GrammarPhile Blog

What Word Processing Software Should You Be Using in 2018?

Posted by Kelly Creighton   Mar 29, 2018 7:30:00 AM

cloud-2531028_640.jpgAs a writer, you know that the word processing software you use will determine your overall effectiveness and productivity, which is almost as important as the actual words you type. And while some word processors work seamlessly, others have a steep learning curve that can make accessing, typing, reviewing, or editing a document maddening to anyone from any technology era.  

So, what type of word processing software should you be using in 2018? And what is the best and most economical one for you to use?

Features You’ll Want Your Word Processing Software to Have in 2018

The contemporary word processor does a lot more than help you compose and edit documents, but there are some added features that may prove more valuable to you in 2018 than they did even a few years ago. Regardless of the specific word processing software you decide to use, you’ll want to make sure it has some (if not all) of the features below.

Cloud-Based Options

You want word processing software that is based in the cloud (where documents are saved through a web browser or Internet connection) so that you can easily back up your documents and access them from any device you use.

The average person has two or three personal devices nowadays, not including devices used for work. And when you save your documents to the cloud, you’ll be able to access them from any device (your desktop computer, laptop computer, tablet, or smartphone) at anytime from anywhere with an Internet connection.

In addition, if you use a cloud-based word processor, you’ll never have to worry about losing valuable documents if you lose your computer or if your computer stops working. Cloud-based word processing software relies on its own servers in the cloud to save your data and files for you, and automatically works to keep your documents safe and secure.  

Optimizations for Web Content

There’s s nothing more frustrating than being unable to read content or an email because the document is not optimized for the size of your screen, its URL links don’t work, or its font is too small or too large.

Because a majority of everything we write in 2018 will be shared via email, social media, or published on a website or blog, you’ll want a word processor that allows you to format and view your content the way that it will be viewed and distributed across the web. It should have appropriate headers and layouts that are easy to publish across the web and should have text that is easy to copy and paste across the web and other applications.


To really be productive, you’ll want a word processor that has built-in templates you can use for a variety of different types of documents such as e-books, research documents, proposals, briefs, blog posts or marketing brochures. And once you edit those templates, you’ll want to be able to create and save your own templates that you can use for the documents you write all the time. Otherwise, you may end up spending a lot of time re-writing the same type of documents.

Sharing Capabilities

It’s so much easier when you can share a document with others directly from your word processing software. If you can easily send a link or select email recipients from inside your documents, it will save you a lot of time, especially if you find yourself emailing multiple documents a day to the same people.

Coworking and Advanced Editing Capabilities

To minimize the time it takes to edit a document, you’ll want word processing software that lets you add comments and markups to the text in a document along with other reviewers of the document. You’ll want to know who made what changes and when, and you’ll want to be able to share and discuss edits when necessary. You’ll also want to have an ongoing list of all the changes that were made to a document.

Having advanced editing capabilities such as a spell-checking tool and a grammar-checking tool are also very helpful. Just be careful when relying on them, as these tools still won’t catch every error the way a highly trained proofreader will.


Because so many documents are shared across the web and in emails, you’ll want to be able to protect each individual document with watermarks, passwords, and encryption, especially if you’re sharing legally sensitive documents and private company information.


It saves a lot of time when you can research a topic you’re writing about directly from your word processor, without having to open multiple web browser windows. If your word processing software is based in the cloud, it should allow you to research topics on the Internet when you have it open. It should allow you to consult online articles, research, images, graphs, etc. And it should be able to access dictionaries and thesauruses when needed.

Word Processing Software Options

According to PC Magazine, Tech Radar, and Top Ten Reviews, here are the best-rated word processing software options and office suite options with top-notch word processing software for 2018. Unfortunately, they all come with some sort of downside. So, it’s all about picking the option that’s best for you and what you need to use it for.

Microsoft Word 2016


  • Overall, is very rich in features and capabilities
  • Comes in versions for Mac and Windows, as well as versions for students, businesses, enterprises, and educational institutions
  • Mobile apps and cloud-based options available
  • Includes robust collaboration and sharing tools
  • Contains templates, advanced editing capabilities, and access to external resources
  • Microsoft Office 365 is completely cloud-based
  • Widely used, so sharing with others is not much of a problem


  • Can be pricy when compared to other options
  • May have extraneous features most writers won’t use

Google Docs


  • Free
  • Very user-friendly
  • Entirely cloud-based with easy-to-use mobile apps
  • Includes collaboration and sharing tools - you can view someone else editing a shared doc in real time
  • Contains ability to create and access templates, advanced editing capabilities, and access to external resources
  • Has a great “explore” feature that allows you to access content from Google queries inside the document you’re typing
  • Gaining in popularity, and nearly anyone with an Internet connection can use it


  • Doesn’t have many reliable or high-quality templates
  • Since it’s entirely based in your web browser, you have a high chance of being distracted by content open in other windows
  • If you want to download documents external to the software, you’ll need Microsoft Word or another program that can handle PDF or DOCX files

Corel Word Perfect


  • Compatible with Microsoft Word file formats
  • Includes advanced resources and editing capabilities
  • Contains advanced document security and mailing capabilities
  • Allows you to optimize text for the web
  • Offers customizable tool bar and templates


  • Costs for software and features are pretty high
  • No cloud-based or mobile app options with editing capabilities
  • No Mac version available
  • Not widely used, so sharing is more difficult

WPS Office


  • Free version available
  • Offers free cloud storage and mobile apps with enhanced presentation capabilities
  • Great access to templates and customizable navigation
  • Has a drag-and-drop tool, and document security capabilities
  • Supports multiple file formats and offers a PDF-to-Word converter


  • The free version contains ads, so you’ll have to upgrade to the premium version or above to avoid them
  • No Mac version available
  • Not widely used, so sharing is more difficult

Libre Office


  • Completely free
  • Includes document templates
  • Offers some editing capabilities
  • Supports multiple file formats


  • No Mac version available
  • No cloud-based or mobile app options with robust editing capabilities
  • Almost no sharing capabilities
  • A lot of capabilities and templates are only available via extensions and plugins or additional apps
  • Not widely used, so sharing is more difficult

SoftMaker and TextMaker


  • Free version available
  • Includes advanced editing features
  • Offers some document security
  • Mobile app option available
  • Comes with document templates


  • No Mac version available
  • No cloud-based options - you’ll need to save your docs to Microsoft OneDrive, DropBox, or Google Drive
  • Doesn’t support multiple file formats unless you pay for the premium version
  • Not widely used, so sharing is more difficult


What word processing software are you using? What features do you like about it or dislike about it? Share with us in the comments below.

P.S. If you’re interested in the history of the word processor and some of the first writers who used it, read A Literary History of Word Processing, published by The New York Times. Or check out this post: History of Word Processors.

Topics: word processing

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