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Old 05-04-2009, 09:17 AM   #1
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Console/Text Word Processor

I know this question has been asked ... years ago ... and I know now, even more so, that it seems to be increasingly more irrelevant with AbiWord and OpenOffice. But I'm gonna try anyway.

Is there a console based word processor for Linux out there? Basically, I'm interested in something that works like Word Perfect 5.1/6.0, or Word for DOS. Old-skool, guys ... old skool.
Old 05-04-2009, 11:07 AM   #2
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May be it's not what you're looking for, but in my opinion the editor is Emacs.


Old 05-04-2009, 11:16 AM   #3
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The most popular non-WYSIWYG document generator is a typesetting package called TeX. It also fits the bill of being old-school, since the first version was released in 1977.

It's a bit more involved than Word Perfect, in that it supports many more options than just bold, italic, changing typeface/font size and so on. It takes plain text files and produces beautifully typeset output from them.

This also means that the learning curve is a lot steeper, so you might try looking at LaTeX rather than TeX; this simplifies things like page layout and tidies up the markup somewhat.

I don't know of anything with a GUI like WP and friends, but if you install LaTeX, AUC TeX ( and emacs then you could get something even more functional on a terminal interface.

Also, if you have WordPerfect for DOS and a i386 or x86_64 machine, WordPerfect is reported to run under DOSEmu. You could also try Word for DOS if you really want.

Most (if not all) of this software (except WordPerfect) should be available through your distribution's repositories.

Hope that helps,

—Robert J Lee
Old 05-04-2009, 11:55 AM   #4
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I heard about LaTex, but I understand it to not be a word processor, more like a document convertor/reformatter?

I can use WordPerfect with DOSBox, but I was hoping for a native solution.

Frankly, I'm surprised that a text-only true word processor hasn't been written for *nix. Really, it does surprise me. (Now on with the "write it yourself then!")
Old 05-04-2009, 12:03 PM   #5
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Actually there was a wordperfect for Unix out and about; not
sure whether you can still get it anywhere, or whether it will
run under any current Linux environment.

LaTeX is *not* a reformatter, it's typesetting software. It does,
in a way, work a bit like word-perfect & styles; you drive it by
inputting plain text intermixed with "formatting" commands (you
don't really do formatting in TeX, the style definition takes care
of all that, you give markup that designates the following text to
e.g. be a heading, or a "box" with verbatim output for code blocks).

To get editing support (make it easier/faster to type the markup
you could use auctex, a nice set of emacs macros [and then some :}]).

Old 05-04-2009, 12:44 PM   #6
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