Word processing is probably the most common work task we all do on our computers. No matter what your business, at some point you will find yourself pushing the curser slowly across the screen. Not long after personal computers first landed on our desks, word processors gravitated toward a standard interface that hasn’t changed much in the last 20 years — until recently.
Today, there are more software developers creating word processing applications than ever before, with some interesting new innovations. There is a rich field of word processors available on the Mac, with feature sets ranging from sparse to intricate. This chapter covers the word processing veterans (Microsoft Word and iWork Pages) and some of the newer, promising rookies that may change the way you write.
Microsoft Word is the de facto word processor of many workplaces. Microsoft was an early supporter of the Mac platform; the first version of Word for the Mac shipped in 1985, the year after the Mac was first released. Despite its long history on the Mac, there have been several issues with the last few releases of Word on the Mac. When Apple switched to Intel processors in 2006, Microsoft was one of the last major software companies to ship an Intel version of its application: Microsoft Office 2008 didn’t ship until January 2009. In the interim, Word had to run on Intel ...