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General Features Of Word Processors


Some of the features that are basic to all word processors and word processing operations with particular reference to windows environment.

Getting Started
starting your word processor (e.g Microsoft word), as with any Microsoft windows application, is simple and straightforward. you can start you word processor by clicking on its icon. The small picture that represents the word processor on the screen or by using the start button on the task bar. if word is set up as a program icon, then double click on it. when you use the start button, then click only once on the button. This display a menu. click on the program. Doing this display another menu containing your word processor that runs on windows. For word processors running on DOS, you type the necessary commands at the DOS commands prompt. Because most applications now run on windows. When you start the word processor, it is loaded onto RAM and the word processor screen is displayed, with a blank space to type into. As with all windows programs, you have a menu bar at the top of the screen with which you can access every function the software offers. Down the side and across the bottom of the screen, you have the scroll bars that let you move around all the pages of the document. Below the menu bar is at least one, or probably two Toolbar. They contain all the important functions or features that you will use for saving, printing, editing, formatting e.t.c.. They are all shown as buttons (pictures), which you can click on with the mouse. The meaning of the pictures or buttons of the toolbar may not be obvious but some have pictures that conveys what they actually do. somewhere on the screen, either in one of the tool bars or in the button bar, will be display of the type and size of the font being used. it also display the line numbers, column, section, and pages that you are working on e.t.c.

Creating A Document

This involves typing into the computer the text (characters) that forms your document. you may wish to set the preset or default settings or format of the output document. This default format is usually 8.5 by 11 inches (American A4 size). while the left, right,top and bottom margins are set at i inch, tabs are set every half interval and line spacing is set at 6 lines per inch. if it is an existing document you want to continue working with, you can click on the open icon or go to the file menu bar and click it and then choose or select the open command. Alternatively, you can use windows to find the document. Creating a new document simply involves typing in the text, which is a simple task. just key-in the words and you see them appear on the screen. A common features of word processors is word wrap. Word wrap is a feature that enables the computer to automatically wrap words to the next line, when they extend past the right margin. That is any word that is type past the right margin is automatically moved down to the next line. with the typewriter, you have to pull the carriage control key ( equivalent of the computer's ENTER key) to end a line and start a new one. pressing the ENTER key does the same thing in computer word processing. However the word wrap eliminates pressing the ENTER key each time to get a new line. The ENTER key is pressed only when a new paragraph is to be started or when blank lines are to be inserted. The TAB key is pressed at the beginning of each paragraph to indent (push in) the first line of the paragraph.

Editing A Document

Editing a document means revising or making corrections in the document. word processing permits full-screen editing. That is, the cursor can be moved to any position in the document to insert or type-over text. Text is entered in either type-over or inset mode. on most word processing systems you switch(toggle0 between type-over and insert modes by pressing the INS (insert) key on the top right hand of your keyboard. you can browse through your document, which may be of several pages (in multi screen display) by scrolling a line or a page (a screen full) at a time to carry out editing. The cursor can be moved to any part of the document on the screen to make the desired changes. when the cursor is in the typing area the mouse pointer appears like a vertical 'I' and turns to normal mouse arrow when it is in the tool bars or menus. If you want to insert an extra character or word in a sentence, use the mouse to go to the spot and a click of the mouse will put the cursor 'I' there. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard arrow keys to get the cursor to the required position. The newly inserted character or text pushes forward the old ones. Deleting characters requires pressing the Del(delete) key and this deletes all characters to the right of the cursor the number of times the key is pressed. The gap closes up instantly.

Block Operations B copy, cut, and paste

Before you can change a text-a word, sentence, or paragraph on screen, you must tell the computer (word processor) what it is you want to change by selecting, or highlighting it. For example, you want to get rid of a sentence, you select it or mark it by using the mouse to positions the cursor by the first letter of the sentence, and then drag the mouse across the sentence while holding down the mouse's left button. when this is done, the text appears white on a black background. That is, the text is shaded black i.e highlighted. To get rid of the sentence, just go to the cut in the Edit menu or click icon for cut operation and the sentence disappears. This is a block-delete operation. you can restore your sentence if you just realized that the sentence is okay after all. To do this, go to the Undo in the Edit menu and the sentence will appear.

Once you have selected a piece of text, you can use Copy to put copy of it into the PC's clipboard. This text can then be paste anywhere in your document by moving the cursor to wherever you want the text to be and then selecting Paste. These commands are the electronic equivalent of a cut and paste job that the graphic artist does in designing materials to be printed or published. Cut simply lifts the selected text so you can put it somewhere else and rearrange your document. if you have several documents open at a time you can copy, cut, and paste text between documents as well as within a single document.

Search And Replace

The word processor can search out words in your document using the search (find command. A search or find command allows you to locate any character, word or phrase in your document. when a search is performed, the insertion point moves to the first place the word appears. if you want, the document will be searched for all other occurrences of the word. The Replace command automatically replaces the word you search for with any other word required. For example, you could search for the word victor and replace it the word Vincent for as many times as it occurred. The search (find) feature allows you to search an entire document and identify all occurrences of a specified character string-word or phrase. The search and replace commands are useful for finding and correcting errors.

Formatting a Document

specifying the appearance of a document when printed is what is known as formatting. Formatting is used to enhance the appearance and readability of our document. The word processor can show you your work in several ways. The normal view gives an idea of page layout. sometimes we may want to insert graphics (pictures) and multiple columns. for this we will use layout view, which shows an image of the page, as it will be when printed. As staed earlier, word processors have built-in or default format but one can also change the format for this document. The margins can be reset from the default setting 1 inch likewise other settings. Margins are the blank spaces around the edges of the page. To reset the margins, go to the setup sub-menu of the file main menu and choose how far in from the sides, top and bottom edges of the pages you want your text. once the margins are set, the word processor wil keep the space clear on all pages.

Aligning the Text- most document run in one column and have their paragraph aligned to the left i.e the first letter of each line starts on the edge of the margin. left align leaves the document with a ragged (uneven0 looks at the right of the paragraph. This may be okay for letter writing and few other document, but not for newsletters and magazines. Newsletters and magazines always run texts into several columns. you can achieve this with little effort. when you choose multiple columns, the word processor takes over laying out your text. if you choose two columns, the word processor fills the first column first. when the left column is full, it starts putting the text in the right column until the page is filled up. but remember you only see the effect of your multiple-column layout when you go to pages layout view.

Spacing, Page break, and Field

if the page is cramped or congested, your word processor can allow more space between the lines or words. you can set spacing between lines and the spacing after each paragraph. Each line will expand across the page. When a page is full, the word processor moves to the next page sometimes you might want to choose where to start the next page may be at the end of a paragraph. you can do this by inserting a page break(in insert menu), which tells the word processor to move on to the next page. The word processor also has commands for header and footer labels to be printed on each page, and to request that page be numbered(pagination feature) automatically. Headers and footers are special areas that fit at the top or bottom of the page that can be used to repeat the document, section, or chapter title on every page.

Spelling Checker

The word processor can check your document for a wrongly spelled word by running the text through a spelling checker program. This program, which is part of the word processor, identifies incorrectly spelt words and suggest correct spelling from which you choose. it compares every word in your document against a large electronic dictionary of thousands of English words. This dictionary is also part of the word processor. if it finds any word in your document that does not have a match in its dictionary, it will highlight it as incorrectly spelt.


one of the very important features of a word processing package is the ability to store or save a document for future references. The stored version of a document is known as a text file. saving word processing file is the same as saving any other windows file. You click save in the file menu or click the icon representing save operations.


The last part of a word processing job is to print out your document. The quality of your printed work depends ultimately on the quality of your printer. If you use a dot-matrix printer, the results will be just satisfactory, an ink-jet printer will enhance the output, while a laser printer will give the best quality output. To get your document printed, all you have to do is get the printer ready by turning it on, then click the icon that represents the print operation on the windows screen or click the print in the file main menu.


Bright on February 19, 2019:

a good information

Anuoluwapo A on November 05, 2015:

Nice and gud education never stop everyday it grows

usman m dodo on October 06, 2014:

so educating and as well interesting information

ani on September 15, 2012:

good collection of information

rekyme on June 17, 2012:

very good and useful

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