Jarte Word Processor Review
Jarte is a free word processor based on Microsoft WordPad. It has features that WordPad lack but not as heavy as Microsoft Word. The install file is fairly light at 2.8 MB. There are 8 dictionaries included with the installation. Jarte does not perform background spell checking. This feature is available on the Jarte Plus ($19). Jarte is also USB flash drive friendly as it can be run from it. The required disk space is 9 MB with all languages dictionary installed.
The installation process is very simple. No activation and serial number are required. Once you have agreed with the license agreement, the program can be used immediately. A welcome screen with external links for further details appears next.
The default Jarte menu layout is set to Compact. It consists of unlabeled icons with detailed options provided when mouse being hovered over them. The menu layout can be changed by clicking on the View options. There are two additional layout options available: Minimal and Classic. The Minimal layout displays the menu in text style similar to WordPad and NotePad. This would provide a better learning curve for those who are familiar with WordPad and NotePad. The Classic layout displays large button that is novice users friendly.
Tabbed Interface and supported file format
If multiple documents are opened, Jarte utilized tabbed interface. File format support is also quite extensive including RTF, DOC and DOCX. For DOC files that have images, Jarte displays a warning that images would not be loaded correctly.
Office 2007 File
For opening DOCX (Office 2007) files, Microsoft Office 2007 Compatibility pack needs to be installed. If the compatibility pack has not been installed , Jarte provides a link to an instruction on what needs to be downloaded or installed.
The limitation with DOCX file for Jarte is the document can only be saved to the format other than DOCX. During the review, there were mixed results in opening the DOCX file. Simple DOCX files can easily be opened. On the other hand, there were some issues when opening complex document with images (even with compatibility pack installed).
Export to PDF and Hot Connect
Jarte has Export to PDF feature. The option is available from File – Save Other – Export as PDF (in Minimal layout). Instruction for other menu layout and options (including exporting as HTML) is available from the help page.
One of the features that is unique to Jarte is Hot Connect. It lets other program utilizes Jarte’s features. For example, when posting in the forum using Internet browser, the spell check can be performed in Jarte. When spell check has finished, it is easy to switch back to the Internet browser with the correct spelling. Other ideas on how to use Hot Connect is available from the help page.
Jarte is a great alternative to WordPad/NotePad. The simple NotePad style customizable interface makes it easy to learn and use. It has features like tabbed interface for multiple documents access, ability to open some Office 2007 files, export to PDF and HotConnect. It is also works from USB flash drive.