I've always used MS Word for my word processing needs but if you don't have Office installed, then it's not exactly a cheap option.
AbiWord can read and write all standard industry docs ranging from open source efforts such as those created in OpenOffice to those created in professional apps such as Microsoft Word. This is the portable version which means you can put it on a USB stick and take it pretty much anywhere. It also features support for WordPerfect documents, Rich Text Format documents, HTML web pages etc. Although the editing options can't compare with Word, I do like the fact that this is a very light word processor that doesn't take up much more processing power than even MS Text. This makes it especially suitable for those working on slower machines who haven't got a decent word processor installed. What's also nice is that AbiWord is fully customisable with several different plugins to extend its capabilities. These can vary from format converters, document importers and thesauruses to image importers and a text format managers.
This may be basic but it's generally a very impressive word processing app that has everything you need to edit simple documents.
- Preserve character properties when typing. This fixes a bad regression that was introduced in 2.8.5