WY(Think)IWYG

by Joe Gillespie — Sep 1, 2001

Since the mid '80s, most programs use a WYSIWYG screen display, a virtual paper page into which you type or insert images. Before that, word processing programs made no pretensions about being WYSIWYG simply because the printing devices were just electro-mechanical typewriters.

I know that some die-hard professional writers still prefer to use typewriters and there are others who do use computers but prefer a non-WYSIWYG writing environment.

In writing for the Web, the concept of What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get is not only unnecessary and pointless, but can actually be a hindrance. What-You-Think-Is-What-You-Get is a much more useful concept for writers.

For professional writers and authors, Microsoft Word has a not-so-obvious option in its preferences – Blue background, White text. At one time, most word processors that supported colour used this combination or something similar.

If you have never tried this, and it does seem a bit strange at first, give it a whirl. I find it much easier on the eyes than the glare of black on white and it also helps me concentrate on the words rather than their environment.

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