Advantages and Disadvantages of Word Processors

By Laura Latzko

Word processors such as Microsoft Word and WordPerfect are programs that make it possible for computer users to type up, save, edit and print documents. You can use word processors to create documents with a combination of text and graphics, although documents created in word processors are often not as sophisticated as those made with specialized programs. Word processors make it easy for you to create documents for contrasting purposes, including for work and school-related tasks.

Editing

When people used typewriters to type up their thoughts, they had to use whiteout to edit out mistakes. Word processing software makes it possible for you to go back and edit your work quickly and easily. After saving a word processor document, you can go back and make changes to words or whole sentences. If you misspell a word, you can go back and correct it easily. Many word processors have spelling and grammar check features that help you with the editing process. You are also able to move around sections of text with a word processor program.

Images

Word processors contain different backgrounds, borders and clip art that people can use to create different types of documents, such as flyers; reports; greeting, note or business cards; envelopes; stationary; brochures; invitations; resumes; tests and quizzes; calendars; newsletters; and time sheets. Although these programs usually don't contain as large of a collection of graphics as Photoshop or other graphic design programs, they are often easier to use. Word processors work for people that want to create basic documents with graphics. For individuals creating reports, word processors offer graphics in the forms of tables and charts. When computer users create tables and charts, they can put in numbers to make the charts or tables look a certain way and reflect information from their reports.

Templates

Computer users don't have to create documents from scratch because word processors feature templates that help them to form their documents. These templates often feature pre-loaded text and graphics to show people how to put together certain types of documents. They are able to delete text within the documents to customize the templates to their wants and needs. For individuals that don't have experience creating certain types of documents, such as flyers, templates help to guide them on what types of fonts, spacing and graphics to use.

Costs

Word processors such as Microsoft Word usually cost anywhere from $50 to hundreds of dollars, depending on whether they are a part of an office package, and they become outdated after a few years, according to How to Make a Website. The costs of word processing software often adds to the costs of computers, which are often between $900 to $3,000 as of the date of publication, depending on specials, computer brands and computer types, according to the University of Melbourne.

Adaptability

To be able to open documents created within word processing programs, you have to have the same or compatible software version. If you work on other computers with older versions of word processors, you can't get into documents created in the newer version, which could be a problem if you need to access a document for an important presentation or project.

Accessibility

You need to have knowledge of how to access different features, such as bullets, fonts, color schemes or toolbars to use word processors. To know what the different features are and to have a sense of how to use them, most individuals need to have some type of training in using computers as well as word processing software. Even people who have worked with a certain word processing program for years may have a difficult time adapting to a new version of that program because it is set up differently.