A Full Review of AbleWord, a Free Word Processor
AbleWord is an easy to use, free word processor program for Windows operating systems.
With support for common formatting tools and popular file formats, AbleWord is a great choice for a word processor. Plus, because of its PDF features, you can also use it as a PDF editor and a PDF to Word converter.
Pros & Cons
AbleWord is a great Microsoft Word replacement if you don't need something super advanced.
- It's easy to use
- AbleWord includes the ability to check for spelling mistakes
- The interface and design is clean and uncluttered
- It includes support for common formatting abilities
- AbleWord's spell check feature isn't automatic
- The program hasn't been updated since 2015
- AbleWord can be used with the Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP operating system
- Common file formats can be opened and saved to, such as DOCX, DOC, PDF, RTF, and HTML/HTM
- AbleWord works as a PDF to Word converter because you can open a PDF file and then save it to DOCX or DOC (the two most popular file formats used in MS Word)
- You can import just a PDF's text and automatically exclude all images and other non-text stylings by using the File > Import PDF Text menu
- Supports inserting common things like a page break, current date, image (BMP, TIF, WMF, PNG, JPG, GIF, and EMF files), text frame, table, and page numbers
- Regular formatting functions are allowed like changing font, paragraph, styles, columns, header/footer, image, borders, and bullet details
- The Edit menu holds all sorts of editing functions you'd expect to have in any good word processor, such as undo, redo, cut, copy, clear, paste, find, and replace. The find and replace options even include a toggle to match the letter case of the text so you can be sure to find exactly what you're looking for
- Custom user dictionaries (.TXD files) can be added to AbleWord
- A word counter is included so you can quickly see how many words, pages, characters (with and without spaces), paragraphs, and lines that the document contains
- Some of the spell check options include the ability to toggle between enabling and disabling things like flagging repeated words, ignoring internet addresses, ignoring email addresses, and ignoring words that contain numbers
- Two views can be chosen from to see a document in a draft or print layout form
- In the Page Setup screen are settings for changing what type of paper the document will be printed on and how large the margins should be from the top, left, bottom, and right side of the page. This is also where the headers and footers, columns, and borders settings are
- AbleWord's Online Help provides a handful of tutorials if you're having trouble using the program
My Thoughts on AbleWord
Even at first glance it's easy to see how simple it is to use AbleWord. The toolbars are easy to read and understand, and the program as a whole is just very clean and easy on the eyes.
As with any word processor, it's unfortunate that AbleWord can't check for spelling mistakes while you type. However, the spell check utility is easily accessible from the toolbar. When you click it, the spelling errors are underlined in red, but then they return to normal when you exit the spell check tool.
AbleWord is definitely a good choice if you're looking for an easy to use word processor that comes at no charge and works with files that are used in most other word processors.
Free Programs Like AbleWord
If you're looking for another word processor like AbleWord that may better suit your needs, check out the reviews I have for some other free word processors like AbiWord, OpenOffice Writer, WordGraph, WriteMonkey, and Kingsoft Writer.
I also recommend looking through this list of free online word processors for programs like these that have the added benefit of working online through your web browser. What that means is that you don't have to download anything and you can use it from basically any computer you're on, and usually even mobile devices, too, like your phone or tablet. Google Docs is one example.