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.

Del.icio.us Digg Technorati Blinklist Furl reddit Design Float