Before I upgraded my laptop and desktop to Windows 8, I knew that I would not be able to install Office 2003 but thought it would not be a problem because I could always install Open office – which is free! (www.openoffice.org). I have used Open office over the years and quite like it but on my Windows machines I prefer to use MS office 2003 because I know how to use it and it does all that I want. I’ve never had the urge to upgrade to a more modern MS Office product because I didn’t feel the need to re-learn everything I knew about “Office” and I’m not at all interested in the “Ribbon” feature!
“Open Office” is pretty good and is almost 100% compatible with MS Office files. It also includes some features that MS Office doesn’t have but it isn’t MS office 2003. Quite by accident, I discovered a gem – Kingsoft Office Suite Free 2012. It’s brilliant and it’s FREE. Installing it takes minutes and it looks like MS Office 2003 and its quick too. I haven’t used it much yet but I’m impressed already because I feel at home with it and my wife is impressed. Unlike Open Office, the writer capitalizes the first letter on each new line which is just what she wants when she’s doing her poetry and Open Office can’t be persuaded to do that! You can even get a “Mobile” version (Free) for Android devices, which makes sharing files easy peasy.
If, like me, your needs are fairly basic: check out the Kingsoft Office Suite Free 2012 at www.kingsoftstore.co.uk/kingsoft-office-freeware.html they also do paid-for versions which do more but they don’t rip your arm off.
Before I forget! If your needs are very simple when it comes to getting words “on paper”, don’t forget to check out “Wordpad” and “notepad”. These are freebies built into Windows. Just search for them, neither have the “spell check” option but for a lot of people one of them might do all that you want. I use “notepad” a lot for copying text from websites as it removes all the formatting etc and I can use “notepad” as an electronic/digital diary which inserts the date and time automatically every tine I open the file.
I’ve been playing with Windows8 and will blog about that another time.