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Multilingual
Word Processors and Text Editors

Shareware and Freeware for Windows

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Word Processors Text Editors

Word Processors

ooffice.gif soffice5.gif  OpenOffice.org & StarOffice

OpenOffice.org is an excellent open-source alternative to Microsoft Office.  You can type any language you have fonts and keyboard layouts for, including Arabic, Cyrillic, Esperanto, Hebrew, Maltese or Yiddish.  You can use both Windows and Keyman keyboard layouts.  Users of Windows 95/98/ME need a third-party CJK enabler such as NJStar Communicator or AsianSuite X2 to input Chinese, Japanese or Korean. 

You can enable Asian language support in Tools : Options : Language Settings : Languages.  You can set vertical writing in Format : Page... : Page tab.

StarOffice is the commercial version of  OpenOffice.org with Sun's proprietary add-ons, including the Adabas D database and third-party fonts.  StarOffice 6.0 does not support right-to-left languages.

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abiword.gif AbiWord BiDi

An open-source word processor with many features, including autotext and overline.  Read how you can type Arabic, Cyrillic, or Hebrew.  Users of Windows 95/98/ME need a third-party CJK enabler such as NJStar Communicator or AsianSuite X2 to input Chinese, Japanese or Korean.  Version 1.0.6 misaligns some Hebrew diacritics (Bugzilla Bug 3768) but development version 1.99.2 aligns them properly (and it also supports tables).

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cte.gif Classical Text Editor

The word processor for critical editions.  It has its own keyboard layouts to type Unicode Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, Hebrew or Arabic.  The shareware version will print "Unregistered Copy of the Classical Text Editor" on top your text.

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drich.gif DingDang Write 2000

It is intended to be a Simplified Chinese word processor but you can also type European or Middle Eastern languages such as Russian, Arabic or Hebrew.  Non-expiring shareware.

Users of Windows 95 or 98 need to update their system with RichEdit 3.0.

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worldpad.gif FieldWorks WorldPad

An open-source word processor with its own Unicode IPA font and rendering engine to stack diacritics.  You can read and write any language you have fonts and keyboard layouts for but you need to manually configure each language in Tools : Writing System Properties.  You can use both Windows and Keyman keyboard layouts.  Users of Windows 95/98/ME need a third-party CJK enabler such as NJStar Communicator or AsianSuite X2 to type Chinese, Japanese or Korean.  Version 0.8 does not support right-to-left languages in Windows 95/98/ME but even in Windows 2000 or XP, it does not properly show the position of the cursor if you type a space after an Arabic or Hebrew word.  The most recent version fully supports right-to-left languages but it requires manual installation and it uses a different file format.

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hiero.gif Hieroglyph

A free Unicode word processor.  You can type any language you have fonts and keyboard layouts for provided that your keyboard layout does not use the AltGr key.  Users of Windows 95/98 need to update their system with RichEdit 3.0.  Users of Windows 95/98/ME may type Chinese, Japanese or Korean with third-party CJK enablers such as NJStar Communicator or AsianSuite X2.

Although the web site is in Russian, the program's user interface is English.

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ledit.gif LedIt

A free Unicode word processor.  You can type any European or East Asian language you have fonts and keyboard layouts for.  Read how you can type Cyrillic.  Users of Windows 95/98/ME need a third-party CJK enabler such as NJStar Communicator or AsianSuite X2 to type Chinese, Japanese or Korean.  Version 3.01 supports right-to-left languages in Windows 2000, XP, or NT 4.0 but it does not properly position the cursor when you type a space after an Arabic or Hebrew word.  In Windows 95, 98, or ME, all languages are displayed left-to-right.

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qtext.gif QText

A pre-Unicode word processor with both tables and right-to-left support.  It comes with its own fonts and keyboard layouts for Arabic, Hebrew, Yiddish, Baltic, Central European, Cyrillic, Modern Greek, Turkish and Western languages.  Shareware for 30 working days.

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tfm.gif tfmEditor

Both a word processor and a text editor.  Uncheck "Plain Text Only" in Text Attributes to read and write RTF files or leave it checked to read and write plain text files.  In RTF mode, you can type any language you have fonts and keyboard layouts for.  Read how to type Arabic, Cyrillic or Hebrew.  Users of Windows 95 or 98 need to update their system with RichEdit 3.0.

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unitype.gif Unitype Global Writer

A Unicode-compliant word processor with TrueType fonts and pop-up keyboards for more than 100 languages, including Arabic, Armenian, Bengali, Burmese, Chinese, Cyrillic, Ethiopic, European, Georgian, Greek (ancient and modern), Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Tamil, Thai, Tibetan, Vietnamese and many others.  The demo version of Global Writer 98, which is no longer available, did not support tables or footnotes.  I have not tried Version 3.0.

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uniword.gif Universal Word 2000

A full-featured word processor with tables, footnotes, and full justification of paragraphs.  It claims to be "the most powerful multilingual word processor" but it does not support Unicode fonts, or Microsoft's international keyboard layouts It can open and save Unicode encoded plain text files but you cannot paste Unicode text into it from Unicode-compliant applications.  The demo version is crippled (open, save, and clipboard copy to external programs are disabled) and the full version is very expensive.  If you buy all of its language modules (including Chinese, Japanese and Korean), you will pay more than twice the price of  Microsoft Office.

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Text Editors

babelpad.gif BabelPad

A free Unicode text editor.  You can type any language you have fonts and keyboard layouts for.  Read how to type Arabic, Cyrillic or Hebrew.  Users of Windows 95/98/ME need a third-party CJK enabler such as NJStar Communicator to input Chinese, Japanese or Korean.

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emeditor.gif EmEditor

A shareware Unicode text editor.  Yo can type any European language you have keyboard layouts for and you can use Microsoft's Global IMEs to type Chinese, Japanese or Korean.  You can use both Windows and Keyman keyboard layouts.  Read how you can type Cyrillic, Esperanto or Maltese.  Version 3.3 supports right-to-left languages in Windows 2000, XP, or NT 4.0 but it does not properly position the cursor when you type a space after an Arabic or Hebrew word.  In Windows 95, 98, or ME, all languages are displayed left-to-right.

EmEditor uses several hot keys to speed up editing but, unfortunately, some of its Alt+Ctrl key combinations interfere with the AltGr keystrokes of some international keyboard layouts.  You can remap the interfering hot keys in Tools - Properties - Keyboard.

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ledline.gif LedLineIt

A free Unicode text editor.  You can type any European or East Asian language you have fonts and keyboard layouts for.  Read how you can type Cyrillic.  Users of Windows 95/98/ME need a third-party CJK enabler such as NJStar Communicator or AsianSuite X2 to type Chinese, Japanese or Korean.  Version 3.01 supports right-to-left languages in Windows 2000, XP, or NT 4.0 but it does not properly position the cursor when you type a space after an Arabic or Hebrew word.  In Windows 95, 98, or ME, all languages are displayed left-to-right.

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unipad.gif Sharmahd Computing UniPad

A shareware text editor with its own Unicode bitmap font.  In addition to its own keyboard layout definitions, it also supports Windows or Keyman keyboard layouts such as Arabic, Cyrillic, Hebrew or Esperanto.  Users of  Windows 95/98/ME need a third-party CJK enabler such as NJStar Communicator or AsianSuite X2 to input Chinese, Japanese or Korean.

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jar.gif Simredo

A free Unicode text editor with special features for Esperanto and right-to-left languages.  In addition to its own keymaps, it also supports Windows keyboard layouts, including Arabic, Cyrillic and Hebrew.  Users of Windows 95/98/ME need a third-party CJK enabler such as NJStar Communicator to input Chinese, Japanese or Korean.

Simredo requires Sun's Java Runtime Environment.

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uniedit.gif UniEdit 1.5

A multilingual text editor with fonts and pop-up keyboards for more than 100 languages.  Shareware.

Version 1.3 (uniedtry.exe) is still available for Windows 3.1.

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unired.gif UniRed

A free Unicode text editor.  Read how you can type Cyrillic, Esperanto or Maltese.  Version 2.0 does not support right-to-left languages.  Users of Windows 95/98/ME need a third-party CJK enabler such as NJStar Communicator or AsianSuite X2 to input Chinese, Japanese or Korean.

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yudit.gif Yudit

A free, Linux-born Unicode text editor with smart keyboard layouts and manually editable properties.  It supports European, Middle Eastern, Far Eastern and many other languages and scripts, including Hungarian Rovásírás.

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rceditor.gif Rovásíró

Not a multilingual text editor but I like Hungarian Rovásírás.

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© 2001-2003 Gyula Zsigri [Home] Last updated:  August 13, 2003