Here’s the thing, most people think they need to install a “Word Processor” on their Mac. They go out and purchase Microsoft Word (part of the Office suite) or Apple’s Pages (part of the iWork suite) in order to remedy the assumption that the Mac does not ship with a word processor. I would argue that, for most intents and purposes, it does. It’s called TextEdit. It has shipped with every version of Mac OS X since version 10.0. The current iteration includes most of the features that people might use a traditional word processor for. In fact, it is so chock full of features not found in a normal “text editor” that I would argue that it qualifies as a full fledged word processor. Let’s run down just some of those:

  • The ability to create lists and outlines with advanced controls for numbers and bullets including support for the ious outlining styles (Hard, Legal, etc.).

  • The ability to create tables.

  • Advanced spell checking.

  • Advanced text formatting including spacing, text alignment, and kerning.

  • Embedded hyperlinks.

  • Include images,  photos, music, or movie files.

  • Open and save in Microsoft Word document format including the recent “docx” format.

There are even those who have extended it’s functionality by creating small utilities that extend it’s functionality. For instance, NanoCount provides word and character count for TextEdit. With all of this, do you really need what we typically think of as a full fledged word processor?