Ubuntu :: Advantages And Disadvantages Of OpenOffice.org Word Processor, Kword, And AbiWord?

Dec 21, 2010

I am a graduate student writing a dissertation in modern history. More than half of my computer work takes place on a word processor.I take notes, make outlines, and then write drafts of papers, chapters, presentations, etc. I regularly have to share these files with others who use operating systems other than Linux.I have just switched from OS X (after 5 years and half of using Mac) and I am still figuring out how to write my next dissertation chapter in Ubuntu.

There seems to be no consensus on what is or what are the best word processing softwares -- especially for academic writers -- in Ubuntu or Linux for that matter.I have read a number of posts on various forums and I find them either dated by several years or not dealing with the problems I am facing :

namely writing a serious, book-length academic work in the humanities and desiring to work with a user-friendly and fast word processor that would also be powerful enough to accomplish most or all academic tasks such as footnotes, style change, bibliography, accessibility, etc. There are people who suggest using LaTeX (LyX, Kile, etc.) but it seems to me that they're mostly based in the exact sciences and benefit from the math and science features that exist in LyX or another LaTeX editor. LaTeX is moreover not very accessible to those who do not know the LaTeX language or do not have an editor and work primarily with a word processor: meaning that when I share a LaTex document with my colleagues they have difficulty editing my work. See for instance this discussion which took place 5 years ago on this forum:


I wonder if those of you who are in similar fields (i.e., humanities, social sciences, law, etc.)could chip in and talk about your experience as academic writers working primarily from a Linux (specifically Ubuntu) platform. What are the word processing applications you use to write your serious papers?What are the advantages and disadvantages of OpenOffice.org Word Processor, Kword, and AbiWord? How easy or difficult is it to share your documents with others who do not use Linux? In what format/s do you share your documents? Can others easily modify and edit your texts? Do you use LaTeX at all?Opinions may vary with respect to discipline,which word processor to use for writing their articles, dissertations, or books.

My own personal experience with OpenOffice.org has not been very positive. It's pretty slow and has problems with multiple language input. Switching from Nisus Writer Pro and Mellel (both OS X softwares), OpenOffice.org Word Processor seems also not very user-friendly. It seems to follow the design of MS Word (or what MS Word used to be) and feels above all *cluttered.* I am however trying to like it as I understand there's probably no other word processor better than OpenOffice.org in Ubuntu. Am I correct to assume this? I also downloaded Kword which in terms of interface and egronomic design seems quite nice. It is also a bit faster -- although I don't know how powerful Kword is at the moment and whether it can accomplish all that my academic work requires from a word processor. I have also read somewhere that AbiWord is really not all that powerful. It is meant to be a fast but "lean" word processor which would do basic things quickly.

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In my graduate professional writing program, I have had to make several documents that integrate graphics. In order to manage the graphics, I taught myself how to use frames. But I discovered that the Openoffice.org word processor has a problem saving the frames correctly. I save my document and close it. When I reopen it later, the graphics in some of the frames (not all) are distorted; they appear cut in half. Examining the frames, I determined that the anchors of the affected frames had changed since I saved and closed. Changing the anchors back to whatever they were restored the graphics to normal. Every time I saved and closed, this happened again. The first solution I came up with was to save with the frames set properly, and export the document as a PDF file; the frame anchor settings will not mess up for that.

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I have a output file look like this:
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while read word
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When I'm using KWord and I try to highlight text or even click to another line, it doesn't show the highlight or the cursor.I ran the program via Konsole and got the following output:

(Soprano::Redland::BackendPlugin) creating model of type "hashes" with options "hash-type='memory',contexts='yes'"


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