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Free word processing software?

Old 02-04-20, 11:02 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
In the meantime, you can either do the text editor trick above, or you can "Paste unformatted text".
That option should be fairly common.

The approach I suggested works without having to know the different way each program does this.

It's a universal approach and not that much more effort.
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Old 02-05-20, 05:23 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
That option should be fairly common.

The approach I suggested works without having to know the different way each program does this.

It's a universal approach and not that much more effort.
Well, I am slowly learning. If you select an area, then you can choose 'format' and 'clear direct formatting' and then all the silly background colors and weird font styles go away.
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Old 02-05-20, 07:10 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by chewybrian View Post
Well, I am slowly learning. If you select an area, then you can choose 'format' and 'clear direct formatting' and then all the silly background colors and weird font styles go away.
Is this for your own personal use and edification...or are you sharing these files with other users?

The same exact garbled formatting that not-Word programs get from Word-generated DOCX files....Word users will see from non-Word generated DOCX files. Which means in say a collaborative environment like education or business--digital sharing of files doesn't work unless everyone is on the same platform.

I fought this battle over the years and in spite of being a Linux user and liking Open/Libre Office...always had to run back to MS Office due to it.
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Old 02-05-20, 10:14 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
That is interesting. For the past 15yrs I've been using my own homemade excel spreadsheet to do my fed and state taxes, with tabs for all the forms, schedules and worksheets all linked together and color coded for inputs and outputs, etc. It is not formatted at all like the official forms, but I copy the numbers over by hand. Every year I've tweaked it for usability and tax code changes.
I just downloaded, but have yet to compare to what I put together which of course only has the elements I need and wouldn't be as generally applicable. I suspect I may learn a few more tweaks. Thanks.
That's how I discovered it. Since taxes normally involves many rounds of 'whoops one more bank account interest statement for $3.47 needs to go in box 7, now I need to update everything after', I realized spreadsheets do that automatically. I considered making my own, but googled to see if there was anything already made, and found that treasure.

I can pretty much guarantee you will find that pre-made spreadsheet superior to your hand-rolled one. As the instructions say, cells you don't need to modify are locked, all the cells you need are editable (or have specific cells for direct override). If you have any trouble figuring out how to enter anything, feel free to PM me, I might be able to help out.
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Old 02-05-20, 12:12 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
That's how I discovered it. Since taxes normally involves many rounds of 'whoops one more bank account interest statement for $3.47 needs to go in box 7, now I need to update everything after', I realized spreadsheets do that automatically. I considered making my own, but googled to see if there was anything already made, and found that treasure.

I can pretty much guarantee you will find that pre-made spreadsheet superior to your hand-rolled one. As the instructions say, cells you don't need to modify are locked, all the cells you need are editable (or have specific cells for direct override). If you have any trouble figuring out how to enter anything, feel free to PM me, I might be able to help out.
I suggest that you check out Free file fillable IRS forms
No income restrictions on use for free, no program or app requirement other than access to the internet and Windows 7 or newer OS (also works on Macs), no need to write or print out anything on the IRS forms or schedules, does themath and includes the steps for free electronic submission of all the completed forms and 1099-R's to the IRS, as well as to either receive a refund or pay amount due electronically. Also allows you to save copies of all completed forms to your computer. Only tiny hassle for me (it took an extra 10 minutes) is to enter the info from each 1099R received on to electronic 1099R forms. I only had two to fill out, one from my broker and one from the payer of my pension.
Last year I received the IRS refund in less than two weeks after submitting the forms online.
I submitted this year's 1040 on Jan 31, and the IRS acknowledged receipt the next day. I expect the refund in my bank in about a week.

Unfortunately this program is not applicable for state income tax forms
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Old 02-05-20, 12:29 PM
  #31  
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More info on free fillable IRS forms is at free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free
Attached Files
File Type: pdf
IRS.pdf (16.3 KB, 2 views)
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Old 02-05-20, 12:40 PM
  #32  
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Give my income data to a free-to-use website and just trust that they won't sell the data to identity thieves, or best case lose my data to hackers because they don't really understand cybersecurity? No thanks. That's even worse than https://xkcd.com/792/

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Old 02-05-20, 12:44 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
More info on free fillable IRS forms is at free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free
OK it is more reassuring that the site is linked to by irs.gov. But no statement from the IRS that they have at any level vetted that third-party website's security (or accuracy)

With the downloadable spreadsheet I (feel like I) have the control and security I want.
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Old 02-05-20, 01:24 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
Is this for your own personal use and edification...or are you sharing these files with other users?

The same exact garbled formatting that not-Word programs get from Word-generated DOCX files....Word users will see from non-Word generated DOCX files. Which means in say a collaborative environment like education or business--digital sharing of files doesn't work unless everyone is on the same platform.

I fought this battle over the years and in spite of being a Linux user and liking Open/Libre Office...always had to run back to MS Office due to it.
I don't share files but I was using computers with different software myself and attempting to bring the bits and pieces together.

Is it for me? Hopefully not in the end, but maybe. I am enjoying the creative process either way, but whether the finished product will be marketable in any way is still up in the air.
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Old 02-05-20, 01:29 PM
  #35  
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You could always pick up LaTeX. The MikTex distribution for windows is a free download, or any linux distribution will be able to install it with its package manager. But that's a pretty steep learning curve, and I'd say not worth it except for the mathematical typesetting.
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Old 02-05-20, 02:19 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Give my income data to a free-to-use website and just trust that they won't sell the data to identity thieves, or best case lose my data to hackers because they don't really understand cybersecurity? No thanks. That's even worse than https://xkcd.com/792/
Fine, don't use it then. You are welcome.
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Old 02-05-20, 02:28 PM
  #37  
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Thanks! xoxoxo

(And I thought you were the one of us with low tolerance for sketchy technology)
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Old 02-05-20, 02:52 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Thanks! xoxoxo

(And I thought you were the one of us with low tolerance for sketchy technology)
Only when it IS sketchy and/or unproven hypeware based on consumers' wishful thinking or crass self promotion and/or a marketing scam.

I presume you don't do ANY on-line financial transactions or pay any bills online because you like to play it safe, just in case, eh? I am surprised you are willing to download and open an Excel file from an obscure on-line source without a prior Seal of Approval from Microsoft or the Federal Government, or both.
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Old 02-05-20, 03:27 PM
  #39  
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I do online financial transactions with institutions that I trust to have secure websites.

I agree the prevalence of comic sans casts a long shadow of suspicion on the provenance of the Excel file, but I judge that an Excel file that I download to my own computer, and open in LibreOffice (so VBA macro exploits are probably useless), is safe enough to investigate. I investigated many years ago, found it to work, and have continued.

By all means, continue to use that free-file-online website. I see that they say that they purge their data completely every October, which is a good sign. The fact that the site is still currently available is also a good sign that it hasn't been hacked so far.

But I thoroughly enjoy the convenience of the Excel spreadsheet, so I judge that any additional possible convenience is not worth the additional risk.

I'm not going to further befoul Chewy's useful thread with a pissing contest though, so feel free to have the last word.
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Old 02-08-20, 06:48 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
I suggest that you check out Free file fillable IRS forms

Last year I received the IRS refund in less than two weeks after submitting the forms online.
I submitted this year's 1040 on Jan 31, and the IRS acknowledged receipt the next day. I expect the refund in my bank in about a week.
Latest refund status from the IRS for my free all on line 1040 submission:

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Old 02-08-20, 01:44 PM
  #41  
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Interesting. Can anybody just look up their refund status on irs.gov, or just those who use the free-fillable site to efile, or just those who e-file generally?
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Old 02-08-20, 09:41 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Interesting. Can anybody just look up their refund status on irs.gov, or just those who use the free-fillable site to efile, or just those who e-file generally?
Anybody can lookup, those who e-file can get acknowledgement in 24 hours after submitting, those who use aptly named snail mail will have to wait 4 weeks.

But you may not be comfortable with the process because you have to enter on line (shudder!) your
Social security number or ITIN
Your filing status
Your exact refund amount

See IRS refunds info

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Old 02-10-20, 11:48 AM
  #43  
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irs.gov I trust (kind of have no choice). Also ftb.ca.gov for efiling CA taxes in-browser.
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Old 02-13-20, 06:25 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
irs.gov I trust
IRS said that my refund would be deposited yesterday; I checked with the bank, and yes it was there. Nobody ransacked any of my financial accounts yet because I used the free file fillable system, thank goodness!


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Old 02-14-20, 10:13 AM
  #45  
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I have my (federal) taxes done, but I haven't printed or mailed them yet. I'm always worried 'maybe one more form will show up in the mail'. I'll probably do it this weekend. And then with those finalized numbers I can file my CA online.
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Old 05-22-20, 12:37 PM
  #46  
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Ran across this,
https://xkcd.com/1977/


Mouseover: Plus, the photo was geotagged, my unlocked password manager was visible on the laptop, AND you could see my naked reflection in the dark part of the screen.

(not a knock against Free FIllable Forms, not even really related, it just remind me of this thread)
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Old 05-22-20, 09:28 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
You could always pick up LaTeX. The MikTex distribution for windows is a free download, or any linux distribution will be able to install it with its package manager. But that's a pretty steep learning curve, and I'd say not worth it except for the mathematical typesetting.
yeah! I remember Latex bitd in school. It is hardcore...cuz not WYSIWYG. But I liked the total control you get. It is like riding a fixie...you can't just hop on and ride...you have do dedicate yurself to learning it first. But once you get it, its very satisfactory feeling.

my employer forced us to use MSWord...which is like riding a Huffy beach cruiser, in comparison.


!

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Old 05-25-20, 01:47 PM
  #48  
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Anyone else use Abiword 2.8?
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Old 05-26-20, 09:45 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
yeah! I remember Latex bitd in school. It is hardcore...cuz not WYSIWYG. But I liked the total control you get. It is like riding a fixie...you can't just hop on and ride...you have do dedicate yurself to learning it first. But once you get it, its very satisfactory feeling.
Actually, I love that I can completely surrender myself to its decisions, and the output will look good. Once in a while I need it to do something else, and it's a pain to look up how to make it do it. If you enjoy LaTeX and have some time to burn, check out the WebOfStories.com video autobiography of Donald Knuth. A bunch of them he talks deeply about typesetting. Maybe start with #50 ?
https://www.webofstories.com/play/donald.knuth/50

my employer forced us to use MSWord...which is like riding a Huffy beach cruiser, in comparison.
lol I love that metaphor
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