My Writers Circle

Writing => All the Write Questions => Topic started by: Dawn on May 08, 2012, 11:58:30 AM

Title: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 08, 2012, 11:58:30 AM
Has anyone used this at all?
I am looking for an alternative to Word (as my daft laptop win 7 doesn't have it on) I have been using open source but it keeps causing me problems.
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: wanderer on May 08, 2012, 12:14:44 PM
I don't have any experience with it and use Open Office as my word processor....works great.

I know some people use and like: http://www.libreoffice.org/features/writer/ (http://www.libreoffice.org/features/writer/)
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 08, 2012, 12:27:25 PM
Thanks Bill. I will check it out thanks.
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Catska on May 09, 2012, 12:15:55 AM
I started using Abiword several months ago and I love it.  It came highly recommended to me and I haven't had any problems with it so far.
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 09, 2012, 04:01:25 AM
Thanks Catski. The only problem I have with it though. Is the spell checker doesn't seem to work. So I have downloaded Jarte.
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Gyppo on May 09, 2012, 05:28:59 AM
Thanks Catski. The only problem I have with it though. Is the spell checker doesn't seem to work. So I have downloaded Jarte.

Stick with Jarte for a while and give it a fair trial.  Unless anything in it really doesn't suit your way of thinking.  Within a couple of weeks you'll either love it or loathe it.

Use the shortcuts from the beginning if you can, they'll save you a lot of mouse-time. [CRTL B] for Bold, [CTRL] I for italic, etc.  If you're already used to these then it will be instinctive anyway.  If not this will feel cumbersome at first, but it well worth getting to grips with.

But you may find yourself trying to use Jarte shortcuts in other programmes, such as when posting here ;-)

If you take to it, using it at the basic 'as provided' level, let yourself explore some of the advanced features one at a time as you become more familiar with it.  Allowing yourself to learn the extras only as and when needed, rather than plunging straight into the depths,  will accelerate comfortable familiarity with the essentials.

Jarte's spellchecker doesn't hang around.  The first few times I used it I missed the little box telling me it was finished and sat here like a lemon, waiting for it to find something else ;-)

Have fun.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 09, 2012, 05:45:27 AM
Thanks Gypo.
I had a good playlook last night and it is really quite fun. ;) The only thing I don't get it this hot button malarky for when your on emails. Any ideas?
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Gyppo on May 09, 2012, 06:56:02 AM
May I suggest you leave the 'hot connect' alone for a while.  I've been playing with it off and on and sometimes it seems to get lost.  Probably me hitting the wrong keys.  But when it works it's like magic.

There's something in the help files about 'hot connect' not being fully compatible with some versions of windows, although there is a work-round.  I had it working perfectly, but seem to have lost it again for now.  I'll solve the mystery when I'm not too busy.  If you figure it out first please share the secret ;-)

In the meantime you can just cut and paste between Jarte and email as long as both programmes are open.

For anyone else considering switching to Jarte please don't read a major problem into this conversation. It's just a minor glitch in one of the 'extras'.  Useful but not essential.

Gyppo


Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 09, 2012, 11:03:20 AM
I will do Gypo. The only problem is, I am one of these people that if it states don't press, I want to press it. ;)
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Gyppo on May 09, 2012, 11:10:09 AM
I understand.  As a compulsive toucher of wet paint.  Well, just because it was wet when the notice was put there doesn't mean it still is.

Don't take up a career in bomb disposal ;-)
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 09, 2012, 11:13:23 AM
 ;D ;D I do that. ;D
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Gyppo on May 09, 2012, 12:10:33 PM
Alfiemama:  I've sorted out the routine for using Jarte's 'hot connect' with my email, but it doesn't want to play nicely with the circle yet.  I've done it in the past though.  So something is just slightly adrift.  It was before I temporarily lost my novel, so probably just a setting somewhere got changed when that glitch happened.

Anyway, here as a straight cut and paste are the instructions for using it with email.  If you try these to post on the circle and it works for you then it will confirm my opinion that I've just misplaced a setting.

=====

   The best way to test this utility is to send a message or two to yourself first.  That way there's no embarrassment or nuisance to others  if you cock it up.

   Please note the message you type in Jarte will be plain text and look very basic.  When it transfers to the mail programme or wherever it will follow the rules you have set for mail font and size.

   Here we go.

   This is a test of hot connect to Outlook Express.

   First, open the programme to which you wish to 'Hot Connect.  For this example, we will be sending an email from Outlook Express.

   Set up the recipient's e-dress and subject line, just as if you were sending an ordinary email.  Then move the cursor to the body of the email, just as if you were about to start typing in the box.  (Unless you really want to fill the subject line with the body text, which does seem rather unlikely.

   Now press [Alt f7] to trigger Hot Connect.  A blank document will open in Jarte, with 'Hot Connect' written in the tab at the top.

   Type your message.  If you want you can paste in all sorts of text from elsewhere at this point.  (I've not tried adding pictures yet.)  Do any spellchecking etc until you are happy with your message.

   Now press [CTRL S]  This will 'save' the hot connect message to Outlook (or whatever you are using).

   Outlook will reopen with the message installed, and all you need to do is [send] it.

   Once the message has gone [CTRL S] reverts to being an ordinary save command, so you can save the message if you wish by giving it a name just like any other piece of work.   After this you can click the 'x' on the 'Hot Connect' tab to get rid of the temporary message.

=====
 
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Gyppo on May 09, 2012, 01:50:04 PM
   Alfiemama:  I now have it working into MWC, as long as I click [save] on the drop down menu.  But it doesn't work when I use my preferred [CTRL S] shortcut

   One step nearer to solving the mystery.

   It really must be some minor setting.  But I'm going to give it best for now as I have some lamb steaks to grill.  Apart from which I've been sat at the screen too damned long.  I have a numb bum, but the exercise of rampaging around in the kitchen should cure that. 
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 09, 2012, 02:00:10 PM
Thanks Gypo. Okay I have tried using bt internet as I don't use Outlook. So I'm thinking, it will be the same as MWC. Tried CTRL S and nothing, tried to use save in drop down but it comes up on mine as save as ??? So not sure now, why mine is different?
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Gyppo on May 09, 2012, 02:09:58 PM
Thanks Gypo. Okay I have tried using bt internet as I don't use Outlook. So I'm thinking, it will be the same as MWC. Tried CTRL S and nothing, tried to use save in drop down but it comes up on mine as save as ??? So not sure now, why mine is different?

I've mailed tech support at Jarte.  I'll let you know their answer.
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 09, 2012, 02:15:37 PM
Aw thanks Gypo. You're a star. :-*
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Gyppo on May 09, 2012, 06:01:56 PM
It's bugging me as well ;-)
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 10, 2012, 04:22:14 AM
 ;D
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Gyppo on May 10, 2012, 04:32:59 AM
Tech support asked me to try it with a few other programmes, to pin down if the problem was specific to Opera (browser).

It works fine with Outlook Express.

It didn't work with Opera Mail.

It didn't work when I logged into the circle via Internet Explorer.

It was about 50/50 with some of the other programmes on my computer.

Late last night I tried it again and it successfully posted a message onto the circle.  (The damn things teasing me.)
 
But this morning it's playing up again.  Something sporadic going on.

I shall mail tech support again ;-)

Do you have an alternative browser you could try it with?

Gyppo
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 10, 2012, 04:36:28 AM
The plot thickens Gypo. I will have another go. Thanks, we will suss it out.
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Silt-2 on May 10, 2012, 08:56:22 AM
I tried abiword, worked fine for me. Open Office, I've heard good things about it also in regards to keeping things organised. I had a few other programs, White Smoke, Dramatika, etc. I think it depends on what you want, and how you organise things. Some write with a sparce outline, letting their characters have a bit of reign, while others use tight plot lines which require detail tracking. Where was I going with all this :( ?

anyway :P Abi is free and works fine. I've heard of Jarte, but never have tried it.

Some one, I think Alice or Ma were talking about their problem with too many stickies. I found that the writing programs, and I think also Open Office, allows you to make e-stickies that attach themselves to your characters name so you will always know where they are.

wow - I'm drifting around topics this morning :(

sowwwy

silt
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Gyppo on May 10, 2012, 09:09:38 AM
Silt,

Jarte's a fine processor, but one of the 'extra' features, called 'Hot Connect', lets you link it directly to email, forum postings, etc.  This is the bit which is causing a hiccup at the moment.

But "We shall overcome, we shall overcome."

Gyppo
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Gyppo on May 10, 2012, 03:15:47 PM
Jarte Tech support suggested I 'tweak' some of the advanced settings.

I had a go at this, it's not quite as scary as it sounds despite the dire warning.  I had 'hot connect' in and out like a damned fiddler's elbow.  Some changes made it work in outlook, but not on the circle, and others vice versa. 

Two combinations made it work on both, but not consistently.

I have taken notes so I can duplicate these changes later if need be.

Just for now I've had a gut full of fiddling with settings.  Jarte is still working fine as processor, and I can live without hot connect for a while.

Plus, I have a theory of my own.  In the past sometimes a seeming electronic problem has turned out to be simply mechanical.  My keyboard is overdue for a serious clean, inside as well as out.

I am reminded of my cousin, an electrician by trade, spending a couple of hours fiddling with electrics when his car wouldn't start.  I told him he was out of petrol, but as an electrician he was determined to find an electrical solution.  I may have fallen into the same trap here.

After dinner I'll pull the damned thing to bits and see if there's any bodily malfunctions in there.  It won't be the first time a damned good clean-out has restored harmony.

Unfortunately I don't have a spare 'reliable' keyboard for a simple check by substitution.

But for now, food is fast becoming a priority.

Gyppo 
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 10, 2012, 03:21:22 PM
Ooh go eat, go eat ;)

I will have another go. I hate being beaten. ;)
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 10, 2012, 03:22:45 PM
I am just testing hotconnect.
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 10, 2012, 03:23:57 PM
Ooooooh I did it Gypo. Yippee
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Gyppo on May 10, 2012, 03:31:32 PM
But did you change anything?  Or did it just work this time?
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Gyppo on May 10, 2012, 03:32:55 PM
This may work, it may not.

Apparently it did.  This time.

EDIT:  But not when I tried to send something a bit more substantial.

Gyppo

Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 10, 2012, 03:36:54 PM
Tried again and it didn't work. How very odd.
Did exactly the same. ???
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 10, 2012, 03:38:02 PM
trying again.
This time it worked.
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Gyppo on May 10, 2012, 03:41:49 PM
I'm going to revert to the standard settings after feeding.

The way it works/doesn't woirk it has to be something quite trivial which is causing the problem.

Grrrr ;-(
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 10, 2012, 03:48:35 PM
Aha. Is it the length of the sentences?
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 10, 2012, 03:49:06 PM
Just testing.
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 10, 2012, 03:49:52 PM
Just testing again with a longer sentence to see if this works. Probably won't if my theory is right though.

Nope it worked. ;)
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Gyppo on May 10, 2012, 05:29:13 PM
Cut and paste something more substantial into it, several paragraphs in length.  A couple of times earlier today I managed to get over a thousand words to transfer.  But it's not consistent.

I'll be offline for a while now.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 10, 2012, 05:33:27 PM
I'll give it a go tomorrow Gypo. Night night.
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 11, 2012, 04:10:51 AM
Now I am intrigued. ;D
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 11, 2012, 05:54:34 AM
Thanks Gypo. I think I will wait and use you as a guinea pig. ;D If that's okay?
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Gyppo on May 11, 2012, 06:26:44 AM
A wise decision ;-)
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 11, 2012, 06:33:43 AM
 ;D
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 11, 2012, 05:41:30 PM
Nope not working for me.
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: 510bhan on May 11, 2012, 05:47:23 PM
That's cos you're bad and evil and you said you were scared of me -- it's called computer Karma. ;D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Gyppo on May 11, 2012, 05:51:29 PM
Well, 'hot connect' worked for a  while then went on strike again.   It's connecting into e-mails quite reliably.

That's enough messing around for now.

I really must do something productive with this new keyboard ;-)

Gyppo
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 11, 2012, 05:53:31 PM
That's cos you're bad and evil and you said you were scared of me -- it's called computer Karma. ;D ;D ;D ;D

Well you're just >:D >:D

No probs Gypo. Go get some work done.
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Gyppo on May 11, 2012, 05:59:37 PM
It's more likely to be sleeping.

I've nearly trained my fingers to recognise the feel of the new board.  There is such a doifference between a keyboard which has been beaten to death over several years and new one which still has proper springy keys.  Another reason why I don't like touchscreen technology.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 11, 2012, 06:35:08 PM
I love the feel of a clicky keyboard, bliss.
I have MWC on my phone (hence why I am on here all the time lol) but it's touchscreen and it's just not the same.
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Gyppo on May 12, 2012, 12:52:30 AM
Little things make a big difference when you're typing for several hours a day ;-)
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Alice, a Country Gal on May 12, 2012, 11:50:41 AM
Which reminds me. While working on my lappy yesterday, Jon (#4 son) fixed my wayward "C" key which has been wayward and stubborn ever since the cat decided the keyboard was the perfect place to nap while I was out of the room.

The C is now inline with all the other keys instead of one side of it sticking up in the air.  ;D
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 12, 2012, 12:00:25 PM
That was good of him Alice.
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Alice, a Country Gal on May 12, 2012, 05:27:22 PM
That was good of him Alice.

Jon is definitely a keeper (one of the Good Guys) despite the fact he had colic and kept me from sleeping the first several weeks of his life.  ;D

Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: 510bhan on May 12, 2012, 07:23:11 PM
How on earth do you format/download/configure/GET the dictionary so the spell check function works for this? >:(
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Gyppo on May 13, 2012, 10:34:14 AM
The spell check for AbiWord?
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: 510bhan on May 13, 2012, 10:38:16 AM
Yes.
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Gyppo on May 13, 2012, 10:45:31 AM
I've been looking around the web for it and most hits come up with geeky advice which tell you all sorts of things you probably don't need to know.  I'm fairly sure it used to have a straightforward spell check which could be downloaded without any hassle.

I'll have a bit more of a look.

I've decided not to tackle the washing machine today.  Probably not patient enough today.  If it threw any more nasty surprises at me the temptation to grab the lump hammer and do my Thor impression could be irresistible.  Over the years I've learned when not to tackle some jobs.  The pile of broken equipment can only get so big before the message gets home ;-)

Gyppo
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: 510bhan on May 13, 2012, 11:02:34 AM
I downloaded it -- to see if I could help Dawn. I'm in Mozilla Firefox, Windows 7 Home Premium. So . . . download, happy days. Checked the box for a grammar function too -- didn't delete any of the default stuff. Called up a document to see how the beast operates. The spell check function wasn't 'live/highlighted/active'. I thought perhaps I'd forgotten to highlight the work I wanted checked, did so -- nothing. Played with f7 -- told spell check was complete, but of course all the deliberate mistakes were still in the sentences. :o

At this point I asked for help, looked through FAQs etc. Sent to a page with instructions to download a dictionary in my preferred language. Did that. Had to jump through hoops about coding/formatting -- instructions I couldn't understand asking me to change the pathways and exe. things. By then I was lost and when I had copied and pasted one of their strings into the only box available in what I had called up - it said it was too long a name [even though the string was quite short, it added all my groovy details to it as well]. >:(

I suspect it's my ignorace has caused the problem.  ;D

Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Gyppo on May 13, 2012, 11:11:29 AM
It's a mystery to me, Sio.

I've just downloaded a fresh copy of AbiWord.  Not the beta but the latest 'should be okay' copy  and installed it with English as the default language.  (In other words i just took the initial options which were offered, without trying to be clever.)

As you found the spell checker is there but 'greyed out'.  Pressing f7 just gets a message telling me the check has been completed, but my delibereet  mistakes weren't picked up either.

I saw the stuff about changing paths etc and chickened out.  I'm off back to Jarte, where I (mostly) know how things work.

Best suggestion is to post the specific question in its own thread as 'Anyone use AbiWord.  How does spellcheck work?"

Sometimes life's too short to keep banging your head against a brick wall ;-)  (Some open source software is brilliant, and packaged for people who just want to be users, not geeky programmers, and some isn't.)
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: 510bhan on May 13, 2012, 11:22:58 AM
Must say -- it's a case of I'm all right Jack, how about you? I was only trying to find out for Dawn, I'm happy enough with Word.

I might interrogate brain-child when he comes home, see if he can explain the mysteries. ;D
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Gyppo on May 13, 2012, 11:27:25 AM
I've just downloaded a four year old copy, several versions back from the latest version, and it behaved exactly the same.

I think Dawn is happy playing with Jarte at the moment, so the mystery of AbiWord can stay a mystery as far as I'm concerned as well.  But it was good in its time.

Gyppo  
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Alice, a Country Gal on May 13, 2012, 11:30:56 AM
Gyppo, I hesitate to ask this, but I've had plenty of coffee, so I'll go ahead and ask - did you check the load in the washer to make sure it hadn't all (or most all) moved to one side of the tub?

Raising so many boys and at times having a load of jeans, I learned to check that before checking the balance of the machine itself.

 
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Gyppo on May 13, 2012, 11:35:42 AM
Gyppo, I hesitate to ask this, but I've had plenty of coffee, so I'll go ahead and ask - did you check the load in the washer to make sure it hadn't all (or most all) moved to one side of the tub?

Raising so many boys and at times having a load of jeans, I learned to check that before checking the balance of the machine itself.

It's a fair question, but unfortunately it's not the answer this time ;-)  Our machine shuts down quite gently and behaves itself when we occasionally get an off centre load.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 13, 2012, 02:45:12 PM
Aw thanks Sio and Gypo. :-* :-* :-* :-*

Been poorly, with what looks like shingles, so this made my day. (Sio check my use of commas/, paratheticals) ;)

Gypo. I have to be honest and say I am missing my Word. Jarte doesn't feel right when I'm typing on it (daft I know). Abiword just looked more like Word.
 I've been spoilt really with having Word free for so long.
This is the problem I have. I have a new win 7 laptop (mine but no Word) I also have a desktop pc in boys bedroom with no internet on. Just set up for their games and I have an old laptop with the boys use for internet games like cartoon network which has Word. It seems daft to swap laptops as mine is brand new and will get ruined with all the bashing around they do. If I take the laptop of them, well it's not an option it would be the end of Alfie's world.


Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Foxy on May 13, 2012, 02:57:01 PM
Dawn, you should check the licence for your copy of Word. I have Word for Mac 2011 and the licence allows for installation on up to three machines in the same house.
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 13, 2012, 03:10:14 PM
Foxy, unfortunately that was done through work. I don't have the license. Thank you though. :-*
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 13, 2012, 03:15:01 PM
Okay, just thought I would put another spin on this. Previously I have been using Open Office, which I quite liked. However daft tool bar keeps coming up and putting all my work into boxes. Another BIG HUGE problem though is the formatting. I sent in some college work (Writers Bureau) and it was all formatted to spec. However, when she received it had changed some paragraphs to full capitals. :o :o :o :o :o :o even though this was sent in rtf format. This has now given me the willies scared me as I have sent work off to publishers. :o :o :o :o :o :o

So should I maybe try and look at a different version of Open Office?
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 13, 2012, 03:31:08 PM
Another option I have just thought of is Q10. I can't remember though if you can save as a word doc and if I can print from this. Anybody any idea?
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 13, 2012, 05:04:45 PM
Touch wood, I think I may have sorted out a replacement. I have just downloaded Write monkey and have to say I am so far impressed.
Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Gyppo on May 13, 2012, 06:41:20 PM
Gypo. I have to be honest and say I am missing my Word. Jarte doesn't feel right when I'm typing on it (daft I know).

Not daft at all ;-)  People will always have a familiar favourite which just feels right.  I went through a few on my way to Jarte which just 'clicked' with me.

Gyppo 


Title: Re: Abiword?
Post by: Dawn on May 18, 2012, 06:03:35 AM
Thanks Gypo.

I'm still having problems. This monkey thing now keeps losing work. I think I am typing too fast my page goes blue and it loses my work arggggghhh. Back to the drawing board on this one for me.
I did like the fact it had no distraction which for me was ideal.