Word Processing is the creation, formatting and editing of text (words) using an application developed for that purpose. Word Processors are also commonly able to add both bitmap and line graphics into their documents as well as Tables and Charts. Powerful word processors can also add interactive content into their documents such as forms and buttons which can call up specific actions when clicked.
There are Several FLOSS Alternatives to to propriety word processing software, many come as components of a full office productivity suite such as OpenOffice.org and KOffice. which include OpenOffice.org Writer and KWord respectively. There are also some great standalone word processing applications including AbiWord.