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Word processing and desktop publishing


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Word processing applications allow users to type and edit text.

Desktop publishing (DTP) applications allow users to create page layouts using text and pictures.

Word processing

Most people are familiar with word processing packages such as Microsoft Word or Writer (part of the Open Office suite).

Standard features

All word processing applications [application: applications serve a specific purpose, eg Microsoft Word is used for word processing ] allow you to:

  • enter and edit text
  • save
  • print
  • cut/copy/paste
  • check your spelling

Cut, copy, and paste

Cut and copy work in a similar way. Highlighting a piece of text, right-clicking and selecting copy/cut will store the text in memory [memory: used to store data ]. The difference is copy leaves the highlighted text behind where as cut removes it. To insert the copied/cut text into a different area of the document, a different document, or an entirely different application altogether, right-click and select paste.

The use of cut, copy, and paste is not necessarily limited to text.

Text formatting

Formatting text makes a document easier to read. You can:

  • change font [font: style applied to text, eg Times New Roman, Arial, Verdana are all types of font ] type and size
  • change the alignment of text (left, centre, right or justified)
  • bold text
  • underline text
  • italicise text
  • create bulleted or numbered lists

Other features

Other features that may be expected include find and replace, which replaces one word with another, and the ability to import [import: A good or service which enters a country. ] graphics [graphics: visuals intended to brand, inform, illustrate or entertain, eg photographs, drawings, maps, diagrams etc. ], eg from a clip art [clip art: clip art is a library of images, photos and sounds provided by Microsoft as part of its office suite ] library. Headers and footers and page numbering are also very useful.


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