I'm not a writer, but I spend a lot of my time writing. As such, I use Word at one point or another during most working days. I know where to find the bits of the program that I need and my workflow is faster with Word than anything else because I've used it for so long. In terms of integrating with the rest of my organisation and the outside world it's peerless because everybody uses it. Off hand, I can think of one colleague that routinely sends me .rtf files. Literally everyone else I know uses .doc or .docx to save their documents.
At this point I'm not sure whether I use Word because it's the best option, or because switching involves too much pain in terms of learning a new piece of software or when exchanging documents with others. I do feel a little like Word has processed me. I've tried Scrivener, but I can't seem to get to grips with the way that it wants me to work. It's a great organisational tool, but its focus on aggregation, workflow and working with blocks of content doesn't seem to suit the way that I think. Having said that, this conclusion is based on a relatively brief audition and I'm likely to go back to Scrivener to try and work out what I'm missing as so many people seem to love it. Mellel appears to give me everything that Word does, but if I'm using it in just the same way as I use Word, why bother changing? Write 2 (which I'm auditioning as I write this) is nice and lightweight (therefore fast) and for general writing could be a good option. Unfortunately, it has a fundamental flaw for anyone thinking of using it for long-form pieces; it doesn't have a facility (that I can find) for footnotes and endnotes. That's fine if you reference using the Harvard system, but if you have to cope with more than one referencing system or house style, it's a significant problem. Pages is great for layout, but I find it frustrating as a primary writing tool, perhaps for no other good reason than I'm so used to Word. However, I am interested in the integration between locally installed copies of Pages and the web versions and that may be what wins me over in the end.
I realise that 'it's the player, not the instrument' or 'it's the photographer, not the camera' and that the choice of writing tool does not a writer make, but in this instance I'm interested in the perspectives of others. Which word processor do you use and why? Do you switch between tools for different types of wiring? I'd be grateful for thoughts or comments.