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It's driving me nuts! - seeking a new word processor  RSS feed

 
r ranson
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I have dyslexia which makes spelling a challenge.  I write about things that use technical words and very specific old words like stooked and sett (yes, with two t's).  This makes spell checking an interesting experience.  I've always had difficulty spelling words close enough to the right way for the spell check to understand what I am trying to say. 

Grammarly is the first spell check that understands me.  What's more, it's the most friendly spell check program I've ever met.  It doesn't act like I'm a piece of slime because writing English isn't my thing.  Best of all, it doesn't predict what I want to say or change things without me asking.  With the pro version, I can choose what kind of writing I'm working on.  If I choose technical writing, it understands that I'm going to use a lot of jargon it doesn't know.  It doesn't berate me for that.  It helps me.

As amazing as it is, grammarly is not a word processor. 

I want a very simple word processor that works with Windows.  It can do basic formatting like bold, paragraph altering, underline, size, font, page breaks, all that basic stuff.  Inserting photos are also a must.  It needs to be able to save the document as a MSword file.  So basically everything MS Word was in the late 90s. 

I don't have word at the moment, but I do use it elsewhere.  The biggest problem with word is the spell check and auto correct, auto change characters, auto format... see a theme here?  Every time I open a new file in Word, I have to try and find all the auto-blabla and turn it off.  I tried installing the Grammerly plugin and I still have trouble with autocorrect.

Here, I'll say it in all caps so you can understand my frustration - I CANNOT FUNCTION WITH AUTOCORRECT, AUTOFORMAT, AUTOSTUPIDFUCKUPMYDAYCRAP.


Dyslexia and autocorrect - One of my goals is to be able to learn how to spell.  Auto correct makes it so I can't see my mistakes so I cannot learn that I'm not spelling that word right.  I'm finally learning how to spell one or two words a week - thanks to grammarly's system - whereas before, I was lucky if I could learn one a month.  Autocorrect means I cannot see my error, I cannot learn I'm making a mistake.  WORSE, autocorrect only works if the program understands what I'm trying to spell.  Since I often don't mis-spell words the 'normal' way, the program autocorrects it to the wrong f-ing word. 


So I tried Libra office.  This has something far worse.  It seems to have some sort of predictive text system going on.  It's changing letters I've typed before I finish writing the word.  WTF?!?  Just about every fifth word, it starts predicting what I'm typing and pops up a box suggesting what word I'm wanting based on what I wrote in the last few sentences.  As if I want to write the same words over and over and over again.  Combine that with autocorrect and I'm going nuts! 

I've put over 4 hours into trying to turn off Word's auto-crap and keep it off, including contacting customer support.  I've spent two hours trying to figure out how to turn off Libra office's crap.  I don't have this much time to waste in a day. 

That's it!

No more!

Don't even try to fix my problem with word and Libra.

I'm not wasting my time with them anymore.

But please, help me find a simple word processor will do what I ask it.  And only what I ask it.

If I could write my text in grammarly or notepad, then copy/paste it into a word processor for formatting, I would be SO VERY HAPPY.  I used to be able to do this with word, but it seems to be changing my words after I copy-paste them.  Most recent example, I wrote the phrase "It's to dye for" - because I was writing about how dyeing (changing the colour) of the thing was so wonderful that that phrase made a great pun.  When I copy and pasted this into Word, then printed it, the word 'dye' had changed to 'die' without my asking it to.  It was still 'dye' in grammarly where I copied it from.  But somewhere between pasting it into word and a few seconds later when I pressed the print button, it changed that and several other words.

Please help.
 
Thyri Gullinvargr
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Can it be an online word processor or does it have to be installed? I'm trying to remember if Google Docs can save as Word document. If it can, it might be able to work with Grammarly.
 
Deb Rebel
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You have my sympathies RR, but. Unless my fingers go too fast or a key sticks on my keyboard (trust me I will never buy another computer keyboard with chiclet keys) or worse the key-top breaks off... I generally can spell. I know on my phone I have to deal with auto(#*%&(*#% and I hate typing something out to find it has sorted it the way it wants to (blegh to it) and sometimes I have to back up and redo that word 4-5 times (remember to click the left choice after typing the PITA word so it forces it to use what I want...)

I hate my windows document stuff... it automatically sets the text to Calibri and the font size to 11 EVERY TIME. Previous iteration I could set it to my choice of default. Also the print preview wasn't three separate mouse to it and clicks.

I swear people that write word processing stuff NEVER ask true in the field users about what might make it easy to use. Ever. I hope you find something.
 
Thyri Gullinvargr
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No love for Grammarly and Google Docs (https://support.grammarly.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000090991-Does-Grammarly-support-Google-Docs-).

I had another thought. Windows still has WordPad baked into Windows 10. WordPad is much simpler than Word and it's free. It doesn't look like it does spell check. Would that suffice? It does do formatting. You should be able to search for it on the Start menu. Otherwise, it lives under the "Accessories" or "Windows Accessories" folder on the Start menu, depending on your version of Windows. I'm not sure which version of Windows that WordPad started being able to save as a Word document (.docx).

Edit to add pictures for saving. Either click the arrow and pick Office Open XML document or hit the Save As button and you'll get the regular dialog.

WordPad_SaveAs1.JPG
[Thumbnail for WordPad_SaveAs1.JPG]
WordPad_SaveAs2.JPG
[Thumbnail for WordPad_SaveAs2.JPG]
 
r ranson
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Deb Rebel wrote:
I hate my windows document stuff... it automatically sets the text to Calibri and the font size to 11 EVERY TIME. The previous iteration I could set it to my choice of default.


This is another item on my wish list.  Not vital, but very high on my list.  If I could set the default font and size, I would be very happy.  If it had bookerly (the Amazon Kindle font), I would be even happier. 
 
Thyri Gullinvargr
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r ranson wrote:
Deb Rebel wrote:
I hate my windows document stuff... it automatically sets the text to Calibri and the font size to 11 EVERY TIME. The previous iteration I could set it to my choice of default.


This is another item on my wish list.  Not vital, but very high on my list.  If I could set the default font and size, I would be very happy.  If it had bookerly (the Amazon Kindle font), I would be even happier. 

You might be able to get bookerly or a font like it, but it would only work on your machine and other machines that have it installed. It's usually best to stick with the default Windows fonts for anything you might share with others.
 
r ranson
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I think wordpad might be the solution. 

I can live without spellcheck so long as I have grammarly.

I'm going to plug my document into wordpad and see what it can do.

Thank you so much.  I don't even have to download anything new.  It's already on my PC.
 
Thyri Gullinvargr
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r ranson wrote:I think wordpad might be the solution. 

I can live without spellcheck so long as I have grammarly.

I'm going to plug my document into wordpad and see what it can do.

Thank you so much.  I don't even have to download anything new.  It's already on my PC.

rr what version of Windows do you have? I know that WordPad used to only be able to save in .rtf and .txt formats. I'm not sure when it started being able to save in .docx format. I'm on Windows 10 (currently the latest version) and it works, but it might be nice for anyone who looks at this later to know if you're on something older than that.
 
r ranson
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It says I'm on windows 10.  It looks like wordpad is giving me a few choices.  Not sure which one talks with MSword, but MSword is pretty smart these days?  right?

I think the open office one is giving me .docx
wordpad.jpg
[Thumbnail for wordpad.jpg]
saveas in wordpad
 
Thyri Gullinvargr
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r ranson wrote:It says I'm on windows 10.  It looks like wordpad is giving me a few choices.  Not sure which one talks with MSword, but MSword is pretty smart these days?  right?

I think the open office one is giving me .docx

Yep. Office Open Xml document is the one you want. You can also click in the Save as button instead of hovering and it will give you the normal dialog box where you can see the extensions in the drop down.
 
John Weiland
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r ranson wrote:It says I'm on windows 10.  It looks like wordpad is giving me a few choices.  Not sure which one talks with MSword, but MSword is pretty smart these days?  right?

I think the open office one is giving me .docx



Just my $02 USD.   Go with the .rtf extension (rich text format).  It's lean and functional and seems to be the best *formatted* option to go between a Windows base word processor and a Mac and most other word processors.....and is very backward compatible.  I may be wrong, but everything with a .doc or .docx extension is an MSWord document...within which you will be beholden to the tempestuous furies of the ever-changing Word and it's thugs, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.

Another "correct me if I'm wrong", but I got word recently that (all??...some??) Windows CPUs made after July 30th, 2017 will NOT be backwardly compatible with installs of Windows OS prior to Windows 10.
 
Thyri Gullinvargr
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John Weiland wrote:Another "correct me if I'm wrong", but I got word recently that (all??...some??) Windows CPUs made after July 30th, 2017 will NOT be backwardly compatible with installs of Windows OS prior to Windows 10.

I'm about to get my geek on, consider yourself warned.

I suspect it's more a matter that Microsoft won't be creating drivers for newer CPUs for older versions of Windows. Mainstream support for Windows 7 ended January 2015 and for Windows 8 ends January 2018 (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/13853/windows-lifecycle-fact-sheet). Extended support for security patches will continue until 2020 and 2023 respectively. There aren't "Windows CPUs" as such, there's Intel, AMD, etc. and I believe they are all compatible with Linux (because the folks working on Linux create drivers for the hardware) as well. I have no idea if you can run OSs other than Apple on Macs. That hardware may be proprietary to Apple, or not. So that's my own "correct me if I'm wrong".

All of that said, I haven't looked at any information about the Windows hardware compatibility. I'm operating on historical knowledge.
 
John Weiland
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Thyri Gullinvargr wrote: There aren't "Windows CPUs" as such, there's Intel, AMD, etc. and I believe they are all compatible with Linux (because the folks working on Linux create drivers for the hardware) as well.


Yes, correct.  It may be that full computers (CPU plus supporting hardware and BIOS, etc) that are destined to be Windows machines are configured in such a way that the backward compatibility is either impossible or a distinct road-block.  My understanding comes from an IT person instructed to remove Win10 from incoming computers because the business in question still needs to run Win8.X for certain legacy applications.  When he tried to do that, the machines just froze up....don't even know if he was able to go into reverse and put Win10 on them again ().  But one of the main proposals for why this lock up occurred was due to the changeover in 2017. --> https://www.theverge.com/2016/1/16/10780876/microsoft-windows-support-policy-new-processors-skylake
 
r ranson
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does wordpad have a way of adding a page break?
 
Thyri Gullinvargr
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r ranson wrote:does wordpad have a way of adding a page break?

Not exactly. I did find this work around, but I shut down my laptop so I haven't tested.

http://www.ehow.com/how_5750739_add-breaks-wordpad.html
 
Thyri Gullinvargr
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John Weiland wrote:
Thyri Gullinvargr wrote: There aren't "Windows CPUs" as such, there's Intel, AMD, etc. and I believe they are all compatible with Linux (because the folks working on Linux create drivers for the hardware) as well.


Yes, correct.  It may be that full computers (CPU plus supporting hardware and BIOS, etc) that are destined to be Windows machines are configured in such a way that the backward compatibility is either impossible or a distinct road-block.  My understanding comes from an IT person instructed to remove Win10 from incoming computers because the business in question still needs to run Win8.X for certain legacy applications.  When he tried to do that, the machines just froze up....don't even know if he was able to go into reverse and put Win10 on them again ().  But one of the main proposals for why this lock up occurred was due to the changeover in 2017. --> https://www.theverge.com/2016/1/16/10780876/microsoft-windows-support-policy-new-processors-skylake

I wonder if part of the problem is the lot people who are using older versions of Windows are also using 32-bit versions of Windows. I don't know if this is still true, but it used to be an issue. There may be other ways that Windows interacts with hardware in older versions that are obsolete now. I know there are some other issues that come up when you're using solid state hard drives because they boot up so fast that you can't stop the boot to get into the BIOS. My current computer can also do BIOS upgrades from the OS. I suppose this does imply a greater interaction with the hardware than previously.
 
Mark Tudor
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The insert page break for Wordpad is a bit cumbersome (needing to open the doc in Notepad and edit it and save for each break), but if you have Word or Open Office, you might be able to save the default template to not use the autocorrect settings, so every new document starts without it correcting spelling. https://wiki.openoffice.org/wiki/Documentation/OOoAuthors_User_Manual/Writer_Guide/Creating_a_template has some info on doing that, and under Tools>Autocorrect Options you can disable autocorrect while typing under the Options tab of the new dialog box that appears.
 
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