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This material is archived primarily from Email tips distributed to my own home computer friends here in Ocala, dated 2015-2017. Updates to this material are scheduled for CY 2018.

Computer Help and Tutoring
for Seniors in S.W. Ocala, FL

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Free Word Processing Alternatives to Word

Free Word Processing Software You Can Use in Place of MS Word

Apache's Open Office offers computer users an excellent package of word processing and other office type software programs that can serve for home use.

In most respects, the Open Office suite can serve as an affordable (free) substitute for MS Word and the rest of MS Office.

If you need a good word processing software for letter writing - or if you need to view Word ".doc" or "docx" files occasionally - here is an alternative to paying for Microsoft Office just for "Word".

Apache's Open Office is free and also easy to download and install - and it will allow you to view Word files, Excel spreadsheets and many other file formats without spending extra money.

You can find general info on Apache's Open Office software at http://www.openoffice.org/

To download the installation program, go to http://www.openoffice.org/download/index.html

Click "Download Full Installation" in the Green area at top of the page.

Most computer users will want to leave the defaults the same - Windows EXE, English, Version 4.1.2

If the download doesn't start, or if you get an "error" or "not found" page message, you probably can resolve this by turning off your firewall temporarily.

When you get the horizontal screen at the bottom indicating download choices, I suggest clicking to "Save As", then choose the Downloads folder, and the file should be saved as Apache_OpenOffice_4.1.2_Win_x86_install_en-US.exe or whatever the current version is.

Then you can begin the actual installation by double-clicking that file in Windows Explorer or File Explorer.

If you get this far on your own, you'll probably get through the rest of the process in a breeze.

I've installed this on several computers that I use, as a free alternative to Microsoft Word. I still use MS Word for certain business project but it seems Open Office serves me just as well for most personal word processing needs.

Here is a capsule view of what Open Office includes overall:

Writer a word processor you can use for anything from writing a quick letter to producing an entire book.

Calc a powerful spreadsheet with all the tools you need to calculate, analyze, and present your data in numerical reports or sizzling graphics.

Impress the fastest, most powerful way to create effective multimedia presentations.

Draw lets you produce everything from simple diagrams to dynamic 3D illustrations.

Base lets you manipulate databases seamlessly. Create and modify tables, forms, queries, and reports, all from within Apache OpenOffice.

Math lets you create mathematical equations with a graphic user interface or by directly typing your formulas into the equation editor.