Back in the old days, pencils and paper were my programs of choice.

I first used computers in my job at the Australian Museum in Sydney. Back then, we used Corel’s WordPerfect as our program of choice, and I fell in love with, among other things, its wonderfully revealing Reveal Codes option. I still use that program on a daily basis, which partly explains my lack of interest in Microsoft Word.

Having said that, because many of my authors send me their manuscripts as Word documents, I am happy to edit in Word on their behalf. That is because of Track Changes mode, which is not only easy to use, but clearly shows every single edit I make. It also allows me to ask questions and make comments and suggestions about any of the content that perplexes me at the very point in the manuscript it perplexes me. Much better than the old days when I had to hand edit 300 pages using various coloured pens and strategically positioned Post-it notes. Yikes!

Most of my writing and other work is done in WordPerfect, and on those occasions when I need to use Word, I am still able to open those files in WordPerfect, work on them, and save them back to Word without anyone even noticing. Brilliant.

Do you use WordPerfect or Microsoft Word? Why and why not? And what is the thing you like best about your program of choice?