I just completed the first chapter draft (I started with Chapter 3) of my dissertation, now only two more to go! I started writing my draft in Microsoft Word — the universal default for word processing, but have indefinitely put my relationship with Word on pause to start a love affair with iWork Pages.
Pages is much more amiable when it comes to inserting images and formatting. What takes me twenty minutes to lay out in Word, takes only about seconds in Pages.
Since I am using dozens of photographs in my dissertation, having software that operates not just as a word processor, but also, as an image processor is of extreme importance.
Although InDesign is probably the best program for image-based design — after all, it is the industry standard, Pages is perfect for novices who would like to incorporate more design into their writing.
Although Pages still has its faults (not everything is as intuitive as it should be), I think I have a much healthier relationship with my dissertation.