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The Best Freeware Word Processing Programs

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 1/13/2009

Here is a look at some of the best free word processing programs available on the web.

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    What's the Word?

    Word processing is one of the central features that make personal computers essential for business and personal lives. Without one it would be next to impossible to compose any text document of any size, especially since all typewriters hit the local flea markets. Though programs like Word are the standard, many people prefer to hit the free route by finding a freeware word processing software online.

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    Open Office

    One of the most well known freeware office packages is Open Office. This is likely because it is an all encompassing suite that attempts to rival Microsoft Office in features. The main difference is that it represents itself as one item, rather than the way that Office Suite is broken up by specifically naming each program separately. This also allows for full spreadsheets, graphical support, the creation of presentations, and a tool for working on large databases. The program utilizes the International Open Standard Format, which allows the application to read files created in other programs.

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    AbiWord

    For those who were well trained in Microsoft Word, AbiWord may be the best choice. The application advertises itself as being remarkably similar to Word, which it is in most of its form. The problem is that much of the development work has been spent on making it similar instead of adding new and innovative features. It still stands out as a free program that will fill almost every word processing need.

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    Jarte Plus

    Jarte Plus takes the same approach as AbiWord, but stands out even more as being a worthwhile comparison to Word. The reason for this is that it simplifies the process even more so, which makes it quicker and easier to use. This may not be the best for larger documents, but smaller text files will make it work wonders.

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    Qlot

    Qlot is very similar to Jarte Plus in the way that it is exceptionally basic, but appropriate for many uses. It does stand out because its set-up is very different than the standard design put in place by programs like Word and Word Perfect.

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    All Online

    Beyond these, there are a number of online only applications, which can be difficult for many users. Zoho Writer, Think Free Writer, and Ajax Write are all great website word processors. Try a number of them out and see what appropriately fits your needs.