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CNET Editors' Rating 5.0 stars


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  • 3.0 stars

    "Good, but better is available"

    September 13, 2008  |   By RobD60


    Basic, simple, nice layout options


    Several features that other programs provide free are only available in the paid version


    Jarte has always had a nice interface, with different tools quickly available through highly customizable layout options. You'll find a large writing area, with a tool panel to the left (which is not enabled by default; turn it on by choosing Classic Layout or with the F11 shortcut key). Play with the options to get the look and feel you want. But you'll have basic choices for indents, for example: quarter-inch or half-inch only; no slide bar on the ruler (which also is disabled by default). You have the option for clickless menu selection (not that clicking is all that hard, but still clickless is fun and feels easier). Export to PDF (but only with PrimoPDF or the like) or HTML; save as RTF or TXT. Open DOC or DOCX files (but, apparently, not ODF files). No footnote feature; and single columns only, if you please. AutoCorrect, AutoComplete Background Spellcheck, features available in other free options (think OOo or Symphony), are only available in Jarte in the paid version. Nor can you modify styles (though most users won't need to).

    If I were to recommend a stripped-down, basic free word processor, I'd still pick RoughDraft (which hasn't been updated in about 3 years) ahead of Jarte. AbiWord has even more options than either RoughDraft or Jarte and is also free. Neither has AutoCorrect but both do have AutoComplete and Background Spellcheck. RoughDraft also has screenwriting and playwriting formats but formats only in TXT or RTF; AbiWord lets you modify and create styles and opens (or has plugins available for) a number of formats. You'll give up a nice UI, though.

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