Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Outdo Microsoft Word

Planesdragon (210349) writes | about 8 years ago

Microsoft 2

Despite years of development and an almost universal grunt of dismay from geeks, there is no F/OSS tool that can replace Microsoft Word. It comes up short for several tasks (simple data management, spreadsheets, page layout) and is overkill for many others (simple note-taking or letter writing), but it's in a class all on its own when it comes to what it was intended for: writing.

Despite years of development and an almost universal grunt of dismay from geeks, there is no F/OSS tool that can replace Microsoft Word. It comes up short for several tasks (simple data management, spreadsheets, page layout) and is overkill for many others (simple note-taking or letter writing), but it's in a class all on its own when it comes to what it was intended for: writing.

Feel like you can prove me wrong? Know a program that can be my pen-and-paper better than I'd ever believe? Here's the chance to give it a new user and advocate. The program must:

  1. Be a Win32, .Net/Mono, or simiarly windows-friendly App. Java and other add-ons are OK, but Linux-native isn't.
  2. Take either .DOC or a similar equivalent (.HTM, .DOCX, or some standard flavor of .XML). Batch converters are ok, but see below.
  3. Count the words in any arbitrary section of text, including the text as a whole
  4. Track the changes I make at least as well as Work 2k (only the last writing session is all I really need)
  5. Have an on-the-fly spellchecker
  6. Have a built-in or hooked-in thesaurus
  7. Have an some option to fix common typos as a type
  8. have some similiar option to undo accidental typo-corrections easily
  9. Be able to either export to .DOC or have a Palm OS companion that can read and at least commonent upon an RTF-style version.

OOo passes 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, and 9, but fails pretty miserably at 3, 6, and 8. I don't use OOo.

cancel ×

2 comments

WordPerfect (1)

TechnoLust (528463) | about 8 years ago | (#15636515)

Beats Word in every conceivable way IMO. I have used WP since before it had a WYSIWYG editor. I can't count the number of times Word did something completely unexpected WRT formatting and I went to hit Reveal Codes and realized that I wasn't in my beloved WP.

Hmm (1)

ncc74656 (45571) | about 8 years ago | (#15637611)

Tools->Word Count seems to work well enough for me in OpenOffice. Are you using v2.0 or an older version? In v2.0, it'll give the word count for the current selection (if any) and for the entire document.

A more general way to count words in some text would be to copy it to the clipboard and punch the following into a shell prompt:

cat << EOF | wc

Paste the text into the window, hit Return, type in EOF, and hit Return again.

I don't think I've ever had any need for a thesaurus, but a little poking around in OpenOffice indicates that it does have one (Tools->Language->Thesaurus).

As for auto-correction and fixing your document when auto-correction gets it wrong, I was never all that enamored with that misfeature (IMNSHO) in Word and shut it off. I also have it shut off in OpenOffice, as it more often than not gets in the way.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...