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Word Processors and MS Word Alternatives — 4 Comments

  1. Hey Dave! What are your thoughts on Scrivener? Everyone seems to like it, but me I’m on the fence. For longer pieces I like WordPerfect (which lets you see the formatting codes), which I export to MS Word at the end. Right now, I am writing something in Google Docs, and I like it, except it forces you to work in the Chrome browser for offline functionality. For shorter things and organizing notes, etc., I like OneNote a lot, although you don’t get smart quotes from it…

    • Scrivener and its competitor StoryMill are both excellent tools, but I think of them more as content organizers than as Word Processors. When I wrote The Blue Monk, my sailing memoir, I used a StoryMill document to hold about 50 different short stories and a lot of research (links, photos, etc.). After I got them written, I was able to drag and drop them into he order I wanted, copy/paste elements between them (so, for example, a character’s introduction appeared only once and in the story where s/he first appears, and develop an story arc. Once I got the stories compiled into a single draft, I exported to MS Word and continued. That said, Google Docs is seeing some advancements as far as annotation tools. Because I don’t care about appearances at the word processor/editing phase, I’ll probably move more and more toward Google and farther from Microsoft’s bloated solution.

    • Yes. It’s for typesetting mathematical equations. I wouldn’t think of it as a word processor alternative, but if you need to typeset that kind of material, it’s a great resource.