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Software, Reviews & Deals

Bronze Member
Posts: 94

The hard drive on my old laptop died last week. Data has been recovered and computer switched to a solid state hard drive. Now I'm looking to replace my word processor and photo editor. Perhaps our intrepid Forumites have knowledge of these things and would care to share. I'm most familiar with Microsoft products, but have worked with and enjoyed Corel.

Which app has the best grammar and spell checker?

Which app best facilitates editor exchanges?

Is there a better app for novels vs short stories?

If I wish to write an illustrated book, which app works best?

Are there any deals, promo codes or coupons that you're aware of?

Topic starter Posted : October 6, 2018 5:33 am
Bronze Member
Posts: 73

Word's overall issue is appearance and intent for user friendliness and consequent less accessibility and control.

WordPerfect's Reveal Codes feature outstrips all others for ease and function access to format codes. WordPerfect is lean and clean for format codes. Word, in terms of format and style, is verbose, and file sizes grow the more a document is revised due to that format code verbosity, plus, difficult to locate stray codes.

1. Which app has the best grammar and spell checker?

Word's spell checker is about par to WordPerfect's. WordPerfect's grammar checker is more robust and easier to use, especially personal setting flexibility.

2. Which app best facilitates editor exchanges?

Both softwares offer similar editor exchange apps: collaboration, document compare, track changes, and redline methods. WordPerfect's are more cross app friendly; Word's app and function proprietaries play less friendlier with others. WordPerfect's save to Word and open Word documents facilitates collaboration with Word users. Word doesn't export or save to WordPerfect, nor WordPerfect open in Word.

3. Is there a better app for novels vs short stories?

Section delimiters are especially relevant if a typescript is submitted for digital publication. Default TOC, chapter, section, and hard page breaks automatically reformat from DOC and DOCX for hotlinks upon conversion to e-book formats at CreateSpace and Lulu, etc.

Word's default and personal style options are a mite easier to manage than WordPerfect's, that is, formats of titles and section delimiters, footnotes, endnotes, inline and appendix bibliography citations, and active document links. Both are about par for table of contents, index, and concordance apps.

Adobe's InDesign publication software is the gold standard for style and format definition management and flexibility. Corel's Draw suite is a close second. However, neither of those latter programs come close to Word and WordPerfect's grammar checker and editor collaboration apps.

4. If I wish to write an illustrated book, which app works best?

Publication package suites that include image retouching, vector graphic tracers, and wordprocessor programs, plus What You See Is What You Get content layout programs, are essential for mixed media content. There, Corel's Draw suite is superior to Microsoft's and Adobe's similar packaged suites, especially in terms of control degree and ease of use, most especially price. Corel Draw equates to InDesign for publication preparation. Both the latter are suitable for content submission to a print bureau.

5. Are there any deals, promo codes or coupons that you're aware of?

Nope, sorry.
Another consideration is that Adobe's publication software array anymore is cloud hosted, only available and functionable on the "Creative Cloud," server-side operation only. Word's Office is download installation only, client-side operation, and cloud backup storage optional. WordPerfect's Office and Draw suites are either boxed discs or download. Full and sole client-side operation and software ownership, sweet for we who encounter episodic Internet connectivity issues and metered connections. Crack-hole cloud subscriptions.

One more thought, Adobe Acrobat PDF is the platinum standard for cross platform and cross application text, image, and mixed media content distribution. The Adobe Distiller is likewise cloud download and operation only and $$$ annually, plus, a clunky user interface. However, WordPerfect, Word, Corel Draw, and, of course, InDesign now include full function export to PDF capabilities, includes recipient form fill, e-signature, and password-protected security features.

For a complete, up-to-date, most economical and functional personal publication suite -- necessary anymore in the Digital Age and for essential self-publication options:

WordPerfect Office X9 $$$ ($250~ professional)
Corel Draw suite $$$ (500~)
($800~, boxed discs or download, once and done owned)


Word Office $$$ ($100 home~ - $200 business pro~, once and done owned)
Adobe Photoshop $$ ($10 monthly, annual plan~, $30 monthly otherwise)
($$$ ?? annually)

Adobe Creative Cloud ($$$ to $$$$, annual plan)
($2000~ ?? annually, Word, one-time, download only; Adobe, Creative Cloud only.)

Economical? monthly and yearly subscriptions available for cloud access, Adobe, three-month minimums, annual plans, persistent expense.

Posted : October 6, 2018 7:19 am
Active Member
Posts: 23

i've got a super cheap laptop i travel with for work that I threw kingsoft office on, and it works fine. totally free too.

as to the point about novels v short stories, I've found scrivener to be super helpful for novels (particularly if you're on a mac). it's got some super cool organizational features like a WC tracker, bulletin board views for each section, all kinds of stuff. probably skews more towards being helpful for writers who spend more time planning/outlining than for discovery writers.

That said, it can be overwhelming if you don't like digging into programs, and I've had some minor issues with exporting documents to word. not enough to dissuade me from using it, but the PC version definitely lags a bit behind the mac one. they usually do free trials too, and you can export your work at the end regardless of whether or not you pay to keep it.

2017: Q4: SHM - The Tin Man, Syntax and Salt
2018: Q1: 1st Place

Posted : October 7, 2018 6:56 am
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 118


I'm interested in keeping closer track of my daily word count... does anyone know of a good app, software, ect. that will keep track of how much time I spend writing, how many words I write and delete? And how much I need to write to reach a goal? I'm currently using word. If your suggestion is free or inexpensive that is a bonus 😛 The other thing is, I've found several websites that you enter your word count into to do this (such as the nanowrimo site) but I was hoping for something that would work offline. If you don't know of any offline, suggestions for online would be appreciated as well Smile

Posted : March 8, 2019 1:04 pm
Gold Member
Posts: 792

Scrivener has a goal and word count tracker. It’s far from free but it has a trial period.

V34: R,HM,R
V35: HM,R,R,HM
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Posted : March 8, 2019 1:13 pm
Helge Mahrt
Bronze Member
Posts: 69

Currently, they're running the beta for Scrivener v3.0, which is free and quite stable. I've been using it for the past couple of months. IIRC they do a promotion during NaNoWriMo.

The hard drive on my old laptop died last week. Data has been recovered and computer switched to a solid state hard drive.

Please back up. SSDs fail, too, and when they do they're usually done for good - not sure you can recover data from a dead SSD (easily).

R, HM, R
Sky High, my YA/SciFi novel

Posted : April 29, 2019 9:47 pm