Buying the Microsoft Office Suite is pretty expensive. The same story goes for Mac software. Whenever something is expensive, I always ask myself if it’s really necessary.
I do a fair share of freelance writing so I use word processors quite a bit. And I’m here to say, buying a word processor isn’t necessary. So unnecessary, I may uninstall the Microsoft Office suite from my PC just so it runs a tad faster. A few years ago, my goal was to stop using fax machines and printers. Today my goal is to stop using CDs and avoid using machine-based software as much as possible (unless it’s not possible as with tools like Long Tail Pro). It slows down the computer, makes the software less accessible, it’s expensive, and it’s a hassle! The way of the future is to keep as much information in the cloud as possible.
Here’s how to save money by using free online word processors
What I use now is Google Docs. For the everyday user of Microsoft Office, Google Docs will more than suffice. Cost aside, I’d still rather use Google Docs since I can keep my work in the cloud. I can access it from anywhere, on any machine, as long as I have an internet connection. This is pretty helpful as I’m often on different computers. Google docs is free and easy to use. Many clients use Google Docs so it’s a no-brainer for me to use.
Recently, Microsoft stopped hiding its online edition. All for free, you can now use Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Excel, and more. Check it out here. My computer science instructor at college even told us not to buy word processors, as they can easily be found for free. You can read a very detailed review showing the difference and similarities between Microsoft offline and online by reading this article.
This online word processor is another popular way to write and edit your documents for free. My favorite feature is the ability to chat as you collaborate with others. It’s incredibly handy when working on papers that often require the input of others. It also offers about 20 more free online offerings other than word processors. It’s one of the most popular writing tools available. You can also sign into echosign to sign documents electronically. The service integrates with box.net as well. Very handy if you already use it.
Buzzword is another fantastic new competitor to costly office products. If appearance means a lot to you (probably!), this flash-based word processor may fit you well. It’s appearance is gorgeous. It makes you want to write more just so you can be in its presence. As crazy as it sounds, it’s true.
It’s extremely popular, but it’s java-based which some regard as its Achilles heel. The text doesn’t look that great. I’d skip this one personally, but it is worth looking at since it’s one of the three biggest online word processing services out there. Documents are compatible with Microsoft Office. ThinkFree mobile exists as well so you have no excuse to not finish that paper! 🙂
This tool looks fantastic and it even comes with templates for blogging. At the time I’m writing this, it’s still in beta! So if I had to guess, I’d say this may soon become the best online word processor tool available. Time will tell.
The final word on free online word processors
Not only are these processors free, they are also easy-to-use, convenient, and provide a pleasant user experience. Consider trying at least one. Pretty soon, you’ll probably be uninstalling the paid-for versions from your computer.
Which free online word processor will you pick? Don’t think about it too hard; if you’re dissatisfied, try another – for free!
I’m a personal finance freelance writer and webmaster. I welcome you to visit me at www.thefrugalpreneur.com