This is the next in my series of reviews on free Microsoft Word replacement programs. This week, I’m reviewing WordGraph SSuite Office.
According to the WordGraph website:
SSuite WordGraph is a free and very useful alternative to Microsoft’s Word, OpenOffice’s Writer, or anything else out there claiming to be the latest and greatest. You don’t even have a need for .NET or even JAVA to be installed. This will save you a lot of hard drive space and precious computer resources.
Use WordGraph for anything from writing a quick letter to producing an entire book with embedded illustrations, tables of contents, indexes, and bibliographies. WordGraph is a complete and powerful software solution for creating, editing and viewing various types of documents. You can create simple or highly structured documents include graphics, tables, charts, and insert spreadsheets you created with Accel.
A Few Basics
WordGraph SSuite is what is known as a standalone word processor. That means that unlike MS Word, OpenOffice, or LibreOffice, it does not include presentation/slide applications, a database, or some of the other applications that make up full office suites.
What it does come with is a very nice word processing application and a basic spread sheet application.
Consequently it’s very small. About 8mg of space. It took less than a minute to download and less than two minutes to install on my laptop, which runs on Windows 8.
Minimum System Requirements
1024 x 600 Display Size
Microsoft Internet Explorer
Windows NT / 2000 / XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / 10 – 32 Bit and 64 Bit – Mac and Linux
Four Basic Questions
Can You Create Microsoft Compatible Documents? Yes. The program default is a rich text file (rft), which can be opened by almost any word processing software.
Can You Open Documents Created in Microsoft Word? I tried opening one of my ongoing files, my writing journal, which is formatted as a .doc file. The document opened, but there was only a few characters of gibberish in it. The file isn’t that large—just over 24,000 words. I tried a couple of other things and it appears that the only way to use a .doc file in this program is to copy the content into a new SSuite window.
Can You Open Documents Created in SSuite with Microsoft Word? Yes. The default format is Rich Text Format (rft), so it can be opened in Microsoft Word, as well as most other office suites, Notepad, WordPad, and other text editors.
How Easy is it is to Learn and Use SSuite? SSuite is fairly easy to use, but figuring out some of the features does take time. I’d give it 2 stars of 5 in ease of learning.
What I Like About SSuite
The neatest thing I found the first time I used this program was the digital clock on the lower right column. Yes. I know. A simple thing. But I like clocks with displays that are easy to read and this clock is easy to read.
The display is easy to read and the toolbars are well organized. If it matters, the design is also quite visually appealing (at least to this artist.)
I especially like the stats in the bottom toolbar.
What I Don’t Like About SSuite
The default document type for SSuite is rich text format (rft). While that’s a good, basic format that can be read by most types of word processing software, it’s not as convenient as defaulting to a .doc file.
I also had a program failure within the first twenty minutes of using the program and again the last time I used it. I don’t know what caused the failures, but the program restarted again without difficulty. I lost a little bit of work because there is no data recovery with SSuite.
I also found no easy way to change styles throughout a document other than highlighting the entire document and manually making whatever changes I wanted. Maybe I’m getting soft, but I’ve found the style sheets on Word, OpenOffice, and LibreOffice to be so convenient and useful that this is the next thing to a deal breaker for me.
The working window is not WYSIWIG. It’s a thumbnail similar to what happens with Notepad or Wordpad. In other words, if I made the window wider, the lines stretched out. That may be why some of the formatting does not show up. It may also be why the page appears to have less than one-inch margins.
Finally, the default paper setting is A4. That’s a European setting. Measurements are also in metric. That’s not a big deal if you’re comfortable with metric settings, but it was an annoyance to me.
WordGraph SSuite is a handy little program, but isn’t something that will stay on my computer beyond the test period. It isn’t set up to do enough of the “high-detail” formatting that I do for eBooks, art lessons, and other writing.
Problems with sudden program failures were also a consistent problem.
However, if all you want is a straight-forward word processing program that doesn’t cost anything and will let you write, this may be just the software you’re looking for.
Just proceed with caution.