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skelly
01-09-2007, 08:40 PM
Has anybody tried the free word processor Jarte? I just downloaded it, and it is gorgeous. I can't work in MS Word ... I despise MS Word with every fiber of my writerly being ... but so far I have never been able to find a practical alternative. I don't know that Jarte is the alternative that I've been looking for, but so far I'm pretty impressed by what I see. I was just curious if anybody else uses it.

It is truly freeware, they don't lock out most of the functions or put any annoying ads on it. They do sell an upgrade, if you want a few bells and whistles. That doesn't interest me; bells and whistles are 90% of the reason that I hate Word. I'm not trying to advertise it or anything, but if you want to check it out go here (http://www.jarte.com/). I'll be test driving it, and I'll report back here when I have more information.

Shadow_Ferret
01-09-2007, 09:00 PM
I have no emotional attachment to Word, but it suits what I want to do and a goodly number of agents and publishers prefer files in Word.

What I hate is having to learn a new program.

PeeDee
01-09-2007, 09:33 PM
I use Word. That is to say, I use the Word 2007 (the first word processor program that I haven't disliked because it's not a typewriter) and I turn off almost every feature that tries to help me out. Essentially, I strip it down until it does nothing but take the text I type and put it on the screen.

I'm curious why you hate Word so much. Why hate a program? I have a remarkable lack of pens around the house which I hate with all the fiber of my being.

The closest I have is wide-ruled notebooks. I don't like them much.

MidnightMuse
01-09-2007, 09:35 PM
I understand hating Bill Gates, or being frustrate with that friggin' talking paperclip - but you do realize you can kill all of those features, yes? Word, to me, is nothing more than a white screen where my words appear, that will save the document for me in the formats I need. And, when necessary, will do a few tricks like Find and Replace.

To each his/her own, though :)

WildScribe
01-09-2007, 09:39 PM
I like word... and it usually behaves itself for me. The only issues I've ever had were formatting, but not with manuscripts.

farfromfearless
01-09-2007, 09:52 PM
I used the hate MS Word - I even went so far as to write my own word-processor. I know many folks who use notepad; I use metapad as a replacement for notepad as it has more keystroke functions I need while editing. When it all boils down, it's just tool like a pen, a note pad, a typewriter. The tool wont make you a better writer, perhaps a more efficient copy editor, but not a better writer. Pick the tools you feel most comfortable with and go from there.

skelly
01-09-2007, 10:10 PM
I'm curious why you hate Word so much. Why hate a program?

Word just wants to do too much for me. It drives me nuts. Formatting, mostly. Odd kinks in the program that move entire paragraphs to the right when I hit "tab." The fact that I can be going along just fine, then for no reason it starts automatically tabbing for me when I hit return ... meaning that I have two tabs, because I automatically hit tab after return too. GAAA! The inexplicable way that it printed 23 lines on some pages, 24 lines on some pages, and 25 lines on some pages ... throughout a 180 page document. The fact that, as a fantasy writer, there are times that Word simply WILL NOT allow me to spell a word the way I want to spell it. I could go on.

PeeDee, I collect vintage manual typewriters. I would love to work on my early 1950's Remington Quiet Writer, but I write from three to seven a.m., and according to my wife, it's not all that quiet. But even if I could use it, it just isn't practical. What I REALLY want is a DOS word processor like the ones we had back in the late 80's, early 90's. Just a bunch of black screen with my words (amber or green) floating on it. I had one called EasyWrite, but I lost it in my latest comp crash. Worked perfectly, unless I wanted to print, or bring the documents up in some other text editor.

Sorry for the rant.

Shadow_Ferret
01-09-2007, 10:13 PM
As has been said, a lot of those automated features can be turned off.

As far as it not liking words you type, not sure why Word isn't letting you. It sure as heck lets me type all the weird words I want for my fantasy. And when the spellchecker yells, I simply add them to my dictionary.

PeeDee
01-09-2007, 10:21 PM
I turn off spell check, auto format, grammar check, auto-tabbing, and so on. Everything is turned off.

Anyway, I wasn't trying to talk you out of it. By all means, write in Jarte. I've played with it, and I'm afraid I thought nothing much of it.


I write nocturnally and I live in an apartment, so a typewriter doesn't work here either... :)

skelly
01-09-2007, 10:27 PM
As has been said, a lot of those automated features can be turned off.

As far as it not liking words you type, not sure why Word isn't letting you. It sure as heck lets me type all the weird words I want for my fantasy. And when the spellchecker yells, I simply add them to my dictionary.
I have turned off every feature I can find ... they keep coming back on. It may be the weird way I save files ... I don't know. I wish word would default everything off and let me pick what I want. Maybe I'm just an ignorant ass. Anyway, I'm not knocking other people who like it. Just doesn't work for me. Mostly I was hoping some other Jarte users could tell me if the thing is stable. I really like it.

Shadow_Ferret
01-09-2007, 10:31 PM
I wasn't trying to talk you out of it either, nor was I calling you ignorant. I just haven't run into the problems you speak of when using Word 97 for just my manuscript formating.

Now when I use Word at work for more complex desktop publishing tasks, then you should hear my ranting. I was a sailor once and I have a wonderfully salty vocabulary that gets spewed upon Word and Microsoft with much gusto.

skelly
01-09-2007, 10:38 PM
Shadow ... I didn't take it that way at all. I'm using MS Office 2000. Or was ... :)

Maryn
01-09-2007, 10:46 PM
Word just wants to do too much for me. It drives me nuts. Formatting, mostly.I repeat what you've heard already. You can turn it all off. Learn how and you'll be a happier person. Win-win, right?

Odd kinks in the program that move entire paragraphs to the right when I hit "tab." Sounds to me like both the little triangles (which surely have names) in Word's toolbar have been moved to your Tab setting, probably 1/2 inch. Hit Ctrl-A (selecting the whole document as what's to be affected by the change you're about to make), then use your cursor to move 'em back, so the two triangles and the little box below them are all at the left edge, at zero. This is a common screw-up when the document has been imported to Word from an earlier version of Word, or from WordPerfect, Notepad, etc. It can also happen when someone who didn't read the manual attempts to set tabs. Could that be you, wink-wink?

The fact that I can be going along just fine, then for no reason it starts automatically tabbing for me when I hit return ... meaning that I have two tabs, because I automatically hit tab after return too. GAAA!This is a product of the little triangle that points downward being moved to the tab setting, since that's what happens when you hit Enter. It's meant to be a convenience for the writer to not need to tab in, but since you're in the habit of doing this for yourself, it's an easy fix. Ctrl-A, then drag it to the left with the cursor.

The inexplicable way that it printed 23 lines on some pages, 24 lines on some pages, and 25 lines on some pages ... throughout a 180 page document.You have widow and orphan protection turned on. This keeps single lines which are part of longer paragraphs from appearing alone on a page, forcing them to the next or previous page. Turn it off via Format/Paragraph/Line and Page Breaks.

The fact that, as a fantasy writer, there are times that Word simply WILL NOT allow me to spell a word the way I want to spell it.First, I recommend turning off the Spell Check feature that inserts the wiggly line under words that Word does not find in its dictionary as you type. (Tools/Options/Spelling and Grammar, then uncheck the "Check spelling as you type" box.) Before you submit your document, run the normal spell check on it. When Word finds a word that's not in its dictionary, you can either add it or tell Word to ignore all the instances of this word.

We understand your frustration, but it sounds to me like a better understanding of Word would make your experience using it a whole lot better. But if you're happy with Jarte, so be it. Just be aware that some potential publishers may want to see your submission in Word.

Maryn, who'll try to answer Word questions if you have them

PeeDee
01-09-2007, 10:57 PM
Dear Maryn,

What button in word makes my writing good?

Sincerely,

Pete

:)

RG570
01-09-2007, 11:02 PM
Jarte is okay, but if I were going for a free alternative, I'd go with openoffice. But I'm extremely happy with wordperfect running in old-timey blue mode. I find it much more pleasant than MS Word, which I avoid at all costs. I don't know why, since it's just a word processor. It's like when you can't stand a person you don't even know for no good reason.

paprikapink
01-09-2007, 11:16 PM
I'm also in the I-hate-Word-and-I-don't-need-a-reason camp. I hate that "Normal" paragraph format. I hate the way the standard-issue doc template wants to be the boss of everything. I do want to be able to do things with the "features" in Word -- I've used the programs that Word copied those features from, like Interleaf and Framemaker, and you can really write good books with that stuff! -- but it's just torture in Word. It wants to provide all those features, but be useable by folks who could care less and, I think, ends up annoying both camps.

But I want to save final documents in Word for submitting.

I'm a Mac user. I just downloaded and have been experimenting with Jers Novel Writer (http://jerssoftwarehut.com/index.shtml). Jerry, it seems, is a software developer and a novelist (a la our own Fahim) so it's like custom software in that it's designed to do exactly what you want to do with it. And the release notes are funny.

skelly
01-10-2007, 01:10 AM
It's like when you can't stand a person you don't even know for no good reason.
Yup. Yup. Yup. :) Maryn ... thanks for the tips. I will refer to them when I have to copy everything back over to Word and format for final.

PeeDee
01-10-2007, 01:53 AM
I guess I just don't have the energy or interest in hating anything. Mostly, if something does do what I need it to, I don't use it. I also can sit quietly and think that if all else fails me, I will damn well go back to pen and paper and never touch the stupid machine again.

I should hate something. That would make me more interesting.

*ahem*

I hate DOS "Buttons" interface, from about 1990! It was STUPID!

(I feel better.)

farfromfearless
01-10-2007, 01:59 AM
Dear Maryn,

What button in word makes my writing good?

Sincerely,

Pete

:)

It's the checkbox labeld "Mayk mai wryting guud " which you can find if you look under the "Tools>Options" and go to "Complete Hooey" beside the "Speiling & Grammer" tab.

It's a new feature in MS word written by Billy G. himself. It puts a big red blinking button in your toolbar. All you have to do is click it and it'll call back to the Microsoft Servers and regenerate your MS in true MS Word fashion - Right Guud!

Maryn
01-10-2007, 02:02 AM
Dear Maryn,

What button in word makes my writing good?

Sincerely,

Pete

:)Delete?

Sorry, Pete, but you know what happens if you provide the straight lines.

PeeDee
01-10-2007, 02:09 AM
Oh, a woise goi, eh? Nyuk nyuk nyuk!

Sometimes, the straight man is more fun.

God forbid Microsoft servers should ever actually improve anything. :)

Judg
01-10-2007, 02:23 AM
I avoid Word also. I started on WordPerfect and the Reveal Codes feature alone has kept me faithful lo these many years. It also has the lovely feature of saving all files in WP5.1 format, which means that when I move something to my ancient laptop, the old version I've got there can read my new files.

I turn off virtually all functions also (another blessed thing about WP is that they're not all turned on in the default settings), but I certainly do love that search and replace function, which Notepad et al just don't offer.

RJLeahy
01-10-2007, 02:58 AM
I had to look. Apparently I use Word. It came with the computer. I type, and words appear, so it works for me. I really miss the sound of those old Selectrics though.

PeeDee
01-10-2007, 02:59 AM
CLACK CLACK CLACK CLACK CLACK CLACK CLACK CLACK THUD WHRRRRRRRRRRRRR DING! CLACk CLACK CLACK CLACK

You know, I think I miss typewriter sounds only because I haven't used one in years. :)

The one thing I DON'T miss about typewriters is the bit where I'm on a roll typing away and the keys jam together because I'm writing too quickly.

RJLeahy
01-10-2007, 03:01 AM
I only type as fast as I think, so jamming keys has never been a problem for me. :)

PeeDee
01-10-2007, 03:04 AM
When I hit my stride, I do 100-120 words per minute, and I dont' slow down until something needs thinking about, or my arm goes "Ack!" and cramps up. Which is hellish.

It's a typing speed that makes me more inclined to use a computer than a typewriter. Although if someone put a beautiful electric typewriter in front of me, I would hardly refuse. I'd do a story on it, certainly.

skelly
01-10-2007, 03:04 AM
Maybe it's just cuz I'm old .... Sweeeet (http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o88/sak2112/typewriters004.jpg)!

PeeDee
01-10-2007, 03:06 AM
Iwantit!

skelly
01-10-2007, 03:07 AM
:) .... $4 at a thrift store. With a case. G.D. some people are stupid.

PeeDee
01-10-2007, 03:12 AM
None of my local thrift shops have typewriters. Lawd knows I've looked. They have plenty of Game Boy games, mostly.

skelly
01-10-2007, 03:20 AM
What's funny is, Office Depot still sells ribbons for the things. Unbelievable.

PeeDee
01-10-2007, 03:22 AM
They're still used in doctor's offices and government facilities. If not true manual typewriters, then electric ones are. So I can see where they'd still sell ribbons.

You're talking me into buying a typewriter from somewhere. Quit it.

skelly
01-10-2007, 03:29 AM
LOL :)

paprikapink
01-10-2007, 05:17 AM
Is anyone else keeping track of how many AW threads about "what software do you use" have ended up being about how much we miss typewriters? This is at least the third one in which I've participated.

If I ever have a big enough desk again, I'll put an IBM Selectric on it. That's my dream.

PeeDee
01-10-2007, 05:20 AM
Is anyone else keeping track of how many AW threads about "what software do you use" have ended up being about how much we miss typewriters? This is at least the third one in which I've participated.

If I ever have a big enough desk again, I'll put an IBM Selectric on it. That's my dream.

Not to sound critical, but t says more about the unwillingness of people to use the search engine for more than one search, really.

I wouldn't mind an IBM Selectric...

skelly
01-10-2007, 01:57 PM
Not to sound critical, but t says more about the unwillingness of people to use the search engine for more than one search, really.

Well, I searched "Jarte", which was what the thread started out as. There were six threads out of 44,183 in which "Jarte" was mentioned, none of them addressing the issue that I brought up in my original post.

As far as the thread going off topic, (shrugs). I'm not going to run around like some sort of topic-nazi, bitching at people. What I can do is try harder to stay on topic myself. I'm one of the worst about getting sidetracked.
:)

PeeDee
01-10-2007, 05:50 PM
Well, I searched "Jarte", which was what the thread started out as. There were six threads out of 44,183 in which "Jarte" was mentioned, none of them addressing the issue that I brought up in my original post.

It wasn't a jab at this thread, Skelly. Actually, it wasn't much of a jab at anyone. It was barely a gentle poke. This is the only thread I've seen on the Jarte program around here.

Perhaps we (meaning: Someone) should assemble a stick thread to put amongst the multitude of stickies which lists free writing software. Heck, there may be one already. I have no idea.

Anyway, I wasn't jabbing at you. Promise. :)

Shades of Humanity
01-10-2007, 06:15 PM
Delete?




lol! That was good! :D

skelly
01-10-2007, 06:41 PM
Perhaps we (meaning: Someone) should assemble a stick thread to put amongst the multitude of stickies which lists free writing software. Heck, there may be one already. I have no idea.
That would be cool, like some sort of toolbox thread or something. Man, I haven't been here a week and I'm already trying to rearrange the furniture. Does anybody need to borrow some aplomb? Apparently I have plenty.
:)

PeeDee
01-10-2007, 06:45 PM
Stop rocking the boat so much. You're making me have to get up. And then I'll throw you to the jellyfish. Which may not sound as threatening as sharks, but only if you haven't been in jellyfish territory after a boat stirs 'em up. ;)

K1P1
01-10-2007, 06:56 PM
There's a thread on [computer] tools for writers over in the Tech forum. Maybe you should start a thread on alternatives to MS Word over there. Who knows, there might be one already. I'm another who just turns off all the stuff I don't like in Word. I have friends who swear by OpenOffice (it's not just word processing--spread sheets and database too). I have been known, when MS Word does something nasty and inexplicable to my formatting to copy the text into Notepad, save it as text, and then copy it into a squeaky clean new Word document.

For those who don't like the default document format (I hate it - 1.25" margins? Give me a break) you do know that you can change it, don't you? Go to File>Page Setup and set it the way you want it, then click on the "Default" button at the bottom.

And if you hate the "Normal" paragraph style, then you can edit it too. Go to Format>Styles and Formatting and right click on the one you want to change and select Modify from the drop down menu. You'll get a dialog box where you can control the font, line spacing, indent, etc.

ETA: I searched Google for complaints about it and found this review http://www.angelfire.com/mi3/tomekeeper/resources/links.html
and this http://mjbdiver.blogspot.com/2006_03_01_archive.html. Both are positive, but don't give many details.

And, to answer the original question. No, I've never heard of Jarte and can't comment on it.

Shadow_Ferret
01-10-2007, 07:17 PM
In her basement, my mom has an old Remington she got from an antique dealer. I need to steal it. She also has the typewriter I cut my writer's eye teeth on. An old manual portable (weighed a ton) from her college days.

If the circa 1970s IBM selectric still works, you guys can have that.

farfromfearless
01-10-2007, 07:27 PM
Stop rocking the boat so much. You're making me have to get up. And then I'll throw you to the jellyfish. Which may not sound as threatening as sharks, but only if you haven't been in jellyfish territory after a boat stirs 'em up. ;)

I had to pee on my best friend one summer because she got herself wrapped up in a jelly fish. I was scarred. So was she.

skelly
01-10-2007, 07:29 PM
I used to collect old electrics, too, but I simply ran out of room for them. I had a couple of Smith Corona Coronets that worked great. The problem was, when you turned them on they sounded like a German airfield in the middle of an Allied bombing run, with some idiot ringing a bell every so often.

PeeDee
01-10-2007, 07:33 PM
I had to pee on my best friend one summer because she got herself wrapped up in a jelly fish. I was scarred. So was she.

In the Carribean, you'd get the boats or the jet skiis that go too close to land and would stir up the water. That meant that the dead jellyfish tentacles (which just sift underneath the sand) would get stirred up and fill the water. You'd go into the water and everything would be jellyfish tentacles. And pissed off crabs.

I still have some scars on my legs from jellyfish. I don't think I peed on anyone though. So you beat me there. :)