text processing

project home page
background & more information
finding the images you need
on-line galleries
making your own
taking your own
digital image sizes
digital image sizes
file size
adding images to documents
paper size
image file types
jpg or gif
screen prints and clip art
screen prints
clip art
the problems with text
line length
text boxes
text images
free tools
image editing
web page design



Microsoft Office may be the ‘standard’ in your institution but it’s not what you’ll get installed on a new home computer these days. It’s not cheap to buy and the Student and Teacher Special Edition may not have the elements you want, not being anything like the full set any more. Lotus WordPro™ and Corel’s Word Perfect™ were Word’s main competitors for many years but currently it is an offering from Sun Microsystems that is making the running, having taken over 14% of the global market share. Being totally free may have something to do with this!

So the least you can do is give it a try if you cannot get hold of a licensed copy of Word to use away from your desk. The latest version is OpenOffice 1.1.3 and is stable and has an interface which will be familiar to most Word users.

You can open Office documents with it and save your work as Word (or Excel, PowerPoint etc.) so there are no compatibility issues to worry about. Indeed, you may even find that it is a distinct improvement when you get used to it, especially the Save as pdf facility which Word still sadly lacks. Pdf is the type of document used increasingly nowadays on the web for documents that you’d prefer people didn’t change or which contain images or things that you think others may not be able to view properly like odd fonts or drawings.

Download it at http://www.openoffice.org.


Everyone has this tiny little programme but, outside the world of technicians and programmers, normal people don’t use it at all. It’s not exactly highly featured but it is brilliant at handling text which is what it was designed to do. A particular use is for sorting out the mess that can arrive if you copy text off a web site and paste it into Word. If you get a whole load of junk, tables and strange formatting then open Notepad™ and paste into there instead. The whole junk formatting disappears and you simply have pure text to do as you wish with.

not Publisher

By all means use this if you have it but don’t try and share your work with anyone. If they haven’t got the right version they won’t be able to open your file. That’s assuming, of course, that the huge number of megabytes that the single page of A4 you create occupies can be squeezed down the telephone wire or onto some spare space on a USB drive (forget floppies – no chance!) Basically, there’s nothing of interest that Publisher™ can do that you can’t achieve with Word or OpenOffice and most good Word creations look far smarter than the equivalent efforts in Publisher


Also worth a look are the new on-line text processors available: writely.com, 9cays.com and pbwiki.com for example. Check them out at the webtools site.
^  top
page updated by Andrew Hill, Dunstable College 24 July, 2006