Well, to be more specific, it’s a software suite. It’s by a company called Kingsoft, and it’s the Kingsoft 2013 Office Suite. It’s free, so this isn’t a sales pitch, I swear. I only just now found this freeware, after years of bouncing back and forth between LibreOffice, OpenOffice, AbiWord, and a few other text editors. None of them could quite give me what I needed, which was a lightweight word processor with a few features like spell check, grammar check, word count, and some formatting.
So I was just digging around last night, and reading old software reviews, looking for something, I don’t know what, and I came upon an io9 article on the best free word processors. They listed all the standards, but they were all word processors I had tried and dropped. Then, I read something from someone in the comment section where they started berating the writer of the article about other free processors. After laughing for absolutely no reason at all, I read his (or her) list, and there were two I had never seen before: Q10, and Kingsoft Writer.
So I clicked on the Q10 link (get it HERE), and saw it was only 1mb in size. Well, let’s try it! So I downloaded it, and it was seriously cool. See, it’s a no frills, distraction free word processor. When you start it, you get a black screen, and single line of quick commands, and nothing else. When you write, your text is a golden yellow, and it makes typewriter sounds from the movie Amelie! I’m not kidding. I loved it right away, and I do plan on using it when I need inspiration.
Still, it lacked a number of features I needed, so I tried the other option, which was Kingsoft Writer, which as it turned out was a whole office suite. I downloaded it, installed everything (I like to try out everything when I first use a software), and then ran it. Firstly, unlike LibreOffice, which took 30 seconds to load even with QuickStart, Kingsoft Writer loaded in 3 seconds. That’s -3-. I just about shat myself. I quit the program, and loaded it again: 3 seconds. I was THRILLED! It was off to a good start!
So I ran through the features list, and noticed that it had at least everything LibreOffice 4.1 had. Oh, as a side note, you can choose themes. There’s a nice, sleek, black matte and white/grey theme which is very smooth, as well as a Microsoft Word 2003-ish theme (my favorite), and a “classic” theme, which looks like the older style Office themes, with the gray bars and square buttons. So it had style, and substance.
My final test was to type something up, save it as a XP/2000/2003 Word document (which is the default option), and open it in a word viewer to see if it was truly compatible with Microsoft Word. It worked flawlessly. There were no artifacts, or glitches, the text was clean, and looked as if I had just saved it from Word.
I have to say that I don’t know why the software is free. I checked it for spyware, and saw nothing. Maybe there are issues with it somewhere, but if you’re like me, and want something fast, clean, flexible, and most importantly free, I say give it a shot.
Here’s the address where you can download it: http://www.kingsoftstore.com/
It says “Kingsoft Store,” but the 2013 Suite is free. If I had to guess, I’d say they want you to enjoy the free software, and then buy the Pro, which had lots of features the free one has (I guess), but I’m just a simple writer, and should the day come when I make lots of money for my erotic Lego novels (I’m kidding, I’m kidding, it’s erotic Star Trek), I would buy the Pro version, but for right now, this free word processing software just really kicks some ass.
On a quick note, it also comes with a presentation software (like PowerPoint), and a spreadsheet software (like Excel), and having tested them only briefly, they seemed quite adequate as well, and just as fast to load and begin working.
Compatibility: I used it on Windows 7, and tested it on an XP, and Vista machine. It worked flawlessly.
***** out of ***** (5/5)
I just rated software on my blog, and I don’t really do that. I am just really impressed and wanted to tell a few people about it. Really, if you need an office suite, this one’s the tits.