Battle of the Word Processors

What word processor do you use? I’ve used a number of them over the years and have finally realized I’m going to have to write software instead of fiction if I want one that’s just right. I’ve tried a number of programs out there and they all have their pros and cons, starting with MS Word.

MS Word: What’s wrong with Word? Well…to start with it costs a lot of money. I moved away from Word at a certain point because I didn’t see the point if there were viable, free options out there. Additionally, Word did a lot more than I needed it to, so I thought it would be nice to have a more streamlined tool to write with. And I admit there was a sense of adventure in getting away from Microsoft.

Abiword: Abiword is excellent, streamlined, word processor available as a free download. There are no strings attached. It’s a nice little program. It’s small, so it loads and works very quickly. I stopped using it because I found that sadly there were things I couldn’t figure out how to do with it, such as making certain universal formatting changes that I needed to format manuscripts for different markets.

OpenOffice: Open Office seems to have just as many features as Word, and in many ways is a great product. It’s open source, and totally free. However, there were still some things that I wanted to do that were just easier in Word. But the biggest drawback to OpenOffice was it just took too long to load. It was really excessive, at least on my modest laptop.

For a while I was using all three depending on what I needed to do. But I discovered that sometimes I would have problems with a file created in one when I opened it with another. All this was quite frustrating, and as I realized that I kept falling back on Word, I began to long for the good old days when it was all I needed. So I deleted the other programs from my hard drive and now I’m happy to be just using Word again. I still save everything in .rtf format though, unless an editor requests a .doc file.