A word processor breathes lightweight and fast
Pros & Cons:
Jarte breathes lightweight and fast. Created by Carolina Road Software this word processor is offered as a free version, portable version and optional upgrade to the "bells and whistles" version Jarte Plus ($19.95 US). The program downloads as either a regular install or a portable version in a zip file.
Jarte boots quickly with a Welcome document and blank document already tabbed. The layout is a bit shocking for diehard word processor users. Thinking back, so was changing from the MS DOS style of Word Perfect to the Windows GUI interface of MS Word many years ago. That's not to say Jarte is the future, instead it's more of a twist on the present. Absent of the usual button bars in most word processors, Jarte uses a slate looking bar with gel like buttons (see picture) for a cleaner look. The trade off is using menus and short-cut keys instead of cluttered buttons. The default layout (called Compact) can be changed to Minimal or Classic views. When learning to navigate the Compact layout, turning on the labels is helpful. Minimal layout will remove the graphics and provide a traditional text menu bar. Classic uses a different layout for the buttons and provides better labeling, and an icon menu for various actions. There is an option to turn on button labels in Compact layout if you need them. My personal favorite is the Classic layout. In this layout it's easier to set bars for reference tools like dictionary and thesaurus and set a search bar; or both.
Individual documents are opened in tabs that become labelled with the file name once saved. This makes working on multiple documents simultaneously easier than using short cut keys or a Window menu to navigate between documents. I found this to be true as I used Jarte to write the reviews for this category. Some of the features, like the dictionary, thesaurus, and help link use online resources. Spell checking must be manually invoked in the free version by pressing F7 or finding it in the edit menu (Compact layout) or the Spell button in Classic layout. Automatic spell check is available in the paid version. For files accessed frequently, like templates, use the "favorites" folder to find and open faster.
What makes Jarte unique is changing the status quo when it comes to word processing by changing the interface and providing a cleaner more playful environment.
Jarte was reviewed by Gizmos Freeware on