tools What tool do you use most of the time?

Our community shares what is their favorite word processor or other writing tool.

We have a variety of tools we can use, allowing us to leverage the right tool for the job. But we always have our favorites. Our community shares what is their favorite word processor or other writing tool.

Seth Kenlon writes:

Broadly, I use Bash (the Linux shell) a lot when writing. Bash makes it easy for me to test things using its simple scripting language and interactive prompt, and it's how I automate a lot of the text parsing I need to do before sending an article to its final destination.

I write in a markup language called Asciidoc, which enables me to convert my documentation into nearly any format (.odt, .docx, .pdf, epub, .md, .html, and so on) depending on who's next in the pipeline. For my personal blog posts, I convert to Markdown for my blog's CMS, but at work I convert to .odt, and so on. Bash doesn't do the conversion directly, but it's thanks to Bash that I can string a bunch of processes together so all I have to do is type one command in and I end up with exactly what I need.

Ben Cotton says:

These days, a lot of my writing happens in WordPress. But I still use ViM or Kate when I need to write in Markdown, AsciiDoc, etc.

Robin Bland writes:

I use a word processor for a lot of my "everyday" writing. If it's just a quick "how-to" about how to do something, and only needs simple formatting, I'll probably just write it in Word.

Jim Hall says:

I'm kind of all over the board. If I am collaborating with someone else on a writing project, I'll use Google Docs because it's a great way to have more than one person working on a document - no emailing documents back and forth.

But if it's a longer document like a workbook that I use for my consulting, I prefer LibreOffice. I can define styles for everything: chapter titles, section headings, paragraphs, code samples, inline code - I even use inline styles for bold and italics. (I'll usually make them a separate color so they stand out, then change it back to black before I publish it.)

And if it's something I am doing just for fun, I actually like to use groff. I first used nroff while I was an undergrad student and started to explore the Unix computer lab on campus. When I installed Linux at home in 1993, Linux didn't have a word processor - so I used groff. And I have a fondness for writing in groff (-me macros) that continues to this day.