Sunday, August 12, 2012

Useful things are useful!

Remember that time when it seemed like all our computers had Microsoft Word? (If you're using a PC, that is.) And how, now, most of the time Microsoft Office and all its fun programs give you a crap 'starter' version while constantly mentioning you should really pay for the upgrade?

Yeah. Annoying.

Thankfully, these days for us writers, there are other alternatives. Free ones, at that. I've seen a lot of people asking in forums what program people use to write in. So I've compiled a few links I thought might help.

1. OpenOffice
OpenOffice is probably the most popular free choice. They offer not just a word processing program, but an equivelent to other programs, such as their version of Excel. OO can generally handle and import the Microsoft Word file types, too, which comes in handy when .doc is one of the most common file types in our querying world. OO also has the capability of using track changes, another feature many of us use religiously in Word.

2. Atlantis Word Processor
Atlantis feels a little 'lighter,' more streamlined than OO. I used it for a long while because it crashed and froze a lot less often than OO. The drawback being it didn't have track changes and lacked some of the editing strengths of OO.

3. Google Docs
Being able to store your writing online is pretty handy, and it helps prevent some of those nasty issues of, say, losing hours worth of writing when the power goes out. Its capabilities may not be as powerful as a desktop processor, but online sites like Google Docs definitely have their upsides.

The three above are the tools I've personally used, so I can't vouch for a lot of others. However:

- Here is another list of free Word alternatives, along with-

- This, which is a list of online writing tools, such as Google Docs.

I've been putting thought into switching over to Google Docs or a similar online program, simply because I switch back and forth between computers a lot. Having my most recent copy of my MS saved online without having to email it back and forth would come in handy.

Do you have any programs that make your writing journey easier?


  1. On my iPad I use Writers App. It allows you to plot, create character profile and write chapters. You can make notes in it, but it's really more designed for plotting (which is good for a pantser like me). I'm using it to plot my NaNoWriMo project.

  2. I'm longhanding my current WIP because I don't like the... 'falseness' of .doc or .docx. I don't WANT to be able to delete everything, I want it to be solid so I don't get into endless edits before I even finish the book. But I use .docx normally, and convert to .doc if needed using this site: It is AMAZING. No email needed, and it can covert to and from so many formats (even pdf) in just a few seconds.

  3. But I HEARRDD of an app called Write or Die or something like that. If you don't write a certain word coutn every hour, it stars deleting D: Or Written Kitten, which gives a picture of a kitten after every 100 words or something :)

    1. I use Written Kitten sometimes. It's a lot of fun.