A program for preparing documents and letters, usually intended to be printed on paper. They let you choose fonts, sizes, colours, layouts. They usually store the information in some inscrutable propriety format.
In contrast a text processor just lets you create plain text without formatting other than tabs and line breaks. Word processors can be used to produced text documents in a pinch, but generally a text process will give better results.
As HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) editors get better and to avoid learning two tools, you can use an HTML editor to prepare formatted documents.
When DOS (Disk Operating System) was invented, among the first applications were word processors. WordStar, Microsoft Word and WordPerfect were the early pioneers. Today, the main word processors are LibreOffice, MS Word and WordPerfect. I use LibreOffice because it is free, the files are compact, it is bug free, the format of the files is publicly documented and not too crazy. It behaves much like the MS Word I was familiar with. Oracle OpenOffice (née StarOffice) is another MS clone, but I found it too buggy.
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