Pronounced WIZ-zee-wig. Short for what you see is what you get. A WYSIWYG application is one that enables you to see on the display screen exactly what will appear when the document is printed. This differs, for example, from word processors that are incapable of displaying different fonts and graphics on the display screen even though the formatting codes have been inserted into the file. WYSIWYG is especially popular for desktop publishing.
Note that the WYSIWYGness of an application is relative. Originally, WYSIWYG referred to any word processor that could accurately show line breaks on the display screen. Later WYSIWYGs had to be able to show different font sizes, even if the screen display was limited to one typeface. Now, a word processor must be able to display graphics and many different typefaces to be considered WYSIWYG.
Still, some WYSIWYG applications are more WYSIWYG than others. For example, many desktop publishing systems print text using outline fonts (PostScript fonts, for example). Many of these systems, however, use corresponding bit-mapped fonts to display documents on a monitor. What you see on the display screen, therefore, is not exactly what you see when you print out the document. In addition, standard laser printers have a resolution of at least 300 dpi, whereas even the best graphics monitorshave resolutions of only 100 dpi. Graphics and text, therefore, always look sharper when printed than they do on the display screen. And colors often appear differently on a monitor than they do when printed out.
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
From keyword analysis to backlinks and Google search engine algorithm updates, our search engine optimization glossary lists 85 SEO terms you need... Read More »Slideshow: History of Microsoft Operating Systems
Microsoft Windows is a family of operating systems for personal computers. In this article we look at the history of Microsoft operating... Read More »Slideshow: Interesting Facts About Google Search
From Goats to Penguins, a server outage and trillions of searches, our slideshow presents interesting facts about Google and the Google.com... Read More »
Java is a high-level programming language. This guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of syntax, variables, data types and... Read More »Java Basics, Part 2
This second Study Guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of operators, modifiers and control Structures. Read More »The 7 Layers of the OSI Model
The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »