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Is there a Word product for older pc's?

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Is there a Word product for older pc's?

My classroom has an old Packard Bell 486 pc with 12 MB RAM and 400 MB of HDD space available. Is there any Word product which will work on this system? Notepad just doesn't cut it.

John Bolene
Honored Contributor

Re: Is there a Word product for older pc's?

Not that Microsoft sales currently.

You might be able to find a copy of Word for Windows which ran on Win 3.1.

You can get a used 200 Mhz machine really cheap in the $200 range and can easily run Win 95 or Win 98 on it. This Win version may already be installed on it. Word 95 or 98 runs on this and can sometimes be found in used PC shops.

So, it is probably easier to upgrade the machine to something from the last 3 years than try to find Word for a 486.
It is always a good day when you are launching rockets!, Mostly Missiles
Ross Judd
Frequent Advisor

Re: Is there a Word product for older pc's?

There was a Version of Word, called "Microsoft Word & Bookshelf Multimedia Edition" from 1992, That works for all 486 machines. I don't know if you can buy it anymore, I have a copy I put on one of my old 486 machines and it works great, if you can put up with the old 1992 World Almanac, Roget's Theasuraus, Columbia Encyclopedia,American Heritage Dictionary,Book of Quotations, and World Atlas, That is integrated into it. You probably could delete all of them, if you need to save on Diskspace.
I'm not very happy with HP 6640c or this so called forum that has no answers to anything!
Ross Judd
Frequent Advisor

Re: Is there a Word product for older pc's?

Here is a FREEWARE Word Program.
AbiWord is an open-source, fully featured word processor.

It reads most major word processor formats ? Word 6.0/97/2000 (DOC), WordPerfect 6+ (WPD), Rich Text Format (RTF), Palm Document (PDB), Psion TextEd/Word, HTML, TXT, etc ? and writes to many of them.

AbiWord also features: auto/manual spell checker; multiple undo/redo; headers & footers; autotext; convert to HTML; text justification; body/heading styles; multiple columns; word count; and more, much more.

This is not a pretend word processor but a real contender in the cut-throat world of business word processing. While it supports its own native ABW format, it can also read documents from all of the popular word processors and can write to many formats (alas, not to Microsoft Word 6.0 or later, or to WordPerfect).

Considering that this is still a beta program (preview release) it is remarkably full featured and there are only a few functions still not working. Unfortunately, this includes a Helpfile or manual and AbiWord does suffer from this lack. However, it is extremely easy to use and anyone who has used any of the modern word processors should have no trouble adapting to it.

Unlike many other word processors, this one includes a full dictionary (though no thesaurus) which can check spelling as you write, it has a template facility, and full text justification. In fact, the features are so many you start to look for what isn't there! AbiWord is a professional-quality word processor and deserves a place beside all of the (expensive!) commercial offerings.
Here is the URL to download:

I'm not very happy with HP 6640c or this so called forum that has no answers to anything!
jason d hasinsky
Frequent Advisor

Re: Is there a Word product for older pc's?

Back in the day of the 486 and the use of windows 3.1 we had a utility called ms-works this was the application prior to office the first of the offices you might say. This had a word like utility and a spreadsheet. I don't know if you can still find it for sale new but if your place of business has equipment that old you might look for the old software. It used to fit on a disk and before hard-drives were affordable we had to flip the floppies so i know it will run in your environment. only took 512k of memory. Hope this helps and that you can find the ms-works disks there.
One can't escape one's self...

Re: Is there a Word product for older pc's?

You can try MS Works 3.0 or 4.0. There are quite a few copies for sale on Ebay and I'm sure you can find them at just about any local computer show.

I have included a screen shot from an item on Ebay.

Good luck.