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We only have Linux on our computers here at my home, and I tried to use LibreOffice (a derivative of OpenOffice.org) to fill in an application form for a job, which was in .doc format. However, LibreOffice crashed when trying to save it as I was filling it in, and when I tried to recover the document, LibreOffice said "Error reading file" (no details!) and it came back with the word "FORMTEXT" prepended to every form field, and some of my data missing.

Clearly, I won't be using LibreOffice to fill in this application form!

I can use Microsoft Word as a last resort, e.g. at an Internet cafe. But I'm wondering if anyone knows any other alternative that would work for filling in forms. I've tried Google Docs and I know that doesn't work for this particular form - ironically, it displays the form mostly correctly, but when you have to edit it, it seems you are required to convert it to Google Docs format, and that messes up the formatting.

The employer expects the application form to be submitted electronically except in the case of applicants with certain disabilities, and anyway it would be expensive for me to submit a hardcopy version, as the application deadline is today. I'd have to travel to their offices or use a courier - it'd be cheaper to use MS Word at an internet cafe.

Even a suggestion that's Windows-only might be OK, since I could try to run it on Linux under Wine.

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2 Answers

Actually, it turned out there was a simpler solution for me: check if the employer will accept application forms in PDF format, instead of Word format. It turns out that they will, so I'll just have to save the form in LibreOffice's native format, which works well in my experience, and then use File -> Export as PDF at the end.

(However, I'll still have to use an internet cafe to use their application website, which requires Internet Explorer, but doesn't detect whether you are using Internet Explorer or not - it just silently fails to work!)

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To answer the original question, Open Office would be a good alternative to Microsoft Word. It runs on almost any OS as well.

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