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Encyclopedia > Word processing

Word processing is the ability to create documents using a word processor. It can also refer to advanced shorthand techniques, sometimes used in specialized contexts with a specially modified typewriter. A word processor (also more formally known as a document preparation system) is a computer application used for the production (including composition, editing, formatting, and possibly printing) of any sort of viewable or printed material. ... Mechanical desktop typewriters, such as this Underwood Five, were long time standards of government agencies, newsrooms, and sales offices. ...

History of word processing

Word processing developed as specialised programs on mainframe computers during the 1970s as online computing with the use of personal terminal devices having keyboards and display screens became more common. These programs evolved from text based editors used by programmers and computer professionals. Microprocessors and, in the late 1970s, the ability to place intelligent devices on the desks of workers at reasonable cost including cheaper and smaller printers, led to the introduction of machines dedicated to "word processing". These were primarily aimed at typists, particularly those in centralised typing pools where other workers sent handwritten notes or dictaphone tapes to be transcribed into documents that could be printed and returned for reviewing. Considerable time saving economies were achieved by word processing operators. This resulted from: A data entry clerk is a member of staff who reads hand-written or printed records and types them into a computer. ... Dictaphone was an American company, a producer of dictation machines —sound recording devices most commonly used to record speech for later playback or to be typed into print. ...

  • the faster typing speeds achieved by as a result of electronic keyboards
  • the assistance of the word processing software for functions like layout and spell checking.

Commercial evolution

This evolution from typing using mechanical devices, to electronic word processing systems, to do-it-yourself PC based packages provided commercial opportunities as well as pitfalls. Companies rose, grew strong, and then declined and even disappeared as a result of the fast changes that occurred. Perhaps the best example of a company that became very successful due to specialised word processing systems was Wang Computers. Wang collapsed when it lost its revenue from word processing systems and was not able to substitute newer forms of computing quickly enough. Olivetti is another company that struggled to migrate from mechanical typewriter devices to word processing systems and then to PC computing. Wang logo circa 1976. ... Olivetti Lettera 22, 1950 Ing. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
What is word processing? - A Word Definition From the Webopedia Computer Dictionary (882 words)
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.
Word processors also make it easy to move sections of text from one place to another within a document, or between documents.
You can also direct the word processor to replace one group of characters with another everywhere that the first group appears.
Word processing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (634 words)
Word processing, in its now-usual meaning, is the use of a word processor to create documents using computers.
In this sense of the term, the processing may or may not be being done on a computer terminal, but on a modified typewriter.
Word processing (in the usual meaning) developed as specialised application programs on mainframe computers during the 1970's as "online computing" (with the use of personal terminal devices having keyboards and display screens) became more common.
  More results at FactBites »



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