Freeware word processing is at its best with Kingsoft Writer 2012

The interface may be dated, but this program packs in nearly all the features you'll ever need.

Microsoft Word dominates the word processor market, but people are increasingly turning to freeware alternatives instead of spending a fortune on Microsoft Office. If you don't mind a slightly dated interface, Kingsoft Writer 2012 can likely meet all your word processing needs without breaking the bank.

If you've ever used Word 2003 you'll have no trouble getting acquainted with Kingsoft Writer 2012, as the program's interface borrows heavily from this older version of Word. A menu and a couple of toolbars adorn the top of the interface, giving access to a full complement of word processing features. We were impressed with Writer's ability to handle fairly complex formatting, and we had no trouble opening files containing tables and other objects that had been created in Word.

We did find Writer's spell-check feature to be a little annoying; if the first three letters of a word that you type don't form a word that the program recognizes, Writer will underline the word in red until you've finished typing it. This is a fairly minor complaint, however, and for the most part we found that Writer was easy to use and did everything we needed it to do. A built-in Help file provides comprehensive descriptions of the program's features. If you're in the market for a freeware word processor that can do nearly everything the big-name programs can do, Kingsoft Writer 2012 is definitely worth a look.

Kingsoft Writer 2012 installs politely but leaves a folder behind upon removal.

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