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Open Office Wordperfect filter on way

Lawyers, accountants, secretaries. Take a note. Or a memo
Tue Dec 03 2002, 18:59
OVER THE WEEKEND we reviewed Open Office from those people at openoffice.org.

Here.

We rambled and rumbled on and on about different word crunchers we'd reviewed over time, and mentioned Wordperfect - the most popular word processor in its day - and we're sure that lawyers, accountants and many others have stacks of documents still languishing on somewhat smaller hard drives than exist these days.

Wordperfect, as we recall, was very popular with people that had to type out loads and loads of stuff at speed. We had a brief incarnation as a touch typist in the London of the early 1970s, but when Wordperfect came out of Utah 10 years later, we just couldn't figure out what to do with a completely blank blue screen. Pressing F1 didn't help. Wordperfect had/has rules of its own.

The good news is that a Wordperfect filter for Open Office is very close to release. The lasses and lads at openoffice.org also tell us that the openspec of the software means that it's not too hard to write a little module that will....

....translate Lotus Manuscript files, DesCribe, Samna, DisplayWrite, Gem First Word Plus, Word for DOSes, Multimate, Wordcraft et al...

Our elderly readers will recall that almost the first "Wizard" Microsoftie produced for Word was a little bit of crafty stuff that swallowed Wordperfect files into the Windows maw, and sort of re-digested them.

In the meantime, a few clarifications, or to put not too fine a word on it, corrections.

Sun is basing Star Office 6 and beyond on openoffice.org code. If we'd ticked a box, then OO wouldn't have converted all our Word icons to OOese.

Plus, we hear, the next major release, probably out in Q2/Q3 next year, has a very useful registry rollback just in case you got frightened that Open Source advocates were set to take over your world.

Said one source at openoffice.org, we like "free as in beer" to mean something.

Meanwhile, we moaned terribly about how we used Wordpad and all it lacked was spell checking and a word counter.

That brought some interesting tips for freeware and the like.

Cryptedit looks startlingly like Wordpad but saves your preferences, has a spell checker, a word counter and several foreign language modules. Its web site? Ici la

And Abiword is also good stuff. It's got spellchecking, compatibility with Mucrosoft Wurd, but runs on loads of different platforms and doesn't occupy stacks of room. It needs English big dick (dictionary), in our opinion, but a 4MB file size makes it easily downloadable if BT hasn't bestowed its DSL boon upon thee... µ

 

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