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Actually I'm looking for a word processor with the folllowing features :

  • Base Formatting
  • Lightweight
  • Stable & bugfree

It should work for common office work on quite old machines.

EDIT : It's better to give a more complete description of the situation. Actually I'm working in a press agency. The journalists work on Ubuntu machines, and until a couple of weeks ago they did use Abiword to prepare articles that are loaded into a CMS. OpenOffice was not an option because it's too heavy and slow. The problem is that they keep many documents and browser windows open at the same time, so the amount of RAM avaliable is very little. We upgraded to natty a couple weeks ago and Abiword came out with many strange bugs and crashes, and it has some problems with extra mark-up, so we decided to move from it. Actually the better option IMHO is Google Docs, but they are not really happy sharing their documents in the cloud. So resuming, the problems are : - Openoffice/Libreoffice : too ram consuming - Abiword : strange markup and not so stable

share|improve this question
vim + markdown? – RedGrittyBrick May 26 '11 at 9:38
You're much more likely to get useful answers if you explain why Abiword and OOo don't work. Otherwise it's hard to tell what you are looking for. – sleske May 26 '11 at 10:49
I would say LaTeX, but you're probably going to be reading documents as well as sending them back in the same format. It's worth learning LaTeX anyway, and we have a site for that. – new123456 May 26 '11 at 10:52
@new123456 : Actually Latex is one of my favorites, but our journalists need a program to prepare articles quickly for online publishing, and they are not so willy to learn a complete new way of doing it :) – Juan Sebastian Totero May 26 '11 at 11:01
Switch window managers from gnome to something lighter like XFCE or Obenbox or fluxbox. That'll free up a ton of memory, and maybe openoffice will work better. – Rob Sep 14 '11 at 13:21
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Take a look at LyX, it's my favorite writing tool ever, and I think I've tried them all. It's easy to learn too.

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
Yes, I actually use LaTex and Lyx a lot, but they are too document-production-oriented (I mean, for printing or publishing). That means it's really not what we were looking for. – Juan Sebastian Totero Sep 15 '11 at 22:45

Did you have a look at KOffice? It also has a word processor.

enter image description here

However, if the problem with Abiword is stability, did you consider just downgrading to the version you used before? Might require a bit of fiddling to the library versions right (or at worst, a recompile), but there's no reason you can't continue using the old version.

share|improve this answer
actually that's how I solved it right now... but there is still an extra-markup problem when copy-pasting with it so I was trying to find a solution to get rid of it :) – Juan Sebastian Totero May 26 '11 at 15:56
Abiword is more stable now than it was. – Alexander Sep 14 '11 at 20:57

I am not familiar with Linux enough to give you a specific recommendation, but when it comes to software alternatives, I always check in this site:

AbiWord linux alternatives:
AbiWord online alternatives:

Hope it helps.

share|improve this answer

If you can still run a web browser on these older machines, one solution could be to use Google Docs, or another option like netEditr(I just ran across that one now, I don't know how good it is).

share|improve this answer
mmm actually it should be a native program... Google Docs was proposed before but they did not accept it :) – Juan Sebastian Totero May 26 '11 at 10:08
@jst Oh, ok. You might edit your question to indicate all of the rejected suggestions. It will probably get you an answer you can use much more quickly :) – jonsca May 26 '11 at 10:10
thx for the tip :) I edited the question – Juan Sebastian Totero May 26 '11 at 11:03

Is Ted too lightweight?

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
In my limited experience under Debian, Ted is incredibly unstable and blows up within about one minute of my starting to do anything. – CarlF Sep 14 '11 at 14:11

Try Calligra-suite. Based on Koffice.

  • Words for text processing.
  • Tables for computations.
  • Stage for presentations.
  • Plan for planning.
  • Flow for flowcharts.
  • Kexi for database creation.

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
Gareth, is this fork of OOo lighter and faster than the original, as Juan requested? – CarlF Sep 14 '11 at 14:10

While it's not FLOSS, there's a nice multi-platform office package from a German company called SoftMaker Office. I tested a version three or four years ago on a Pentium III 500 and it was usable, but I don't know if the current version has higher requirements.

enter image description here

If you're willing to register, the 2008 version can be downloaded free of charge here. The upgrade price to the current version is 30 Euros.

share|improve this answer
thx, I'll take a look at it :). – Juan Sebastian Totero May 26 '11 at 11:02

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