I’ve never been a very big fan of desktop word processors because they are often designed poorly since their primary focus is on competing with Microsoft Word. I came across one a few days ago though that has a wide range of features and is easily one of the best designed word processors I’ve seen.
Verbum 2012 is currently in the “Alpha” state, and as you can see in the screenshot above it uses the classic toolbar layout rather than the ribbon-style interface found in Office 2007/2010. I’d say this app includes 90% of what everyone uses in a word processor on a daily basis, and should be more than sufficient for most of your documents (list of supported filetypes at the end of the article). As of right now there are no settings you can configure, which is a bit of a bummer. I’m hoping those features will come later on so that I can set up things like auto-saving.
One of the things you can enjoy now in Verbum is the flexible appearance. There are easily two-dozen different skins you can choose from, and the one pictured above is the default choice called “DevExpress Style”. I also found the “Office 2010 Black” to be rather appealing:
Don’t go into Verbum thinking this is going to replace your entire Office suite because it isn’t that feature-packed, and it still has its quirks. For example the memory usage hovers around 70MB which is a little steep for an app like this. I expect things like this will only improve over time, and this is definitely a project you’ll want to keep your eye on.
Supported file types: RTF, TXT, HTM, HTML, MHT, DOCX, ODT, and XML
Verbum 2012 Homepage (Windows only; Freeware)