I found my favorite Word Processor on a Chromebook

Day 7 with a Chromebook

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Why was I looking for a Word Processor?

I bought a Chromebook hoping that I would be able to do work both online and offline. With the advent of Android applications and now Linux applications I was excited about the exciting new applications I could try. The reason I wanted a word processor I could use offline is because I simply might not have the internet everywhere I go. If my Chromebook is going to last 8-10 hours on a charge I shouldn’t have to be tied to an internet connection to get basic work done.

What were my criteria?
  1. It had to have most of the features of Microsoft Word
  2. The application needed to have full document editing capabilities (including having a ruler)
  3. I had to be able to use it online or offline
  4. I don’t mind having to pay for an application (support your devs)
Why not Google Docs or Office?

I did not choose Google Docs because it required an internet connection to get the full functionality. If I wanted to open a .docx file and have full editing capabilities it would need to be uploaded to Google Docs. A luxury I don’t always have.

I had paid for Office 365 in the past so I thought the Word android application would have at least 95% of the PC application. Sadly, it does not. I was not happy it did not have ruler functionality. At my full-time job, I need to work with many large Word documents that require in-depth formatting.  Unfortunately, Microsoft Word just isn’t fully baked in those areas.

What about Linux?

Linux has some really great options such as Libre Office, Open Office, and Abi Word. The problem with those Word Processors is, they either had trouble processing large files (even after allocating more Ram), or they didn’t run on ARM-based Chromebooks. Regardless of this I still managed to learn to use the Linux terminal. It was a lot of fun downloading the .deb files and learning how to run commands to install the files. Alas though, my hours of learning and searching did not yield any positive results.

What Application did I choose?

There were many additional options on the Google Play Store, so many I lost track! There was Polaris Office, WPS, and Office Suite, just to name a few. These are all on so many lists of “The Best Word Processors on Android” lists on the internet. One app I saw on no lists (that I could find), and loved was “AndrOpen Office”.

This is a free application that can be upgraded for $4.99 to unlock extra features. The application will prompt you to download some language packs and fonts (all free with ads), however, after that, you’re ready to go!

You can perform tasks such as create documents, spreadsheets, and PowerPoint. If you pay for the service (which I plan on doing) you can connect this service to different cloud services! A really nice add-on. Below will be some pictures of the application and the interface. It’s not a beautiful interface, however, when you see all the features you have access to I think you’ll look the other way.

I have not really tried out the other office-based applications, however, I don’t intend on using them that often. If I do try them out I will definitely update this article.

Dislikes:

The only aspect I dislike regarding this application is it saves documents in an odt format. Although most word processors can open this file format it’s unfamiliar to most people. I downloaded a file converter to handle this. This may be overboard, however, I want to make sure people don’t assume I’m sending them a virus.

Conclusion:

AndrOpen Office isn’t perfect, but it’s the best application I could find. I’m disappointed that many Word Processors haven’t been updated since, like 2014 and have given in to Google Docs and Word. I feel that with the advent of Chromebooks running Android applications and being the next big operating system they need to be updated. We need better offline options for editing documents!

Please let me know if you tried out AndrOpen Office and if so what you think about it! If you run a Chromebook or Android Tablet what Word Processor do you use and why? Most of all, let me know what you want to hear more about regarding using a Chromebook!

There were no paid promotions for supporting AndrOpen Office and not supporting the other options referenced in this article. AndrOpen Office is free to download with an optional premium add-on. A link to the PlayStore can be found here.

 

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