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Word Processing: Word Processing is the use of computers to prepare documents.
A word processor generally refers to a WYSIWYG ("What You See Is What You Get") system where the formatting takes place while you enter your text; no further processing is needed prior to sending your work to a printer. Word and WordPerfect and other similar personal computer packages are examples of word processors.
First Word Processor?
The first mechanical word processor
The concept of a typewriter dates back at least to 1714, when Englishman Henry Mill filed a vaguely-worded patent for "an artificial machine or method for the impressing or transcribing of letters singly or progressively one after another.“
Numerous inventors in Europe and the U.S. worked on typewriters in the 19th century, but successful commercial production began only with the "writing ball" of Danish pastor Malling Hansen (1870). This well-engineered device looked rather like a pincushion.
Why the QWERTY?
...the Universal User Interface....
The name "QWERTY" for our typewriter keyboard comes from the first six letters in the top alphabet row (the one just below the numbers). It is also called the "Universal" keyboard for rather obvious reasons. It was the work of inventor C. L. Sholes, who put together the prototypes of the first commercial typewriter in a Milwaukee machine shop back in the 1860's.
The keyboard arrangement was considered important enough to be included on Sholes' patent granted in 1878 (see drawing), some years after the machine was into production.
The IBM Selectric
But when were they called word processors? See the original Wikipedia article on Word Processor!
Term coined by IBM
The term word processing was invented by IBM in the late 1960s. By 1971 it was recognized by the New York Times as a "buzz word". A 1971 Times article referred to "the brave new world of Word Processing or W/P. That's International Business Machines talk... I.B.M. introduced W/P about five years ago for its Magnetic Selectric typewriter and other electronic razzle-dazzle.“
History of Word Processors
Then there was the Wang
Beloved of Wangers!
The machine still looked like a computer, that’s for sure. But who cared? It was silent. It magically knew when to start a new line – no mental arithmetic and wrenching of a lever to tell the paper to move up. It didn’t matter how many mistakes you made – you simply typed over them. Tippex became redundant. If Mr Harris wanted to make multiple changes to a 60-page document, it was a simple operation, no need to retype the whole thing. There were keys that instantly found the word you were looking for; went to a particular page number, replaced multiple instances of words.
On being a Wanger
an early PC Word Processor: No Mouse!
A Very Popular DOS Word Processor The all-time favorite version of WordPerfect was probably version 5.1, which was released in 1989.
#9 WordPerfect 5.1 by Ernest Schaal in Stuff Lawyers Like
Microsoft Word: from DOS to Windows
The evolution of Word 2002-2010 Word XP Word 2003 Word 2007 Word 2010
More on the evolution of Word and the changes in Word 2007 The Why of the New UI (Part 1) Ye Olde Museum Of Office Past (Why the UI, Part 2) See MSDN Blogs > Jensen Harris: An Office User Interface Blog
New features in Word 2007
The Microsoft Office Button
The Quick Access ToolbarCustomizable
Microsoft Word Training: Lesson 1: Getting Familiar with Microsoft Word 2007 for Windows
New features in Word 2010
In most of the Microsoft Office 2010 programs the Office Button (which was only introduced in Office 2007), has been replaced with a File menu. This is not the same as the File menu in Office 2003. This new File Menu leads in to the Microsoft Office Backstage™ view which not only shows the popular functions of Open, Save, Save As, Print etc… but also the recently view files section has been enhanced to include a recent locations too.
Read more at Suite101: Microsoft Word 2010http://www.suite101.com/content/the-new-functions-of-microsoft-word-2010-a261963#ixzz0zFgrSb9g
Changes in File Extensions
From .doc to .docx
The standard file extension for Microsoft Word 2003 is .doc. When Microsoft launched Office 2007, users found that documents produced in Word would by default save with a new extension known as .docx. Documents can still be saved in the previous version format of .doc by clicking “Word 97-2003 Document” from the Save As menu. Whilst the change did not pose considerable harm to documents, if users were sending their work electronically, they had to anticipate whether the recipient was able to open it in the new format. Read more at Suite101: PC File Extensions Explained: Keeping up to Speed with the Different Document Saving Formatshttp://www.suite101.com/content/pc-file-extensions-explained-a214044#ixzz0zFjh3Zs3
A free alternative to Word Open Office
Word processing in the clouds
What Is 'Cloud Computing'?
"Cloud Computing" is a somewhat nebulous word to describe users "renting" or borrowing online software instead of actually purchasing and installing it on their own computers.
All of the processing work and file saving will be done "in the cloud" of the Internet, and the users will plug into that cloud every day to do their computer work.
See also “Software via the Internet: Microsoft in ‘Cloud’ Computing”
The Google “Cloud” Google docshttp://docs.google.com
The Microsoft version Skydrive on Windows Live