I hate word processing

Hmm, a small dilemma unfolds itself.

To view files in .doc, .odt, .rtf, et. al. formats I need a word processor that supports them.

To create one, I would generally use Google Docs — normally I use TeX /w LaTeX or XHTML+CSS instead though and skip WYSIWYG word processor crap 🙂

And I’m not about to upload every flib’n file I have to look at to Google Docs either… Nore do I want to bother with programs like anti-word.

But which do I install?

Microsoft Word is arguably the word processor by which all others are judged, much like GNU Emacs is when looking at emacsen.

But when you combine that it is closed source, only supports WinNT, and costs an arm & a leg it is just not worth the extra features unless you need them enough to run Windows for them lol.

Abiword is apart of Gnome Office and light & fast while keeping to a MS Word (pre 2k7) style. The only problems I’ve had with it is it forced me into using MS Word .doc files as the lowest common denominator between word processors! The choice was either .rtf or .doc because Word wouldn’t take any of the other files each of the others could handle.

The only problem is that Abiword couldn’t (and still couldn’t last I looked at it’s dev version) lay out our pages right like the other programs did. So we had to use .doc which worked fine in Abiword 🙁

OpenOffice.org has a good enough word processor, swriter — not as feature full as MS Word but heavier then Abiword. It’s a great program and I’ve used it often in the past for School but for my laptops 512MB of RAM it is a little *to heavy* for my tastes. To be honest, I don’t want to wait forever for a word processor to startup — because it reminds me if some idiot didn’t send me {.rtf,.doc,.odt,.abw,} files I would be using a pager to read the text instead.

KWord is actually quite nice even if it is probably not the best word processor out there. I like very much that despite the similarity in name that KWord tries to be it’s *own* program rather then another imitator.

The problem is like swriter, kword comes with an entire office suite :. I don’t need a Office Gfx app, I use GIMP and a few others when needed. Don’t need a presentation system — I wouldn’t touch one without a pay check! Don’t need a database client because I’d probably use some thing like mysql’s client. And I rarely use either word processors or spreadsheets beyond viewing files.

Hmm… well there’s 17gb of disk space to spare just for installing software so no harm in having both KOffice and most of Gnome Office I suppose.

Now if only they could lift even a finger nail to TeX !