Hello LibreOffice. I think we might just get along.

I’m not quite sure what I plan to accomplish but I’ve been messing around with different kinds of text editors. I played with Abiword yesterday and thought it was pretty decent as a small text editor. Today I’ve been messing with LibreOffce and have almost tuned it to look and act like Word. I installed the LanguageTools extension, changed the background, changed the default font, removed the page borders and it’s a really close approximation to Word. Now, I like Word I really do. I think it’s an amazing piece of software that has fantastic editing and formatting capabilities. And I’m not even sure I’ll move away from it. The point is Word is insanely expensive and takes up a huge amount of hard drive space. You basically have to install Office which means you’re installing nearly 2GB worth of extra junk you will never use. I just want to use Word to write blog posts and journal entries. I don’t need all those additional functions. I want a clean and uncluttered writing space. I want the basic formatting options like Bold, Italic and Underline and that’s basically it. For 99% of the writing I do I don’t need headers or footers. I hate smart quotes, but I do like AutoCorrect. Word is a great writing tool there is no doubt about it but the expense and massive footprint have me looking to see what alternatives exist out there. I’m not buying another copy of Office, there’s just no point. Office 2010 looks like rubbish and is even bigger than 2007. I don’t need Groove or Sharepoint integration or InfoPath or Powerpoint. They may be fantastic apps, I simply don’t use them.

The main thing has been the grammar options. Word is wonderful at checking grammar on the fly. I can quickly see where I used the wrong or have some glaring mistake. I think with this new extension I might be really close to the same functionality. I have to accept it won’t be the same and it won’t be perfect but if I can get really close that will be good enough for me.

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