Are there word processing applications for Mac? A Word processor is one of the most in-demand applications for computers today. While several surveys found out that most people buy computers today for gaming and entertainment purposes, they, at one point in their work or school lives, would be forced to turn on their PCs to create a document.
For that, any Office Suite makes sure that it has a competent word processing app included in its package. G-Suite has Google Docs accessible via the web, while Office Suite has Microsoft Word available on Windows PCs. But how about the Mac?
What is a Word Processor?
Everyone knows what a Word Processor is. Schools today even require it as a basic foundation of computer subjects. It has been around for decades now. Like any other program, it has already gone through so many innovations that it’s now able to carry on other tasks like basic photo editing, charting, graphing, and flyer-making. So while this is hardly an exciting feature list, it does exclude a surprising number of apps.
The MacOS actually comes with a word processor. Since Mac OS X, Apple has included a simple word editor with the OS called TextEdit. However, this app rather does the most basic word processing functions only. You can compare it to the Microsoft WordPad and Notepad, only that it includes more advanced features like adding tables, graphs, media files, and styling text. Then that’s it.
What Makes a Good Word Processor for Mac?
The number one thing that makes a good writing app is its ability to fulfill your needs. Can it support you in writing heavily researched projects? Does it have other creative features to help you make a complete report with supporting media files?
A few key features that any word processor apps for Mac need to have for them even to be considered a good writing app. Some of these features include:
- The ability to open and export multiple file types.
- The ability to open various types of file formats.
- The ability to style your text document.
- The ability to let you work on multiple files simultaneously.
- They need to be stable and bug-free for you to work with less-hassles.
Word Processing Apps for Mac
Full word processors are applications that do pretty much anything you could imagine with text. They’re things like Microsoft Word (and all of Microsoft Word’s main competitors). If you work in an office, you probably need a full word processor, but they can be a bit over the top for some. Let’s look in detail at what makes these apps powerful options to work with:
While Microsoft Office was once just for Windows PC users, the software has tweaked its specs to work on Mac OS.
While it’s not the most preferred word processing app for Mac, it can do pretty much everything, so we get hundreds of people getting an Office Suite for their Mac. If you ever give it a go for this app, you can get it by subscribing to Microsoft Office 365 or download one of the different versions of Office Suite and activate it with a key. You will even get other productivity software like PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, and so much more.
Like Microsoft Word, Google Docs is just a part of an office suite called G-Suite. It also comes with other programs like the Google Suite, Calendar, Gmail, and so much more.
Google Docs is the leading competitor of Office Suite. However, it cannot beat Word when it comes to functions. It also doesn’t have an installable program, so you’ll always need to go online to access it. It’s a web-based app that can also be its advantage as it can be accessed anywhere. It doesn’t have any specific OS or hardware requirement, so it’s very convenient to use on Mac, especially for those who just started shifting to Apple.
Google Docs is free for anyone with a Google account to use.
Pages is Apple’s Mac-native answer to Word. It takes full use of all Mac’s native technologies and has a companion iOS app. It’s a decent app with all the features you’d expect a professional word processor to have. You can even collaborate with PC users through Pages for iCloud.
Pages is free for macOS and iOS users. PC users can also use the iCloud version for free. Pages is the best looking and has the best-looking templates of all the full word processing suites available on Mac.
Unfortunately, Pages isn’t as popular as the other apps in this list, so you might have a hard time convincing the people you want to collaborate with to use it as well.
Writer is a free Word Processing app, making it a favorite of many Mac users.
Before Google Docs, the leading free competitor to Word was LibreOffice’s Writer. It’s still around, and it’s still free.
Writer is a decent open-source word processor that, for the most part, has been replaced by other options. While you can still use it for your own personal use if you’re familiar with it, it doesn’t really have anything going for it that makes it stand apart.
If you desperately don’t want to use Microsoft, Google, or Apple’s offerings, it’s there. Otherwise, it’s probably not the app for you.
Scrivener is designed for writing long-form documents like novels and theses. If you’re writing something that’s less than 20,000 words, Scrivener is completely overkilled. On the other hand, if you are writing the next great novel, then Scrivener is perfect.
Scrivener is available for macOS and iOS. It’s a “complete writing studio.” There’s a virtual corkboard so you can outline and organize your ideas, rearrange entire segments, and much more. Another thing you’ll love about Scrivener is its file browser/research tab so that you can keep all your research in the app as well.
iA writer is a Mac OS application with a clean and simple interface. It has a minimal approach so users can focus on their work. It is known to be one of the first-word processors of Apple and still has the best features in the market.
The Focus Mode helps users concentrate on what they are working on. It focuses on the sentence that is currently typed and place at the center of the screen while other contents are greyed out.
iA Writer also makes editing faster and easier with the color-coding system for verbs, nouns, adverbs, and conjunctions. So, proofreading becomes easy.
It’s not only for writing. You can add media, .cvs tables, and other image files to your work. Furthermore, it merges separate chapters and has a PDF page preview.
If you want to use Scrivener but it’s too much for you, you can use Ulysses. It is a crossover between iA Writer and Scrivener. You’ll enjoy the Markdown and distraction-free writing found in iA Writer and the organized document library of Scrivener.
With Ulysses, you can bring your work with you wherever you go. It has an iOS app that you can use when you’re on the go.
It provides comprehensive tools such as Plain Text enhancement, attachments of keywords, PDFs, and more, automatically saves and backs up files, and has a light and dark mode feature.
Writer by WPS Office
Writer by WPS Office has a similar interface and feature to Microsoft Word. Therefore, shifting to it is not going to take time to learn the program. You also get a 1 GB storage drive for free, which is similar to Microsoft’s OneDrive.
Users can choose from various pre-installed templates, work with any file format, and compatible with files from Word, Adobe PDF, and more.
As I said at the start, the biggest factor you need to consider when choosing a writing app is your needs. Word is still the de facto standard, but Google Docs and Apple Pages are decent, free competitors. Look at what you want to do and pick the app that suits you best. Many also offer free trials, so don’t be afraid to download a few different ones before buying.