For some it's a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor. For others it's a way to storyboard their work, which means a way to organise their notes and cards on character and world development.
Still for others, it's tools that help them to plan and manage scenes for the stage or the silver screen.
And some like to work simply with the basics, a full screen editor, that allows them to focus only on writing, but with the ability to organise it by Chapters.
A Spell checker is always a good thing, as long as you don't use the auto-correct feature... many an un-intented consequence has resulted from such usage. The same can be said true of Grammar checking tools.
Still for others there are tools for checking repetitive word usage.
... and the list goes on.
Depending upon the platform (PC, Apple, Linux, Unix, Stone Tablet & Chisel... or a tablet of paper and a pencil) the writer prefers to work with, there are different tools to meet those needs.
We use a variety of tools to meet those needs, and being primarily a Mac (Apple) users, our tools reflect both our platform of choice and our individual tastes in how we work.
I use CopyWrite for basic story organisation and 'writing,' and Scrivener for organisation and development. My partner also uses StoryMill.
There is Microsoft Word, but we also employ the open-source equivalents; OpenOffice, and it's Mac-specific counterpart, NeoOffice.
... and the list of tools, like the needs of the writer, goes on.
Speaking of which...
Here's a remarkable list of Applications for Writers.
If you're a Windows user, don't fret. There's a list near the end of the page of applications for you too.
Paul Mitton, over at Dark & Secret Writes, has a review of Windows Tools for Writers
... And for the Linux fans amongst us, a collection of " Linux Tools for Writing.
If you find Scrivener interesting and you're a Linux user, the Scrivener-like WWMKR might be of particular interest to you.
We invite you to tell us about the tools you use to help you succeed in this, our chosen craft.
And as always, should you have questions, our expert consultants will be happy to advise you.