Hearing the clackety-clack of a rickety old typewriter may inspire images of a hard-at-work writer pouring out the next best seller. While some authors swear to stick to their outdated machines, others have discovered the benefits of going electronic. An updated version of the typewriter is a word-processing program on the computer, such as Microsoft Word. Word allows writers to continue to harness their writing abilities, but improves the process.
Sorry, Davy Jones
Even people who have never heard of Davy Jones or the Monkees may be familiar with the long-standing tale of how the musician's mother invented White Out, the correction fluid typists use to erase their mistakes. While the product certainly helped neaten documents, its sticky, clumpy mess was certainly not ideal for a polished look. Although it is impossible to completely erase a mistake on a typewriter (even ones with built-in eraser fluid often leave punched-in letters or remnants), performing the task in Microsoft Word takes just seconds. Word offers a number of ways to erase mistakes, from its "Delete" key to the "Backspace" key and space bar. When typing a Microsoft Word document, the final product looks as if it is a polished piece, even if it's your second---or sixtieth---try.
As their namesakes claim, typewriters are a way to type. This type is limited to the constraints of a keyboard, reducing the writer to just letters, numbers and symbols. While designs may be made out of repeatedly typing zeros and asterisks, it's a far cry from Word's ability to include graphics in its documents. With Word, you can add images, such as photographs, to illustrate the writing, charts to show off facts and figures or small sketches and drawings to break up a big block of text. Word allows for quick adding of photos and other images through its "Insert" tab, something the typewriter lacks.
If a typewriter was a cafe menu, it would be pretty short. You have basically no choices; your document would look like the format of the keys configured in the machine. On the other hand, Microsoft Word is a virtual buffet of options for formatting. Change the way the type looks through fonts, colours and font size. Add background colours (only possible by changing the sheet of paper in a typewriter) and a border with a couple of mouse clicks. Reposition the text on the screen without having to start over, such as right-justifying a previously left-justified paragraph.