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Formatting a Document
Before you print your document, you can choose how you want it to look on paper. This is called formatting. Some word-processing programs ask you to do this before you start writing. Others wait until you are ready to print your document and then give you a list of choices. The instructions that you use to tell the computer how to print your document are called formatting commands. What are some of the choices that you have for formatting text? Most word-processing programs allow you to adjust the line spacing on your document. That means that you can select the amount of empty space between printed lines. You can print your document using either single-spaced or double spaced text. Single-spaced text looks like the type that you are reading now. Double-spaced text looks like the type that you are reading now. Some programs allow you to print your document using triplespaced text as well. You can also choose how much of a margin you want between your writing and the edges of the paper. Some word-processing programs have a formatting command that prints justified lines. Justified lines form straight margins on both sides of this paper. For example, the text in this book is justified, but the text in this paragraph is not justified.
Printing a Document
Your word processor and printer work together to carry out formatting commands. Some printers are capable of performing more formatting functions then others. For example, your word-processing program may allow you to print italic type, but if your printer can’t produce italic type, the command is useless. The reverse is also true. A printer can’t produce italic type if it’s hooked up to wordprocessing program that won’t allow it. There are many different kinds of printers. The two most common types for word processing are dot-matrix printer and letterquality printers. A dot-matrix printer forms characters.
What Equipment Is Required?
To run word-processing software, you must, of course, have a computer. If the computer does not come with a display screen, you will need a separate screen. Most word-processing software comes on disks, so a disk drive is required. It’s also good to have a couple of blank disks, in case you want to save something that you have written. And if you want to put what you’ve written on paper, you’ll need a printer.
How does Word-Processing Software Work?
Word-processing software works like any other computer program – you simply load the program into your computer. Then you type on the computer keyboard just as you would type on a typewriter. As you type, the words appear on the screen. The words that you type are also stored in the computer’s memory, so you can save your writing on a disk and work on it later, just as you can save a computer program on a disk and run or change it later. If you have a printer, you can print your writing on paper in much the same way that you print the output from the computer on paper. In fact, you can print as many copies of your work as you like without having to retype it.
How to Use a Word-Processing Program
You’re probably thinking, “Word-processing software sounds great, but how do I use it?” There are many answers to that question, because there are many different word-processing programs available. How you operate a program depends on which program you are using. Before you use a word-processing program, you should read the documentation carefully in order to determine exactly what that particular program does and exactly what you have to do to run it. Let’s talk about word processors in general, though. Most word-processing programs perform the same basic functions.
Special Word-Processing Features
Most word-processing programs allow you to create, edit, format, print, and save documents. Some of them also allow you to perform more complex functions. The following is an example of the sophisticated features that some programs have.
Some word-processing programs come with a spelling checker. A spelling checker works with a word-processing program to find misspelled words in your document. It does this by matching each word in your document with a list of words that have been programmed into its memory. This list is usually called a dictionary, but the name is misleading. Spelling checkers have no way of knowing what a word means. Their “dictionaries” are simply lists of properly spelled words. When a spelling checker finds a word that does not match any of the words in its dictionary, it displays that word. Then you decide whether to change it or, if it is spelled correctly, add it to the spelling checker’s dictionary. This is often necessary, since the dictionary does not contain every word you will want to use. Unusual words, technical terms, and proper names will usually need to be added to the dictionary. While a spelling checker can help you with your writing, it is not a substitute for good language skills. Because it only matches combinations of letters, a spelling checker cannot determine whether you are using words correctly. For example if you use too in a sentence that requires two, a spelling checker will not detect the error because too is spelled correctly. If you are typing the sentence “I wish I were at the beach” and you make a mistake and type “I fish I were at the beach,” the spelling checker will not detect the error, since fish is properly spelled.