When deciding which word processing program to use, whether for everyday home use or for more formal business applications, many people choose to use Microsoft Word. Microsoft Word was not designed to be an actual desktop publishing application, most of which require extensive training before use. Microsoft Word is a word processor, and it excels in its role.
So what makes using Microsoft Word preferable to other similar programs? Two things stand out as the most important features: ease of use for beginners, and broad capability to provide advanced features for power users.
For beginner or casual users, Microsoft Word is simple to learn. It has self-explanatory drop-down menus for most everyday applications. It has an extensive help menu that can answer just about any question a casual user might encounter. And using Microsoft Word means that almost anyone to whom you send your document will be able to open and read it without complications.
For the more experienced wordsmith, especially in business settings, using Microsoft Word means you can save time on everyday tasks and increase your productivity by engaging advanced features. For example, Microsoft Word has a feature called "Auto Complete" which allows you to set up a macro that will finish your words or phrases for you when you type a pre-programmed set of letters that you establish. This feature is quite beneficial when writing complex technical manuals with terminology that is tedious to type over and over within the text. Using Microsoft Word also allows you to copy and paste your text, or even import it directly, to other popular programs, such as Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook. Compatibility across different programs is key.
But perhaps some of the simpler aspects of using Microsoft Word are the most overlooked, yet most important. Consider how much we have come to rely on automatic spell checking. Microsoft Word can take this a step further and automatically correct your spelling as you type. With a simple click of a mouse button, you can add bullets or numbers or other symbols to highlight important points in your text. And maybe most importantly, you can use Microsoft Word to automatically save the document you are typing, in case you get called away or lose your electrical power while writing that all-important thesis!
Bottom line, if you plan to be sharing documents with friends or co-workers, and you value the ability to work simply across many formats, you should be using Microsoft Word.