewing Power Point presentations but forget what I used or how I got it.

    Anyway I didn’t want to buy Office.

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