I'm looking for a light and simple alternative to Microsoft Word.

My requirements:

  • Fast (loads in 2/3 seconds on i7 machine)
  • Free or less than $10
  • Clean Modern Design (I don't need many options)
  • Includes a Comprehensive Spelling and Grammar Check - with potential for multiple languages
  • Word and Character Count, for Whole Document and Selection
  • Offline
  • Windows 10, 32 or 64 bit.

I'm kind of looking for a program that is a combination of Wordpad and Abiword. I love Wordpad, it's fast, simple, looks good, but doesn't have a spell check. I also like Abiword, which is also fast, relatively simple, includes a spell check, but the UI looks like it hasn't been worked on since early 2000s.

  • @Chenmunka I would say this isn't a duplicate because I do not require a full office suite, only a word processor. I did see the question you have suggested before posting this, but as it did not answer my need, I posted my question.
    – CalvT
    Jun 10 '16 at 13:49
  • If I recall, LibreOffice has a custom install. If so, you don't need to install the entire suite. Though I don't know what the harm would be to install the suite, unless you are RAM or disk space limited.
    – user3169
    Jun 11 '16 at 4:02
  • LibreOffice does have a custom install, but I gave up on it after repeatedly experiencing bugs that resulted in data loss. Bug reports were often ignored or responded to in a nasty way by immature members of the project (and even one of their Board Members IIRC), so I stopped recommending it. Jun 13 '16 at 5:12
  • Similar question (but I don't consider this question to be a duplicate): softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/questions/13553/… Jun 13 '16 at 5:19
  • What about WPS for Windows? It's look very modern and it's quite fast.
    – lukaszp
    Jun 24 '16 at 12:41

Notepad++ is the one that comes to mind here... ( https://notepad-plus-plus.org )

Doesn't do dictionaries/spellcheck by default, but you can add that via plugins(just checked and it does at least do English without additional downloads).

Plugins so far has let me add anything I've wanted, and the default install is very light.

There are screenshots on that page, in the Features section line where it mentions GUI options.

EDIT: Also, while I'm thinking of it, SublimeText (http://www.sublimetext.com). Very minimal GUI, but if you need to be able to print to actual paper, SublimeText doesn't and won't do that.

  • Can you get a plugin to simulate a document instead of the text stretching across the window? Also what about page breaks?
    – CalvT
    Jun 14 '16 at 10:39
  • Yeah, not seeing that kind of option in the settings or the plugins. You should probably mark your answer as the right one though...
    – s1ns3nt
    Jun 14 '16 at 14:48
  • I'm not totally convinced AbleWord is 100% the best solution so I'm hoping that someone else will know some other program - so giving it another day :)
    – CalvT
    Jun 14 '16 at 14:51
  • Interesting...Not sure how long this one's going to stick around (looks a LOT like the MS one), but "WPS Office" might be worth a shot...Personal version is free, and you can get the word processor alone. ( wps.com )
    – s1ns3nt
    Jun 14 '16 at 15:08

After quite a bit of searching, I found AbleWord


AbleWord keeps a common user interface with menus and tool icons familiar to average users.

In this light and excellent word processor, all basic editing functions are included like find and replace, indent and bullet, paragraph alignment, inserting tables, text frames and pictures as well as spellchecks, but some advanced tools like hyperlinks and tracking changes are not available. Files can be saved in doc, docx, txt, rtf, html or pdf format. Page setup with header and footer, and print preview are also a standard feature.

The UI isn't quite as modern as hoped, but it definitely looks better than AbiWord, and it also centres the page when you go fullscreen :)

Screenshot of AbleWord

I'll update this answer later once I've tried it out a bit more.

  • Ashampoo has an alternative to MS Office -- worth a try. Also you could install a general purpose spell checker and continue using Wordpad or whatever. Dec 18 '20 at 5:02

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