Microsoft Word Alternatives

Dear Computer Lady,

Which programs do you like in Lieu of purchasing Microsoft Word?

Thanks, MB

Dear MB,

First, let me say that I have Microsoft Office on my computer, and there really is no substitute for it. I use OneNote every day, and Outlook is also great.

Since you asked only about Word, though, I will just look at word processing programs.

If all you want is some basic word processing features, every Windows computer comes with WordPad. It is a basic word processing program. To find it, just click on “Start” and type “Wordpad”. Or, if you have the old XP style of start menu, it is located under “All Programs” then “Accessories”.

In WordPad you can type your letter, change the font, the text size and color, make text bold, italic or underlined and a few other basic things. WordPad saves your files in Rich Text Format (RTF) which can be opened in just about any word processing program.

If you are looking for a few more functions than WordPad provides, I would suggest LibreOffice at

The word processing component of LibreOffice is called, Writer. One of the reasons that I like LibreOffice is that it can open and edit files created in the discontinued program, Microsoft Works.

Writer has all the features you want in a word processing program. It is powerful enough to create a complete book with contents, diagrams, indexes and more.

One of my favorite programs is PagePlus from Serif software. While it is really more of a desktop publishing program, it can do word processing quite nicely. I have created a few ebooks and classroom handouts in PagePlus.

I’m sure there are many more word processing programs out there, but these are the ones I am familiar with. If someone else has a favorite, please be sure to let me know and I will share it with everyone.



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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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    • friend
    • May 14, 2016

    Open Office is another good, free suite of tools that includes a word processing program, spreadsheet, database, publisher and more. I’ve used it for several years without issue, though I mostly use only the word processing program.

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