Word processing

Updated: 05/06/2024 by Computer Hope

Word processing describes creating or editing a document using a word processor, such as Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or OpenOffice Writer. For example, a student could create a book report in one of these applications. Then, the student could print, save, e-mail, or display their book report on the screen for others to view. Also, a person looking for a job could create a résumé using a word processor, then send it to potential employers.

Fun fact

Word processing was featured as a top term of 1992.

How to open a word processing file

The way you open a word-processing file depends on the software used to create the file and its file format. Thankfully, most current word processors can open most of the others' file types. Essentially, as long as you have a modern word processor, you can open most files. For example, a file called "example.doc" was likely created in Microsoft Word, but can be opened in both OpenOffice and Google Docs.

When was word processing invented?

Today's concept of word processing was introduced in 1964 by IBM with its Magnetic Tape Selectric Typewriter. This device pioneered using magnetic recording devices with typewriting. Referred to as "power typing," the feature of revising stored text improved office efficiency by allowing typists to type at "rough draft" speed without worrying about mistakes.

What was used before word processing?

Before computers, people utilized typewriters to write reports or other documents. While useful in their time, these devices were not nearly as capable as their modern counterparts. For example, in with a word processor, you can easily edit and make changes to a document, move text around, add images, change fonts, check for spelling errors, and more.

Document, Editing, Formatting, Processing, Productivity tools, Typography terms, Word, Word processor, Word processor terms