The Best Word Processing Alternatives to Microsoft Word

word alternatives processors


Microsoft Word is easily the most popular word processing program today, and many rely on it daily. However, it’s good to know that when you are away from your personal computer and need an adequate word processing application that you do have plenty of options. Whether you prefer working with a downloadable application that allows you to write and save your work locally on your computer, or you want an online application that will allow you to save your files on the Internet, there are excellent options that you can look into. While many do prefer working locally, there are those of us that travel a lot and would actually prefer to have all of their work available online instead of having to rely on a single computer.

No matter what your needs are, there are free word processor applications available that will be able to successfully replace Microsoft Word for you, and allow you to get your writing done, not matter where you are. Let’s take a look at some of the best ones.

Desktop Products similar to Microsoft Word

 

1. OpenOffice Writer 

OpenOffice is one of the most famous MS Office alternatives. It has lot’s of advanced features like built-in PDF  creation, drawing tools and more. Cometdocs supports conversion of PDF documents into their ODF format.

2. LiberOffice Writer

LiberOffice Writer is a full-featured word processing  tool. It is an opensource tool, and completely free.

3. AbiWord

The greatest advantage of AbiWord is that it is very light, so you won’t need a very new or fast computer to run it effectively – it can work on just about any machine. It can be used with just about any platform and its files are compatible with most other word processors.

4. PolyEdit

A very powerful and easy-to-use word processor and text editor for Windows that offers many features, tools and add-ons. It is compact, fast, secure and MS Word compatible as well. You can use it as an HTML and source code editor as well.

5. Jarte

It is based on WordPad, so it is very simple to use, but it offers many more features than this most remedial of word processing program. It was purposely designed to be perfect for people who are working on netbooks and small screens and it can also be run from a flash drive, making it the definition of portable.

6. YWriter

This is an application that is specifically designed for novelists and people who are writing books on the go. The way it allows you to organize your thoughts and ideas shows that it was specifically designed with the novelist in mind.

Online Applications to create and edit Word Documents 

1. GoogleDocs

Easily the most popular online application for creating online documents, GoogleDocs is much more than a word processor. As a word processer, it is very fast and has most of the same features you would find in most desktop word processing applications. The best thing about GoogleDocs is that it makes sharing files with coworkers a breeze and allows you to have all of your documents neatly organized and at your fingertips no matter where you are, as long as you have Internet access.

2. Zoho

Zoho is just as advanced as GoogleDocs, if not more so. It is perfect for businesspeople who travel a lot, because it not only gives you word processing capabilities, but also a full set of so-called productivity applications online, such as a calendar, spreadsheets, planners, chats, discussions, email options and much more.

3. Microsoft Office Web Apps

Brought to you by Microsoft, these web applications are linked to your Windows Live account. This enables you to not only get work done on Microsoft’s own web versions of their programs, but you can also share and store all of your work through their SkyDrive online cloud storage service.

4. ThinkFree

This online application is completely java-based and is compatible with just about every Microsoft Office file type, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. It has an added feature for converting all of your documents to PDF, which is a nice bonus that gives you even more options for sharing your work with others while you are away from home.

5. INetWord

This fully functional online editor gives you just about the same options as most of the other ones mentioned, but is not as advanced. However, the simplicity and lack of added features makes it a lot easier to use for some people, especially those who only need a fast and simple online word processor.

6. Adobe Buzzword

Visually, this might be the best and most elegant online word processor, but it is not as fast or powerful as Google Docs or Zoho. The biggest downfall of the online application is that it is completely Flash-based, which makes it considerably slower to use. If you are someone who really appreciates a good looking site, excellent graphics and very classy and elegant typography options, then this might by the word process for you.

8. LiveDocuments

This site makes it clear right from the start who they are emulating. Their selling point at the top of the site claims that you will be able to create documents as if you are using Microsoft Office and share them as if you are using GoogleDocs. It makes good on these promises and is especially good for collaborative projects and sharing documents online with others.

9. Shutterborg

A simple and free word processor, but that’s all it offers, word processing. If that’s all you need, it really does the job well, since it lets you get all of your work done in your web browser and lets you either save it to your computer or share it with others. It’s not very advanced, but it gets the job done.

8 Sites For Creating Free Animated Graphs

If you are someone who needs to make graphs and charts very often in your line of work, here’s something that can spice them up a bit. Instead of going with the average diagrams that you have been using for years, why not add a little flavor and variety with some animated graphs? Here are eight great sites that will allow you to make free animated graphs that will jump off the screen when you present them and hopefully impress your bosses, coworkers and clients alike.

1. Swiff Chart

This is a great site for making eye-popping animated charts. It is a pay site, but the trial version will allow you to use the tool for free and make some excellent charts for your coming presentations. If you like it a lot and want to use it all the time, the paid version is well worth it as well.

2. XML/SWF Charts

 

This tool is completely free. The way it works is that you create an XML source to describe the chart and then pass it along to the tool’s Flash file, which generates an animated chart according to the specifications you have given in the XML file – providing both data flexibility through XML and excellent graphic quality through Flash.

3. Fusion Charts

You can also use the free demo trial for a lot of things on this site and create a bunch of animated charts before the trial expires. This is one of the most advanced animated graph charts with plenty of options in the free trial version and many more if you pay for the real thing.

4. AmiChart

Use this powerful and easy-to-use tool to create excellent animated column, line and pie graphs for a free trial period of 15 days.

5. Rich Chart Live

Just download this free chart building desktop tool and it will provide you with a simple way to create very attractive animated charts for your presentation.

6. amCharts

This software is completely free – the only downside is that a very small link to their site will be displayed on the chart. It can generate animated Flash charts and requires Flash Player 8 or higher.

7. CoPlot

Download the free trial version of this tool and start making animated graphs. This tool is especially good for when you want to present large data sets and data that changes over time.

8. Open Flash Chart

This is an open source project that creates animate charts, pies, line bars and other types of diagrams using Flash. It will also leave a small link to the site when you use it, but it is completely free of charge and very versatile.


25 Free Online Image Editors

Sometimes designers or other professionals who use photo editing programs catch themselves on the road without their personal computers, and they might have to make some changes to a project or create something on the fly. In these cases, when your Adobe Photoshop is far from reach, you will need another option for editing photos and images.

Thankfully, there are numerous options available for designers who are on the go and need a free and easy way to edit images online. Here are some of the best options available for free online image editing.

1. Photoshop

Thankfully, Adobe offers a free, online version of its Photoshop program that anyone can use from anywhere. Of course, it is not loaded with the same amount of features that the regular version has, but it offers enough basic features to let you work on things while you are away from your personal computer. You can crop, re-size and perform basic touch-ups using the online version, which means that you will have more than enough options to get some basic photo editing done when you are in a bind.

2. Pixlr

This site offers an express version of its program for basic editing like cropping and re-sizing and minor photo effects. The full version of the program is similar to Photoshop, and just like Photoshop’s online version, this will get the job done for you when you are on the go.

3. MyImager

This is one of the sites that will allow you to work with an existing photo via upload or with a photo found at a particular URL. You can also create new images in the program, though you will only have fairly basic editing tools to work with, so it is more for editing existing images than creating something entirely new.

4. Phixr

This is a good site for basic editing for photographs and allows you to do things like remove red eye from a picture, and add camera and lens effects.

5. BigHugeLabs

This is a convenient and easy to use online program if you are having some fun and creating things like CD covers, posters, or online fliers.

6. Lunapic

This tool has one of the largest lists of tools and options available as far as free online image editors are concerned. There are many effects available and you can also create images from scratch here as well using drawing tools and animation options.

7. Picnik

This is a good site because you can integrate it with your photo sharing and storage sites like Flickr, and Photobucket. There are some good features in the free online version that make editing very easy, but the premium version is also very cheap and worth the money, costing only two dollars a month for many added tools and features.

8. Free Online Photo Editor

Nothing fancy, but it does offer all of the basic functions that you will need to do quick edits of images and photos online when you are in a rush and do not have access to any editing programs.

9. PiZap

This is more of a fun photo editing site than a serious one. Here you can add speech bubbles, cutout faces, and fun effects on your personal photos.

10. BeFunky

BeFunky has a pretty huge database of free effects, almost 150 of them, and most of them are simple one-click features that are easy even for amateurs to use.

11. FotoFlexer

This is another site that allows you to take photos directly from your Flickr, Photobucket and Facebook accounts in order to edit them online.

12. FlauntR

You will have to register before using FlauntR, but it does offer great one-cllick editing options and it also can help you out if you are looking to customize your profile pictures for various social networks.

13. Photo505

This one is not very sophisticated, but it does have a lot of easy to use and fun pre-made effects and filters to apply to your photo.

14. Pho.to

This site has all of the usual options like cropping and re-sizing and some arty effects, but the coolest thing about it is that you can instantly make a caricature out of any photo.

15. Phoenix

The Aviary company offers many free tools online, with Phoenix being its online photo editor. The interface is preferred by many designers because it looks a lot like Adobe Photoshop, which is what most of them are most familiar with.

16. OnlinePhotoTool.com

This site allows you to do basic editing, and if you register, then you can save the images at their site as well.

17. WriteOnIt

Another fun and entertaining one, it enables you to make montages, cards, fliers, and things of that nature.

18. Poladroid

The name says it all – you can make your photos look like they were taken with an oldschool Polaroid camera using this site, however, you need to download the free app in order to use it.

19. Pixenate

Another basic editing site that lets you upload all your photos and make basic adjustments, like cropping, resizing and making the images brighter or darker.

20. Image Chef

Other than allowing you to edit your own images, you can use the sketchpad to make new artwork. You can also give your images frames with this tool.

21. 72photos

Another basic service for editing, but the best part is that you can use it as a storage site for your photos, because it gives you 200 MB of disk space and 10GB of bandwidth for free.

22. Dr. Pic

Upload your own pics or provide the URL of a picture and use basic editing tools to change and alter the image with this site.

23. Pixer.us

Another site that lets you upload a photo on the move and perform basic editing and touch ups to it.

24. FixPicture

This one includes basic editing tools like cropping and re-sizing, and you can also add effects to improve or decrease the focus or contrast of your pics.

25. Splashup

A very easy-to-use interface allows you to use the tools and features with ease. You can upload and edit photos or create one from scratch with this site.

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Two best free tools for advanced gif creation

There are many options available online if you are looking to make simple animated GIFs out of your favorite pictures. Though there are many of these websites that will allow you to upload your photos on the spot and make GIFs out of them, most of these will not give you any advanced options. However, there are also some very good animators that you can download for free in order to give you more options for making more exciting, advanced and interesting GIFs. Here are two of the best free GIF animators for people who are looking for more professional options when creating their personalized GIFs.

1 ) Beneton Movie GIF

This free animator will allow you to create advanced GIF images for any type of project you might be interested in. It is a very powerful freeware animation maker that really gives you tons of features that will allow you to make your personalized GIF images. Not only that, but the interface is incredibly simple to use and you will be making GIFs in no time at all. It supports 48 different file formats such as BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG, and AVI, which means that you are not limited to strictly image files, you can also make GIFs out of videos as well. It is free of cost, simple to use, and gives you many options to explore when creating your personalized GIFs.

Take a look at the interface, it’s very simple to navigate. On the right side, there is a window for normal and animated effects where you can even select multiple frames at a time if you are looking to work fast. The GIF animator also gives you many editing tools that you might need for your images. The interface boasts drag-and-drop effect frames for quick editing and 20 different effects. It also has a built-in image editor with many tools similar to the ones you might be familiar with if you have used Adobe Photoshop before – tools such as the pencil, airbrush, alpha brush, fill, and text boxes.

It also offers a preview window that will let you preview either individual frames or the entire animation, and there are also options to zoom or loop the preview in order to get a better look at it.

2 ) Falco GIF Animator

This is another great freeware animated GIF maker that also gives you many editing options with an extensive list of tools and techniques for personalizing your GIF images. Despite being free, it is very powerful.
It also supports many different file types, including DLL/EXE, BMP, PNG, JPG, ICO, CUR, ANI, TARGA, PSD (Photoshop), PCD (Kodak), TIFF, and many more.
You have unlimited undo and redo operations that will make it easy for you to not mess up your project even when you are just starting out and getting to know the animator. The numerous editing tools will help to enhance and personalize your images. Again, the tools that are offered a very similar to the ones that you will probably be familiar with already if you have any prior experience editing images in different programs – pencil, text, spray, filled rectangle, color selection, lasso, hue, blur, eraser, and many more tools are at your disposal.
This is a GIF animator that is simple enough for beginners to use, but also offers enough options to satisfy most professionals as well. You can preview you file after creation and add effects to your animations while you are checking out the preview as well.

How to create tests and quizzes with Google Docs and Excel

With almost everything moving more and more into the online realm these days, education seems to be following this trend as well. For those taking online classes to finish up a degree, or for teachers who like to assign their students online assignments, there are now plenty of ways to test or quiz people online.

These methods are not just good for teachers, for example, they can also be used by employers who want to narrow down their lists of candidates for a new job position before starting the interview process. Want to test a programmer or coder’s knowledge with some theoretical questions before you decide to hire them? Make an online test for them and see what they know before you spend your time interviewing each candidate individually.

Online test-taking makes learning easier and more mobile, and technology has changed the way in which students are being assessed and graded, enabling them to take these tests and pass these evaluations even when they cannot make it to the classroom.

Let’s take a look at the two best ways to make tests and quizzes that people can take online.

1) Google Docs (Forms)

Google Docs is ideal because so many people already have Gmail accounts and use them regularly. It is a perfect way to create tests and quizzes which can then be easily embed into a website for the students to take. Google Docs also has instant reporting that lets you know as soon as someone has finished taking the test.

This is how to create a test in Google Docs.

1. Log in to Google Docs first. If you don’t have a Gmail account, get one at http://www.gmail.com. If you already have one, go to http://docs.google.com/.

2. Once you are logged in, click “Create New”, and then “Form” in the top left of the screen.

3. Give your quiz a name and then type the information for your quiz. The information fields are designed so that it will be easy for you to create the quiz and for everyone taking it to understand the quiz.

4. Now add the questions. It is all very simple and easy to use. You can provide the question, help for the question, choose what type of question you want it to be (text, multiple choice, etc), and then put in the answer. For each new question you want to make, all you have to do is click “Add Item” at the top left corner and then add the type of question you want.

5. If you want to make the questions multiple choice, then you have to click on “Multiple Choice” in the “Add Items” button. It you want to make more multiple choice questions, you can just duplicate them by clicking on the Duplicate icon, which is located to the right, in between the Pencil and Trash Can icons. Once the question is duplicated, just change the question title and options to what you want them to be.

6. Whatever kind of question you want, continue to add them either by clicking on “Add Item” and making a new type of question, or clocking the Duplicate icon to make a question just like the last one you made. Once you complete the question, quick on “Done” and move on to the next.

7. Make sure to check the “Make this a required question” checkbox so that the person taking the test must answer it. If you do not check that box, then are able to just skip the question and move on to the next one without answering it.

8. Once you have finished, you can save the quiz. If the Save button is already grayed out, that just means that Google has already saved he quiz, which it does automatically.

9. If you want to make your tests more appealing and interesting or colorful, you can click on the “Themes” button and choose a different theme and different color scheme.

10. Once you are done and you are ready to send it out, you can either send the quiz to the test-takers via e-mail or embed the quiz on your own website and provide them with the link.

2) Microsoft Excel

Excel is another great tool to use for tests, because just about everyone who has a computer has Excel or some compatible spreadsheet program. Creating a test is easy even for people who are novices with Excel and it can be easily distributed via email, since the file size will not be large at all. Excel looks as if it was made for creating quizzes, because the column-style presentation is really ideal for these types of things.

Here is how you can create a test in Excel.

1. First, open a blank sheet in excel. You will need four columns for a proper test – column A will be for the questions, column B for the answers, column C for determining whether the answer is right or wrong, and column D for the scores.

2. Type the questions in column A, one by one from the top down.

3. Leave column B blank, because this is where the corresponding answers will be typed later by the person taking the test.

4. Write the needed formula in column C to make that the scores pop up automatically. Type the following into column C: =IF(B1=””, “”, IF(B1=”answer”, “Right”, “Wrong”)), Replace “answer” with the correct answer to your question. And B1 should be changed to B2, B3, etc for each new question and answer as you continue down the column.

5. If the test-taker puts the correct answer into column B, “Right” will be displayed. If a wrong answer is submitted, then “Wrong” will appear, naturally.

6. If are interested in scoring the answers, the formula which should be put into column D is: =IF(C1=”Right”, 1, 0). Remember to advance the number as you scroll down the column.

7. If you want to display the total score, you need to take one more step. If you give the person 20 questions from A1 to A20, then you need to type this into D21: =SUM(D1:D20).

8. With the equation for the total sum of the score now working, your test should be ready to go.