Best Writing Software?

Discussion in 'General Computers' started by Window Bar, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. Window Bar

    Window Bar "We Read for Light"

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    A question to writers on the forum: Is anyone having a particularly torrid love affair with any kind of word processing software (PC)? I've used MS Word for years, but the arcane formatting commands are tiresome. Granted, my version is '03. Should I update or move on?

    I'm looking for something that has Fiction Ms. formatting, internet website formatting, and PDF formatting that converts painlessly among them.

    Respondents to this survey are thanked in advance -- WB
     
  2. Alchemist

    Alchemist The Fighters Guide House Member

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    just upgrade ms word. Don't think it really matters though. However I don't recommend microsoft works...unfortunately that is the only thing that came with my laptop....works crashes so often that I have severely slacked off on writing.
     
  3. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Heh - it hasn't become better. They've thrown the interface of Word '07 around - and since then, I'm lost.

    I currently stick to Open Office's Writer. It's simpler. And simple is better, imo. And it's free ^^
     
  4. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    I have to agree the WS word does not really appear to have gained anything over hte years, just that each time it comes out the menu options are all moved around and there is a new set of big simple buttons taking up all the space.
    They even stripped out the old document binding tool - which I found great for working with larger documents spread over several files rather than having to have everything in one word document (which is a nightmare if you happen to include images or graphics of any kind)
     
  5. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    I heared Word couldn't be sold in the US anymore btw?

    How's that impacting things?
     
  6. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    I didin't quite belive that at first; then I thought it was some limitation on the sale (eg similar to how the EU is trying to force MS not to sell its OS sysyem with IE included because it infringes on product competition laws - even though most shops will most likley continue to preinstall IE onto their shopfloor products)

    http://mashable.com/2009/08/12/word-patent/

    It sounds mad but I suspect it microsoft could get round it quickly just by cutting the support for those extensions in the US. However I suspect they will try other means first.
     
  7. Alchemist

    Alchemist The Fighters Guide House Member

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    I've not heard that at all. Though that could be why my laptop came with Works instead..and I hate works...



    heh, and it was a Texas judge to rule that apparently...shows how much i pay attention...

    edit: giving open office writer a try
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2010
  8. Kelmourne

    Kelmourne The Savage Hippy

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    '03 has 95% of the features '07 has. '07 just has a new interface. A crappier one at that. Don't update. Not worth it AT ALL.

    I personally don't do enough word processing to care, but apparently OpenOffice is pretty good. It's also free.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  9. FrankMoricz

    FrankMoricz Author

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    OpenOffice is the way to go. Not only is it free, but open to read and write into any kind of file format. Personally, I use a linux setup for everything - and I also have some additional recommendations for the people willing to give open-source everything a shot:

    Openoffice + Conduit + Dropbox = Constant backups while you work, regardless of the situation.

    Basically, Openoffice saves a temp file constantly while you work. It goes in the same folder as your document, and is often overlooked because it is hidden. Conduit is a program that syncs one folder with another folder on your computer on-the-fly.

    So, when I write within my work folder, each time I save, or even when the temp files are updated, the files are copied silently to my Dropbox folder, where they are in turn backed up in my private dropbox on the internet.

    In the end, not only do I have a constant backup of my work on the internet, but I am also able to access my work (LIVE) from any other computer, or even my iPhone Dropbox app.

    By the way, I live in Florida, and constant power outages are a looming threat. With this system, I never lose any major work, and didn't have to pay a dime for any of it.
     
  10. cpul

    cpul New Member

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    I have not found better than MS word
     
  11. daceymathers

    daceymathers New Member

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    There are various book writing software that has formatting feature you can choose whatever you want.I am mentioning the list of various book writing software:
    1. WIZARDS FOR WORD automatically formats and fixes your manuscript, generates correct headers, footers, footnotes, page layouts, plus more, and helps speed up the writing and editing process, saving you time, money, and big headaches.
    2. Prose Pro is an MS-Word-based customized template for generating submission-ready copy for publishers. A simple wizard-style dialogue generates manuscript covers and chapter/page header information
    3. Power Writer is the first of a new breed of program for the creative writer, one which takes you from first idea through to final manuscript as one continuous act of creation
     
  12. AlphaAlex

    AlphaAlex Official Forum Nuisance

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    I actually use graphic design software when I need to type. Corel Draw to be precise. Word is terrible. At least with graphic software you can do practically anything you need to. Microsoft has in my mind NEVER released any software that is actually any good. Minus windows 7 but it took them how long to finally get windows right?

    Corel Draw will do everything you have asked in a breeze. So long as you learn to use it.. but it's pretty damn simple.
     
  13. Greybeard

    Greybeard Geezer

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    For submitting hard copy, simpler is better. There has never been a word processor for writers better than Word Perfect 4.2 for DOS. But we'll assume your computer wasn't made in the '80s.

    For hard copy, nothing beats Open Office Writer. It's simpler than Word ever was, and the price is unbeatable. For submitting an electronic copy, anything that will generate a .doc or .rtf will do fine. Again, my choice is Open Office.

    For posting online, as much as I hate the programme, the world is made for Word. I bought Word just so I could post to Smashwords and Kindle.

    The Works word processor isn't terrible. I wrote a novel on it because it's all I had on that computer, but it was perfectly adequate.
     
  14. AlphaAlex

    AlphaAlex Official Forum Nuisance

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    but word is Shite for:
    I cant stand Office. I'm sorry but coming from someone who has been in the business for 10 years now.. word is hated. Not saying it isnt good for you mate, just saying there is far better.

    As for the 80's. Yeah couldnt agree more. the shit just worked. But try teling a dos program what a PDF is little own how to edit one :p That and web design. heh.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
  15. victoria stiles

    victoria stiles New Member

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    MS word is the best. 10th version is also launched in the market. MS word is the reliable, easy and the best to be used.
     
  16. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    I've been using Open Office for a long time; it's got some great features, but has some that just don't work consistently.
    Microsoft Word 2011 is the worst program in the world. If you really want to upgrade MS Word, then try to get '07, because after that it's worse than '98 (which I love).

    On a Mac though; Pages is awesome.
     
  17. Brian Kittrell

    Brian Kittrell Author

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    I use MS Word for my back and forth with my editor, but I use Open Office for my final layout. I just feel like I get better results in OO for my print comps.

    Edit to add: I also use MS Word for the initial draft writing so it looks exactly as it should for the editor. I've had problems going between software before, so I wait to use OO until the final is ready.
     
  18. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    For Mac users: Scrivener looks great for writing (haven't used it much), and for publishing to the iPad EVERYBODY must use iBooks author (new and free on the App Store)
     
  19. FIFTHWIND

    FIFTHWIND The Kreggorian

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    Old thread. But I shall raise it from the dead with my mighty spell of "Reply"

    I've been on a lot of forums and in a lot of writers' groups and one thing that comes up far too commonly is "I'm writing a novel, short-story, screenplay... what is some good writing software?"

    The truth is that there is not some magical program out there that is ever going to help you get your project done. I think that is what a lot of discussions about "writing software" is really about; it is the "how can I make writing easier" syndrome. The only way to write is to put words down on paper every-single-day. For that, even the most basic Word-processor will do, as long as it has at least a spell-check. Heck, even notepad has a few legitimate uses that would surprise you. Personally, I see those types of discussions as a cry for help where the poster is really asking, "I've been working on a novel for 46 years and I just can't seem to get past chapter one! HELP!" lol

    Once you've completed your project and it's time to format it into any of various structures ready for printing, submission, or uploading, you would need any of the major WP programs available. MSWord, or OpenOffice (LibreOffice) will meet any and all of those needs. Take your pick. One is free and one is not.
     
  20. gumboot

    gumboot lorcutus.tolere

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    While I agree with your basic sentiment, FIFTHWIND, I would like to add one conditional, which is that there are some programs which can make the organisation of a large project easier. I've been using Word for my writing project for about 16 years now, begun way back on Windows 3.11. I've used a bunch of other programs over the years but haven't found anything as good as Word for my purposes. Personally for me Word 2003 is the penultimate version, although I now use 2007. I don't like the new 2007 design with the ribbon, but that's more about having to re-learn where everything is after 15 years of it pretty much never changing. The actual functionality hasn't changed. And I think the fact that word has changed so little in so long is a testament to how good it is. Having said that, I am a very advanced word user. While competing programs are just as good for basic writing, I've never found any of them come close for more advanced work (I actually did my entire University Entrance Art Design folio on Word because we couldn't afford any graphics software, and I came third in the entire country!).

    Just this year, however, I've made the switch to Scrivener. It's not going to be a complete transition, because the Windows version of Scrivener is missing some key features that are present on the Mac version (those changes will carry across eventually), but in terms of managing a large project it's fantastic. I actually write in word now, then copy across chapter by chapter into Scrivener for editing and working on the narrative structure.