Word Processor

A program or machine that facilitates writing prose. -- WhiteHat

Typically its goal is to help the user create good-looking printed pages, as opposed to files.

Machine word processors are almost extinct. Brother makes them, and they are all that's left. -- BlackHat

As far as programs go, the four best word processors of all time were WordStar, WordPerfect, XyWrite, and Emacs (CategoryEmacs). -- RedHat

WordPerfect was always one of my favorite word processors. Not because it was a good word processor - I never liked it for that. Rather, because of the white text on a blue background. Often when aligning video monitors, you need to see a solid patch of a single color. I wouldn't type a grocery list with WordPerfect, but as a program to generate a blue video field, it works great. -- JohnPassaniti

Windows NT is good for producing a field of blue too. You might have to wait for 5 or ten minutes after booting to see it. :-)

I think the list of four above is open to rampant disagreement. -- sg

See also TextEditor.

Why on earth would I want to process words? I want to process documents. I want a tool that helps me organize and refactor documents, not make some bits of text different colours to others.

"Uncle Cosmo, why is it called a WordProcessor?" "It's simple, skyler, you've seen what FoodProcessor?s do to food, haven't you?"
I cut my teeth on WordStar in the 80's when nothing else was available to do the job. You could save a straight ASCII text file with just two keystrokes. And using a keyboard to drive all functions kept my hands ready to do business. I discredited the mouse and lauded WordStar for a long time.

I learned WordPerfect because I took a job in the late 80s teaching it at local vocational school. I would literally learn the night before what I needed to know the next day to teach it to the class. In the course of doing this, I learned to love WordPerfect. A few years later, I used version 5 in my job to write a minor book for governmental consumption. Actually, I used WordPerfect to crunch the text and show me where the changes were from other contributors. Then I'd ship it to the graphic artist using Pagemaker (I think) which could read native WordPerfect.

Lastly, I remember when my son was in High School in the late 90's learning programming. I went in to check up on him. He was typing nearly the same text over & over. Just on a whim, I had him put the cursor up at the beginning of the block and hit Control-KB. It took it. I had him mark the end of the block with the similar WordStar command. Then I showed him how to cut & paste the block where he wanted it. He felt I was a genius and to this day wonders how I could have known that about a programming tool he knew better than I did. :^)

I STILL have multiple copies of WordStar on 5 & 1/4" floppies in cabinets at home. What do I miss most? Column mode. I wish the inventors of vi & other tools could be made to understand the essential nature of column mode.

I'll refactor this later. I had to get it out for now though. -- TerryLeeMoore

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