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Microsoft Word, part of the Microsoft Office Suite but also sold as a standalone application, is Microsoft's word processor. Its proprietary (but open-specification) DOC format is considered a de-facto standard, although from 2007 and above, Word uses DOCX.
Other features include SmartArt, PDF support, and feature searching (as of Word 2016).
Using the mobile app, an Microsoft 365 subscription is required to create and edit documents with a screen size of 10.1 inches or larger; documents will be opened in read-only mode.
One time purchase ranging between $120 and $500, and / or subscription that costs between $5 and $13. Price may vary depending on commitment and so on.
Microsoft Office Word is also a platform with 38 apps listed on AlternativeTo. Browse all 38 apps for Microsoft Office Word.
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Microsoft is one of the world's richest and best-established software companies. It's incredible to think then that their market-dominating word processor has quite so many awful and ridiculous faults.
MS Word dominates this space not because it's "the best" in any sense; it's simply the most widely used. Long-term users of MS Word will have noticed quite a few of its problems. There are many more than this list mentions.
Below the list of my favourite MS Word faults, I offer a list of alternatives to consider.
It's beyond me how Microsoft are unable to create an office suite (MS Word being a part of that) with any decent stability on THEIR OWN operating system. The number of times I've had the "Word isn't responding and needs to stop..." error drives me to levels of anger few other things can inspire. I've had that for simple and complex documents, for years and for many different Word and Windows versions, and at the least inopportune moments. (Try it when a deadline is looming.) It's still true in 2016 on Windows 10 and Office 365 .
More than this, if it happens to many people, the world over, including at Universities and multi-billion dollar companies... just think of the economic damage this preventable instability is causing. The cumulative cost must be enormous. My guess is that MS don't care sufficiently to fix this because they are the market "standard" and know their product will sell anyway. Whilst alternatives like Libre Office leave much to be desired, I've yet to have Libre Office crash, even on Windows. That suggests the economic damage of using Word IS preventable. I wish there would be legal consequences for MS for this.
Write something in MS Word and automatically Office 365 and Windows will conspire to try to upload it to Microsoft servers using the MS Upload Center. Worse still, it's not possible to switch this off easily - only to "pause" it. Switching it off completely takes a bit of work the average user won't have time or inclination to pursue - which is how MS designed this on purpose (of course!). Because they WANT your files. (Btw, this is done without client-side encryption, so MS can instantly analyze the content of my document.) That is ridiculous, unjustified and unacceptable.
It shouldn't take hard work for me to retain my privacy, and it shouldn't be Microsoft's business by default what I write. The number of cases where that could jeopardize people's personal information in unacceptable ways is enormous: what if MS servers are breached? What if the information is politically sensitive? What if it has health, or human-rights implications?
Microsoft's disregard of all this, and the concerns of its customers rights and concerns is completely consistent with its inclusion of all the other privacy-violating "features" of MS Windows, many of which require workarounds to prevent (I recommend doing this), but which are (now) part of Windows 7,8 and 10.
For years Mac versions of Word (and Office generally) have been clunky, lacking features, unstable and unweildy. The interface has been similar but not the same, meaning that you might have to look for the same feature in a different place on Mac as opposed to on Windows. Given that Microsoft's Windows is a competitor of MacOS, it's hard to believe that's coincidental. If it's not, that means Mac users have been treated on purpose as 2nd class citizens for the misdemeanour of not committing to the MS ecosystem.
Worse still, Microsoft's claimed support for open source doesn't really square with the fact that MS Office (Word included) isn't available for Linux (let alone BSD). It used to be true that, on Linux, MS Word could be run under Wine. It's no longer true for Office 365 (Word included). Is it a stretch to suppose the calculation is deliberate? Mac users are usually inclined to pay more, so let's have a Word version for them, albeit a worse one than on Windows. Linux users are into free (as in beers and as in birds) software, so they won't pay, so let's not bother. Linux/BSD users are therefore treated like 3rd class citizens.
If you pay for Office 365, you can access it online. There, you can use Word - or at least a pared down version of it - whichever operating system you use. However, this means: 1) all your documents will be on MS servers by default (so the same privacy disadvantages as above), 2) you need a Microsoft account and 3) the functionality isn't as good. MS even made their Office suite - Word included - available for free on Android. Perhaps that was their way of fighting the rise of Google Docs. The battle continues, it seems: some users have experienced problems with it on Chrome books (surprise!)
If you haven't yet been sucked into the Microsoft ecosystem and have the chance not to (e.g. because your work doesn't require it), here are some alternatives worth considering:
Libre Office: It's free and open source. Works on Windows, Apple, Linux and BSD. It has a lot of the same functionality as MS Office and it's probably the most complete set of tools similar to MS Office. MS Word's counterpart is Writer, which is part of the Libre Office suite. It feels a bit like the older versions of MS Word in its layout. There are use cases where Libre Office isn't sufficient. For example, some - perhaps most - academic publishers don't support it (which is a travesty; although many support LaTeX - see below). Because of its market dominance, Word might also be compatible with various technical drawing programs that Libre Office doesn't talk to in the same way. But for 90%+ of users, Libre Office will be a good MS Office replacement. LibreOffice integrates with some - not all - popular referencing software, including Zotero and Mendeley.
Only Office: Free, and open source, Only Office offers essentially the same functionality as the online version of Office (Word included), but it runs on your desktop. It's heart-warming to discover that the thing works, for the most part, as expected on Windows, Mac and Linux. It is therefore a great replacement for many (though not all) Office users, especially as it saves and opens files (so far flawlessly) in the docx format. The only flaws I've discovered for Only Office is that it doesn't have Mendeley or Zotero plugins and it isn't able to save things to a webdav folder. If neither of these things are a concern, and your needs are fairly standard, chances are you'll be able to abandon MS Word and its satellite apps and get into Open Office without much bother.
WPS Office: This is hard to recommend (but so is Microsoft). This is essentially a carbon-copy of MS Office. It looks, feels and largely works the same way. It opens MS Office files in a way that makes them look more like the original than does Libre Office. It's "free" in the sense that you don't pay for the basic version; more features are available when you pay for WPS. The prices are considerably lower than MS Office prices. However, you have to ask what the catch is. Do you trust your privacy more with a Chinese company offering you freebies than you do Microsoft? How do you choose? What is their code doing behind the scenes? At least Libre Office is open source.
LaTeX: This is free and open source, and an excellent Word alternative. If you know how to use it. And there's the catch. It's not a conventional word processor in the style of MS Word or Libre Office's Writer. It's a way of coding your document - a document markup language with many compatible bits of software you can use with it. In the end, it produces better quality, better layout and essentially unlimited options. For example, it integrates with JabRef and other software that gives it powerful referencing and other functionality. The problem is you have to learn the code, write it and compile it. LaTeX users are many and many of them prefer the versatility. If you're not very technical, it's unlikely to be for you, though. It also adds a barrier to collaborating on documents if your collaborators don't know LaTeX.
I will NOT recommend Google Docs, Zoho Docs and similar alternatives. They are less well developed than MS Word and because they are web-based, they come with all the privacy problems that uploading your documents to Microsoft would. Admittedly, however, some people will prefer the fact that Google Docs and similar products are available online and therefore on every platform. It's unlikely that Google Docs will integrate with technical drawing documents, or leading reference managers like EndNote, Zotero or Mendeley.
Lets face it, it's the standard.
But not because it's the best. It's not.
Certainly not because it's free. it way overpriced.
It is because it is what everyone uses. In businesses, schools, homes, and it even COMES on many PC's (a stripped down ad serving version).
But that is changing.
KingSoft Word is just as powerful, and free.
Google Docs is closing in... although I am reluctant to type my personal documents on a cloud owned by a company that makes it's money selling anything it knows about me to anyone who asks. Oh yeah, and... free.
AbiWord is like a free Word Lite, and it flies. It is more then many windows users need, and runs on Linux and Mac, too.
LibreOffice Writer is ... well still hideous and awkward, but it has dang near all of the features, and it, too, is free.
Personally, I like KingSoft and run my business with it.
Please, like and support anything else. Maybe Microsoft will start pricing their software more reasonably.
I really hope so, I also hope KIngSoft Word will be available for Chrome OS
It already** is** available for Android ;) and Linux, too. Only iOS and Mac users are screwed when it comes to WPS Office (what KingSoft Office became)
I use this program every day, all day, and I know what it can and cannot do. You probably know most of what Word can do, but extensive use has taught me what it can't do:
Most users never see these things but relying on Microsoft means that eventually you may get stuck with one of these terrible files. It's a monster and it never gets better. Year after year, Microsoft has all these weird incompatibilities that make it so no one but they can view their files perfectly. In doing so, those broken elements sometimes break catastrophically.
I've mostly used LibreOffice to solve most of these issues but Google Docs works well also. OneNote can address the bullets and indentation problem somewhat but just can't handle anything but the simplest of formatting.
Like many, I've used Word for years, but I frankly think the only reason to do so is the massive installed base. If I didn't have to share docs with so many other Word users, I would have stopped using Word years ago. Why? Let me count the ways:
As one of many examples illustrating these problems, I spent over an hour yesterday trying to figure why the lines in my brief didn't line up with the line numbers in the margin. It turns out this is due to a stupid choice MS made to have extra space appear above the line rather than below it when you set your font size one way ("Exactly 12pt"), and below the line when you set it another way (Single, double, 1.5, etc.). To make "exact" font sizes behave correctly, I had to search through multiple layers of options, most of which were given confusing, misleading, or at best opaque labels, and then check a box for "Don't center exact line height lines". Of course, the problem was not that they were centered in the first place, so this label has nothing to do with reality. I was only able to figure this out because of a helpful post in the forums (not, of course, from any MS employee).
This is truly atrocious software.
Microsoft Office, and by extension, Word, should really have no place in the market anymore. With all of the much better, free alternatives, it's extremely difficult to justify the overpriced garbage you get with Office. The constant crashes, incompatibility with other file formats, horrible UI that changes every version, and the lack of support for other operating systems makes Word a hard pass. Try out LibreOffice instead; it's FREE.
It's an industry standard because it has the most features and is pretty decent in reliability.
That doesn't mean that it's a great program to use:
it's **heavy **on battery usage for laptop owners,
the UI is cumbersome for new users, changing the simplest settings, or even looking for simple options like key binds for example is a nightmare, and changing them is even harder if you don't like it.
The autosave feature only works in OneDrive, which is just Micro$oft trying to spread their platform.
it is easy to get office for free, but if you're the small amount of people that want the latest version with all the nicest features and your not a student, or your company doesn't offer it discounted, be ready to shell out $$$ for it.
Guide lines in M$ office are garbage, they should learn from Apples Pages word processor.
Since I've been using it for about 3 months now, I'm sure there are more things that I'll find that I do and don't like.
I do like that it's easy to make decent looking art without spending the time and effort to do so
The menu when you right click is very nice to have and is exclusive to word.
It's the best looking word processor next to pages and google docs (in my opinion)
Like I mentioned, it's packed with features and I'm sure that once you get used to the program and learn all its quirks you'll be able to do more in Word than what you probably could in any other program.
In the end Microsoft has a lot of experience with word as the industry standard, what they've been doing over time is slowly building upon a proven platform regardless of how complicated it is to use for newcomers, business loves it since once you learn word, design doesn't matter all that much. It's a great program and I would recommend if it you can get it for free, if not, go with something else.
I have to admit that there is no alternative to this one. I have tried OpenOffice and its clones, they are too buggy and crash quite often, at least on windows.
Also I like the fact that it politely asks for your permission before connecting to the internet.
The best word processing programme in my opinion, openoffice has some way to go before being up to its standard. Though I wish you could purchase it by itself, as its about the only thing in the ms office suite I use.
Microsoft Word pretty much sets the standard for word processors. And unlike Internet Explorer, which sets the lowest standard possible for browsers, that's not necessarily a bad thing. It costs a ton for what it does, but I think that Word does it pretty well.
I'll agree. Word is so much better than OO, LibreOffice, and Apache Open Office (I've actually tried them all and dual boot with Lubuntu Linux) that I KNOW that people that say they are better are just Open Source tools. It's the same with people that say that Linux is a lot better than Windows 7, etc. Are you kidding me? Try using Linux heavily for a month and get back to me. I hope you know what the command line is :) Make sure you read tutorials on using Sudo (or you could seriously eff up your installation). Make sure you understand the file system! In fact, to even install Apache OO (the best iteration in my opinion) I had to do a bunch of crazy command line garbage. OH...and with Linux ALWAYS make sure you're prepared to do things in a roundabout way, make sure you have tons of time to "tinker" (as Linux people love to say).
By the way...IE is a very good browser. Have you used it? It's extremely fast. The biggest problem, and the reason I won't use it, is that it doesn't have a convenient ad blocker. It's a huge problem. IE has some of the best HTML 5 performance.
I totally agree. Most easy-to-use word processor, but if you do advanced formatting (images with descriptions, references, automatic numbering) you quickly find funny quirks and strange auto-formatting that are hard and sometimes impossible to change.
For advanced text editing Adobe InDesign seems to be the best choice, but there is a steep learning curve.. For the geeky academic that likes code and full control LaTeX seems like the number one choice.
I think Microsoft Word has all that features a word processing software requires. In recent years it has innumerable changes for better results and productivity.
Microsoft Office word is providing our large number of services like for making PPT's for excel sheets etc Personally I love to work on Mircosoft it makes my work easier if are also giving Microsoft support services if you are having problem you're welcome MS Power Point Customer Service
It is stable, easy to use and fast, even though its huge.
Look at MS Office Word. It's a word processor, so as other alternatives, except few.
Microsoft Office Word
Scroll down and i'll see WPS Office. Scroll down a bit more and you'll see correct alternative - WPS Writer.
WPS Office is an alternative to MS Office. Full suite to full suite, writer to writer. Despite that WPS Office was denied of being removed.