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Old 02-09-2013, 05:02 AM   #1
Lyra Jean
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Need word processing program

Just purchased a new computer. It has Windows 8. I can't afford Microsoft Word yet. Does Windows 8 have Notepad? Or is there some other free wordprocessing program I can download?

A friend mentioned Google Docs. Is that safe to use as far as if I use it will my work be considered published.

I can write using pen and paper if I have to but I'm much faster at typing than handwriting.

Thanks,
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:03 AM   #2
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Try LibreOffice. It's free. Some people even prefer it over Word (I don't). I have it and Word on my computer.

LO would be all you really need as a writer in most cases.
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:14 AM   #3
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All versions of Windwoes have Wordpad, a halfway decent word processor that can do RTF.

Libre Office is decent, and it can open your older Word (or other wordly processed files). Others use AbiWord, and that doesn't come with all the clutter of other kinds of officey apps. There are other (also free) alternatives, but it's best to stick with the most popular and always currently in development stuff.
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:26 AM   #4
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Thanks I will check those out.
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:29 AM   #5
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And no, using Google Docs is safe publishing-wise. I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:31 AM   #6
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Google Docs is safe; only people you give access to will have access.

I rather like Google Docs personally, and if you install the free Google Drive and us Chrome, you can do quite a lot offline.

That said, like everything else online, use a unique and smart password that's made of letters, mixed upper and lower case, numbers and punctuation marks.
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:53 AM   #7
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I think I'll stick with Google Docs right now. I don't have to download anything. And I think it was downloading something that killed my old computer.

Plus, it was ancient. It used Windows XP. I bought before I went to college 7 years ago.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyra Jean View Post
I think I'll stick with Google Docs right now. I don't have to download anything. And I think it was downloading something that killed my old computer.

Plus, it was ancient. It used Windows XP. I bought before I went to college 7 years ago.
Download a backup copy of WIPs, just to be safe
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyra Jean View Post
I think I'll stick with Google Docs right now. I don't have to download anything. And I think it was downloading something that killed my old computer.

Plus, it was ancient. It used Windows XP. I bought before I went to college 7 years ago.
@Lyra,

Nice name. At least it gets off to a good start.

Do not be afraid of downloads. My XP machine died recently, too. It was not from downloading. It was from old age. 7 years in computer age is the Neolithic you know. (Or do I mean paleolithic? Not sure.)

I cannot speak to Google docs, but I can speak to LibreOffice. I just wrote in LO. Typed the entire novel as a single file. Had a very savvy friend get me started right. (He writes about computer software - very complex typesetting, compared to a novel.) When I was done I clicked "Export to PDF" and I had a PDF ready to publish. It was wonderful. If you're brave I can explain how to set it up so you don't make my mistakes.

Backup was easy. I got Dropbox (same price: $0) and wrote the novel right in my dropbox folder. Was always 100% backed up.
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:11 PM   #10
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I have Windows XP also, but I am thinking of buying a new computer in my birthday in May. I think Windows XP is outdated. It came pre-installed in this computer from 2009, a net book, Dell Inspiron Mini, and to be honest, after using Windows 7, I don't like Windows XP anymore. I haven't used Windows 8 yet, but fortunately, I can adapt to a new operating system after one or two days of using it. In 2 days time, I get to use the OS like I've been using it for years, because what I do is explore everything. Find out where the folders are, what they store, what the functions are, etc.


Word processors? I've tried Abi Word and it's small, I love the way it looks, and it opens almost all kinds of word-processing files. Compared to Word, the word counts are a little off, though. I type up a chapter, and I count the words on Abi Word, and then count them on Word, and it's about 2,000 words off. I've tried Libre Office, but for some reason I can't get used to it. I don't know where everything is, I click a button to edit and it does something else...it's just me, I never got used to it. But it might be great for you. It's different for every person, so your best options are Libre and AbiWord.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:15 PM   #11
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If what you're accustomed to is Word 2003, which many computers running Windows XP had installed, then another free word processing program to consider is Open Office. It's very like Word 2003 and can easily be set up to save in .doc form by default.

There was a time when Open Office was no longer being supported and Libre Office was, but now both are fully supported, for the nonce.

Maryn, who uses Open Office on the laptop
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristinaLayton View Post
Compared to Word, the word counts are a little off, though. I type up a chapter, and I count the words on Abi Word, and then count them on Word...
I checked with my savvy friend:

"Word counts don't necessarily mean a count of the words. Character count divided by six or seven is pretty common. Ask the program for its count. Then copy the text into a plain text editor (Notepad, for one). Save and look at the file size. Divide by six (seven if that doesn't work) and you may have your word count."

If you like I can explain how to set up LO so everything is exactly where you want it. Picture a new desk in a new office. Go to Office Supply and buy a bag full of goodies. Dump the goodies on the desk. Then you put the phone here, the monitor there, the pencils and markers in the holder behind the tape, ... Make sure your music is easy to reach. (I pull up a second chair so the cat can curl up within easy reach.) That's how you organize your LO.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:40 PM   #13
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Your computer should have Works on it, which I think is a heck of a lot better than AbiWord, and most other word processing programs, except for LibreOffice. But you certainly will not harm your computer by downloading LibreOffice.

There is a good chance that Works isn't installed, even if it came with your computer. I'm running a W7 machine, and I had to install Works before being able to use it. Check under All Programs.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:04 AM   #14
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then another free word processing program to consider is Open Office.
Two different flavors of the same code. LO and OO are fraternal twins, hard to tell apart if they don't wear name tags.

You use lots of your own styles? F11 is the secret!
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:22 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyra Jean View Post
I think I'll stick with Google Docs right now. I don't have to download anything. And I think it was downloading something that killed my old computer.

Plus, it was ancient. It used Windows XP. I bought before I went to college 7 years ago.
Downloading just any program is definitely not a good thing, but LibreOffice is safe. It installs by default with some Operating systems like Ubuntu (+- 15 million users), and has a lot of big name support in the industry. Google docs is also great, so whatever you're more comfortable with.
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:43 AM   #16
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Open Office and Libre Office have more functionality than the recent versions of Word, and they have the right prive. Both of those can also open edit and save DOCX and XLSX files.

If you want to go one better, then install Linux. It works well, and there is a huge amount of opensource software available.
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:34 PM   #17
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Google docs is also great, ...
Ave,

Can you use Google docs to look at the finished product? I set up my LO (OO if you please) to view two pages (recto, verso) at a time, exactly as the finished book will look.

Sometimes this helps as you write. You can see where your dear reader will turn the page.
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Open Office and Libre Office have more functionality than the recent versions of Word, and they have the right prive. Both of those can also open edit and save DOCX and XLSX files.

If you want to go one better, then install Linux. It works well, and there is a huge amount of opensource software available.

I wouldn't say that at all. I have the latest OpenOffice, and teh latest Word. Word is infinitely more functional, and I can do all sorts of things with Word that I can't do with LibreOffice.
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