Microsoft Word is a great application that comes as part of the Microsoft Office suite. The application can create a wide range of documents, from simple letters and reports to more complex projects, includes spelling and grammar check functions. The lack of the portability or the expensive cost of the entire suite of Microsoft tools can represent big disadvantages for those wishing to create documents.
Creating word documents can be done with free or paid alternatives, found online. Sometimes they could offer a better experience than the one from Microsoft Word. Even if you will have to pay for them, it will be a small amount of money in comparison with Microsoft’s solution and in addition, they can offer cloud storage for the documents made.
Top 5 free online tools to create a Word document
Online Word processors are an easy and cheap way of creating document without having to install or buy expensive software. That’s why they represent a great alternative to the traditional software from Microsoft, especially if you are not a daily Word user. The majority of these services have at least basic Word functionality implemented and some of them also come with the possibility of working in a collaborative atmosphere. So, in this article you will find five ways of creating documents online, without the help of Microsoft Word.
1. Google Drive
One of the handy solutions for creating a Word document online is the famous cloud based service, Google Drive. Available for every user that owns a Google account, Drive permits access to personal digital files (photos, docs, videos) stored on the cloud from anywhere. Besides the cloud feature, this service also offers a free solution to create and save Word documents. To do this, just follow these steps:
- Open your desired browser and go to Google. If you are not already signed in with the Google account, press “Sign in” button on top of the right page.
- Now, access the “Drive” section from the top of the screen which will direct you to the Google Drive menu.
- Click on the “Create” button and a sub-menu will pop-up with different document types: “folder”, “document”, “spreadsheet”, “presentation”, ”drawing” and ”form”.
- Select “Document” and a blank page will appear. Begin writing and from time to time the document will be automatically saved to your Google Drive account.
To rename the created document, just click on the “Untitled document” title at the top of the page or just press “Rename” under “File” menu. To download or to preview and revise your document, just go back to your Google Drive account.
Microsoft launched their online Office alternative with Facebook integration to come to users’ help. While the Microsoft Word rules the offline world, this new service, which is still in the beta phase, tries to offer that portability that everyone needs, letting people create documents, presentations or spreadsheets online. Let’s begin the simple guide to discover how to create a new document:
- Go to Docs.com website and sign in with the Facebook account. As far as now, the only sign-in possibility is with the Facebook account, but in the future they will probably implement Yahoo! and Google as alternatives.
- At the top of the screen a menu with four options will appear: “Home”, “My Docs”, “Friend’s Docs” and “Add a Doc”. Please select the latter.
- Now, a similar Word interface should come up, in which you can create a document simply by typing and it will be saved in your account.
Docs also offers a spelling check and the possibility to open the document that was just created in the offline Microsoft Word application, if it is installed on that computer. All in all, it is a good solution when somebody needs portability and easiness of writing a document.
3. Zoho Writer
Zoho Writer is a complex word online processor which is very easy to use and that has incredible features. This application allows to create and save documents on every account and to access them later from any computer or location. Writer is part of the Zoho Docs which also contains Spreadsheets and Presentations, direct correspondents to Microsoft’s Excel and PowerPoint.
Besides the basic options, such as italic, bold or underline text, it offers the capability of changing text to lower case, upper case or to capitalize it. Moreover, in Zoho Writer links can be created, headers or footers can be added or even photos can be inserted. The presence of the equation editor is also very useful, especially for professors, students and engineers.
Another interesting feature is the real time editing implementation which offers users the possibility to collaborate on a document with colleagues. A different color is assigned to each user that is currently working on the file, in order to see who makes changes and to ease up the whole process. To start using this free application, one will just have to create a free account. This type of account its known as Personal account and permits to upload 1 GB of documents, while the other two options, Standard and Premium, offer 2 GB, respective 5GB for prices of $3 or $5 per month.
The greatness doesn’t stop here because Zoho has apps for Android and iOS devices, allowing users to access and edit their documents through phone.
Thinkfree is a free online word processor that is designed to store your documents online so that they can be accessed from every computer with an internet connection. Moreover, this service offers the possibility to create Office documents within the browser.
To access ThinkFree just visit their website and create an account or use your Google account to sign in. The interface is very similar to the Thinkfree Word application from the ThinkFree Office, which resembles Microsoft’s own Word 2003 edition.
The account is free and allocates 1 GB of cloud space to your documents and with ThinkFree Power Tool, all documents from the computer can be synced automatically to the online account. Also, developers have created special applications for mobile Android and iOS devices that allow users to view or email their documents from their phone.
You should also take a look at Shutterb.org which is an online word processor that permits to create and save documents with only some clicks. When you first visit the site you are asked either to open an existing document or to start a new one from scratch. Its simplicity stays in the fact that it doesn’t offer you storage for documents and it doesn’t ask for an account, just creates a new document on the spot. All files can be saved locally in a .doc or .pdf format. As for features, Shutterb.org has only basic functionality, such as change font, color, alignment and so forth.