Fundamentally, word processors are a way to manipulate text on your computer, allowing you to compose letters, papers, and reports. Word processors are becoming increasingly powerful, though, and many contain simplified spreadsheet functions as well as the ability to manipulate graphics and pictures and paste them into your documents. Word processors also offer many of the same features that used to be limited to desktop- publishing software, allowing you to create colorful fliers, newsletters, banners, and greeting cards. Besides these extra features, the basic tools that any competent word processor should have are the ability to cut and paste text, a spelling and grammar checker, and the use of a WYSIWYG interface. Short for 'What You See Is What You Get,' WYSIWYG means that the document as it appears on the screen is how the document will look when it's printed. This feature allows you to format your document the same way it will look on paper. One drawback of using proprietary word processors like is that documents can be saved using different, and often incompatible, file extensions. While programs exist that can convert these different file types, you should be aware that a particular word processor may not recognize documents composed in a different word processor. For more information, talk to a computer software professional.
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