AbleWord Review

This free word processor works with Microsoft Word files

AbleWord is an easy-to-use, free word processor program that runs on Windows. With support for common formatting tools and popular file formats, it's a great choice for a word processor. Plus, because of its PDF features, you can also use it as a PDF editor and PDF to Word converter.

Document open in AbleWord
What We Like
  • Easy to use.

  • Can check for spelling mistakes.

  • Clean UI and design; uncluttered.

  • Supports common formatting abilities.

What We Don't Like
  • Spell check isn't automatic.

  • Hasn't been updated since 2015.

  • Works on Windows only.

  • Limited file association settings.

More Information on AbleWord

  • Runs on Windows XP and newer Windows operating systems.
  • Common file formats can be opened and saved to, such as MS Word's DOCX and DOC, as well as PDF, RTF, and HTML/HTM.
  • AbleWord works as a PDF to Word converter because you can open a PDF file and then save it to DOCX or DOC (the two most popular file formats used in Word).
  • You can import just a PDF's text and automatically exclude all images and other non-text stylings by using File > Import PDF Text.
  • Supports inserting common things like a page break, current date, image (BMP, TIF, WMF, PNG, JPG, GIF, and EMF files), text frame, table, and page numbers.
  • Regular formatting functions are allowed like changing font, paragraph, styles, columns, header/footer, image, borders, and bullet details.
  • The Edit menu holds all sorts of editing functions you'd expect to have in any good word processor, such as undo, redo, cut, copy, clear, paste, find, and replace. The find and replace options even include a toggle to make the search case sensitive.
  • Custom user dictionaries (.TXD files) can be added.
  • A word counter is included so that you can quickly see how many words, pages, characters (with and without spaces), paragraphs, and lines that the document contains.
  • Some spell check options include the ability to toggle between enabling and disabling things like flagging repeated words, ignoring internet addresses, ignoring email addresses, and ignoring words that contain numbers.
  • Two views can be chosen from to see a document in a draft or print layout form.
  • In the Page Setup screen are settings for changing what type of paper the document will be printed on and how large the margins should be from the top, left, bottom, and right side of the page. This is also where the headers and footers, columns, and borders settings are.
  • AbleWord's Online Help provides a handful of tutorials if you're having trouble using the program.

Thoughts on AbleWord

Even at first glance, it's easy to see how simple it is to use AbleWord. The toolbars are easy to read and understand, and the program as a whole is just very clean and easy on the eyes.

As with any word processor, it's unfortunate that this one can't check for spelling mistakes while you type. However, the spell check utility is easily accessible from the toolbar. When you select it, the spelling errors are underlined in red, but then they return to normal when you exit the spell check tool.

While you're installing it, you're asked if you want to associate the program with DOC and DOCX files. If you enable that option, any documents that end in those file extensions will open in AbleWord when double-clicked. This is a useful feature, but unfortunately you can't enable or disable it once the program has been installed, and it only works with those file extensions.

AbleWord is definitely a good choice if you're looking for an easy-to-use word processor that comes at no charge and works with files that are used in most other word processors.

Free Programs Like AbleWord

If you're looking for another word processor like AbleWord that may better suit your needs, check out the reviews we have for some other free word processors like OpenOffice Writer and WPS Office Writer.

Also look through this list of free online word processors for programs like these that have the added benefit of working online through your web browser. What that means is that you don't have to download anything, and you can use it from basically any computer you're on, and usually even mobile devices, too, like your phone or tablet. Google Docs is one example.

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