Word Processor For OS X, Preferably free and/or Open Source

in Mac Software edited January 2014
OpenOffice, while adequate, isn't all that great on OS X, especially since it's essentially an OS X port of OpenOffice that runs under X11.

I tried opening an RTF file in AppleWorks and it crashed on me, so that's out.

For idealogical reasons, I refuse to use MS Office.

Is there a good, stable word processor for OS X with a basic but reliable set of features? If all it does is reliably edit RFT files, I'll be happy.


  • Reply 1 of 10
    gongon Posts: 2,437member
    You haven't tried Abiword? It's native, at least.
  • Reply 2 of 10
    dobbydobby Posts: 794member
    Try NeoOffice http://www.neooffice.org/

    Its like openoffice without X11. I run it on a B&W 300Mhz iwth 512 MB and it isn't that slow (except to open for the first time).

  • Reply 3 of 10
    tokentoken Posts: 142member

    Abiword (Great for smaller documents, bad for large stuff)

    Neooffice/J (the java port of OpenOffice, better than the X11 version)



    Nisus Writer Express

    Mariner Write

    Of the above I would recommend Abiword or Mariner write for best Word import capability. Nisus has the best 'Mac OS X' feel in its latest incarnation.

    NeoOffice is pretty good at the price, though ;-)
  • Reply 4 of 10
    gongon Posts: 2,437member
    Forgot to mention... personally I'd also look at iWork or specifically Pages. Even if it's not free, not open source, it looks pretty damn good and suitable for word processor and low level DTP in one package.

    Real Men (tm) of course do their editing in a text editor, like emacs or vim. For personal work I keep everything text. For school assignments I find myself still using text editors, but publishing the completed work by copying it into a word processor and doing the fonts etc. there as a one time job before I turn in the paper. I think Pages would be great for this. I'm uncomfortable with LaTeX and think it cumbersome but there's not much choice when you do a large project, have to return multiple copies of the same document (snapshots in time), and want to keep everything in text for CVS. So I use LaTeX sometimes too.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    paulpaul Posts: 5,278member

    works great.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member

    Originally posted by Paul


    works great.

    Yeah, for editing RTF files, use TextEdit -- you can augment it w/ the free WordService if you need word count, sorting, etc.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    newnew Posts: 3,244member
    how aboutTextWrangler?
  • Reply 8 of 10
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
  • Reply 9 of 10
    dobbydobby Posts: 794member

    Originally posted by Relic


    Yeah a real word processor.

    What about emacs?

  • Reply 10 of 10
    mcqmcq Posts: 1,543member
    Progression of thread:

    Full featured (AbiWord/NeoOffice) --> Mid level (Nisus, Mellel, Pages) --> GUI plain text editor (TextWrangler) --> CLI text editor (vi/emacs)

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