Word Procesors continued: OpenOffice.org Write vs. MS Word vs. Google Docs vs. Zoho Writer vs. Abiword
OpenOffice.org Write, MS Word and Google Docs are all covered in depth in my previous post. So remember that Google Docs was good for quick, portable, multiple-computer stuff, OpenOffice.org was good if you were a fan of either the F or the LOS in FLOSS, and MS Word was the best, assuming you had the money and operating system.
But there’s still more word processors–Abiword and Zoho Writer. Observations:
- Abiword is the fastest of the three ‘desktop’ entries. Even more so if you’re already running GNOME (with its GTK+ libraries)
- Abiword has an interface that looks remarkably like Word 2003.
- Abiword doesn’t excessive amounts of auto-formatting–which I like, since frequently Word/Write and I don’t see eye-to-eye on how things should be.
- Zoho has a slight edge over Google Docs in features–but loses a lot in speed. Typing lag, anyone?
- Abiword feels more ‘polished’ than Write. Don’t ask me how, but it just does.
- Abiword doesn’t seem to have outline numbering. Which is a shame.
- Abiword doesn’t support built-in drawing.
- Write does.
- Write actually does a much better job of imbedded pictures than Word.
If you have the money (and proprietary immunity), Word remains king.
If you don’t have the money, or have a thing about open-source, then:
Use Abiword for general stuff. It does normal things faster and better than Write.
Use Write if you need the extra features it provides. You probably don’t, but it’s there.
As far as the online ones go, use Google Docs for online stuff. Zoho has a few more features, but it’s probably not worth it unless you’re some kind of extreme online power-user. And I can assure you that you’re not.
I don’t see any benefit to using the offline versions of Google Docs/Zoho over the other three. Unless you knew you were going to have Internet at the beginning and end of your document-writing session, and knew that you wouldn’t in the middle. Or something. Go figure.