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Microsoft Word, Wordpad, Notepad and Google Docs

Google Docs (formerly Writely)

Google's free online word processing program is named Google Docs (it was originally called Writely).

I wrote the article shown below shortly after Google introduced "Writely" a few years ago. Now, however, I would summmarize the whole article in a few simple words:
"If you are a writer you should be using Google Docs."

I'm a writer and I do all my writing with Google Docs. And I do most of it on a Google Chrome Book.

Anyway, here is the mostly outdated stuff that I originally wrote:

At first I wondered why would anyone need a free word processor when Windows comes with one called Wordpad, not to mention the fact that many PC users also have MSWord.

Well, one answer is collaboration. If two or more people need to work on a given document, they can all access it without needing an in-house network (assuming each participant has an Internet connection). The document remains on Google's server, and is only downloaded if and when any of the collaborators decides to do so.

Wordpad — Windows' Built-in No-Frills Word Processor

Speaking of Wordpad, some folks prefer it to MSWord or WordPerfect simply because it's a smaller, less complicated program. However, it does have some notable limitations, such as no built-in spell-checker.

Another text editor that comes with Windows is Notepad, a plain text program that only displays one size of black type on a white background. The default font is rather ugly, but you can choose another by clicking Format>Font. Notepad is handy for entering quick notes that don't need special formatting.

"ReadMe" files are usually written in Notepad, and, despite its simplicity, it is often used for creating HTML Web pages. To launch Wordpad or Notepad, click Start>All Programs>Accessories, and choose your program. If you use the programs frequently, you can create a Desktop Shortcut by right-clicking the Wordpad or Notepad icon and choosing Send To>Desktop (Create Shortcut).

Back to Google Docs, it can save files in DOC, RTF, and PDF formats, with PDF being compatible with Acrobat Reader. Files can also be saved as HTML documents, but I'd recommend using a dedicated HTML-editing program.

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