With its solid collection of templates, useful formatting and design tools, and powerful collaboration capabilities, Microsoft Word 2016 for Windows is what every other word-processing program is measured against.
Comes as part of Office 365: Microsoft Word is the word processing piece of the Office suite of productivity tools. With the $69.99 a year Office 365 Personal edition, you also get Excel, the industrial-strength spreadsheet; PowerPoint, business's slideshow tool of choice; OneNote, a cross-platform note-taking app; Outlook, a high-powered email service; OneDrive, Microsoft's cloud storage service; and Skype, for voice and video calls.
For $99 a year, you can subscribe to the Office 365 Home edition, which includes the same collection of apps that you can share with four other users beside yourself.
If you'd rather not get an Office subscription but just buy once, for $149.99, you can buy the Office Home and Student 2016 for PC edition, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
Or buy separately: You can get the most recent version of the Microsoft's word processor -- Word 21016 -- separately for $129.99. The standalone version includes bug fixes and other improvements but doesn't include an upgrade to the next major edition of software. The standalone version also doesn't include OneDrive services and Skype.
Rich collection of formatting and editing tools: Through Word's ribbon, You can change fonts; adjust font size; change font color; and apply bold, italics, underlining, and strikethrough. You can apply predesigned styles, including for headings; bullet and numbers lists; and create footers and headers. You or course can incent text but you can also adjust line spacing and set text alignment. You also have control over formatting and can customize how character and paragraph formatting look in your document.
Word also include collaborating editing tools that lets you track changes to documents make by colleagues, accept or reject each edit, and make comments in documents.
Template, template, templates: Word comes with a broad collection of templates for adding a polished, professional look to your documents. You can pick from a range of report styles, brochures, cover letters, resumes, student reports, calendars, reviews, fliers, newsletters, and training materials.
Living in the cloud: If you subscribe to the Office 365 suite, you can take advantage of Microsoft's OneDrive service to store, edit, and automatically update your Word documents from a browser and any Mac, PC, and mobile device that's part of your plan.
Real-time collaboration: You can share a Word document either from your Windows PC or through Office Online, and then collaborate in real time with colleagues with Word online via OneDrive. Comments are threaded, so you can carry on a conversation in a file.
Also mobile, MacOS, and web versions: In addition to the PC edition, Microsoft has Word apps on the Mac, Android, iPhone, and on the web via a browser.
A bit pricey: If you need a powerful and deep word-processing software, you aren't going to do much better than Word. But if you're doing basic text writing and editing, Word's price may seem a bit steep and you should consider another tool, such as Google Docs.
Available either as part of Microsoft Office 365 Windows or as the standalone Word 2016, Microsoft's word-processing software -- with its collaborations tools, broad collection of templates, and rich editing and formatting tools -- is the 800-pound gorilla of word processors.