Passable word processing

Get a decent word processor with this free program.

Microsoft Word is the king of word processing programs, but the market for less expensive, nonproprietary alternatives is burgeoning. DevVicky Word 2010 is a free word processing program that mimics a lot of Microsoft Word's features, but it has several drawbacks that kept us from taking it seriously among the non-Microsoft competition.

The program's interface is attractive and has the usual layout of a word processing program, with the typical toolbars across the top. Since it hews pretty closely to convention, it's not difficult to figure out how to use it; the program has most of the typical word processing features and not a lot of surprises. We liked it that the program makes it easy to export documents as PDFs, but opening PDFs, something the program is allegedly capable of, didn't work so well. DevVicky Word also seems incapable of having more than one file open at a time; there's a tabbed document display that looks like it would work well for displaying multiple documents, but every time we opened a second file the first one closed automatically. The program was also often slow to respond when we tried to access menus or open new files. DevVicky Word comes with absolutely nothing in the way of support; there's no Help file, and the publisher's Web site seems to have been taken over by a squatter. Overall, DevVicky Word works fairly well, but it didn't really impress us. It's worth trying, but users on the prowl for the perfect free word processor will probably want to keep looking.

DevVicky Word 2010 comes as a ZIP file, but installs and uninstalls without issues.

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