Using a computer to create, edit, and print documents. Of all computer applications, word processing is the most common. To perform word processing, you need a computer, a special program called a word processor, and a printer. A word processor enables you to create a document, store it electronically on a disk, display it on a screen, modify it by entering commands and characters from the keyboard, and print it on a printer.
The great advantage of word processing over using a typewriter is that you can make changes without retyping the entire document. If you make a typing mistake, you simply back up the cursor and correct your mistake. If you want to delete a paragraph, you simply remove it, without leaving a trace. It is equally easy to insert a word, sentence, or paragraph in the middle of a document. Word processors also make it easy to move sections of text from one place to another within a document, or between documents. When you have made all the changes you want, you can send the file to a printer to get a hardcopy.
Word processors vary considerably, but all word processors support the following basic features:
Word processors that support only these features (and maybe a few others) are called text editors. Most word processors, however, support additional features that enable you to manipulate and format documents in more sophisticated ways. These more advanced word processors are sometimes called full-featured word processors. Full-featured word processors usually support the following features:
The line dividing word processors from desktop publishing systems is constantly shifting. In general, though, desktop publishing applications support finer control over layout, and more support for full-color documents.
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PC World Online Word Processing tips page
This article, from September 1996, presents links to 101 word processing tips for Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, WordPro, and tips for all word processors.