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Part 5: Appendices > Word Processing for the Technical Writer

Appendix B. Word Processing for the Technical Writer

The development of word processing has increased the ease of creating effective documents. While word processing is not a magic aid to better writing, the techniques and advantages of word processing will allow you these benefits:

Greater document control. Writing with a word processor allows you control over your documents from the planning stage to the editing stage. Remember creating outlines on legal sheets, handwriting first drafts, typing the drafts, revising the typed copy, and re-typing the final copy? Now the planning, drafting, and revision stages can be completed on a word processor in a fraction of the time consumed by handwriting and typing.

Increased fluency. Once you master the best word processing program for your needs, your fluency will increase dramatically. Initial drafts will proceed more quickly, and final products will be submitted more promptly because of the confidence that comes from ease of revision.

Ease of revision. Revision is a time-consuming process, often involving re-typing a document. With word processing, however, revision can be accomplished in moments, and a fresh document incorporating your changes can be printed in seconds.

Enhanced collaborative writing. Once group-written documents had to be typed, reproduced, critiqued, and re-typed; now word-processed documents can be revised by a group gathered in front of a terminal. Even the longest documents can be drafted and edited by all members of a group in record time.

Enhanced professional appearance. Setting type is an expensive and time-consuming process; yet documents requiring a professional appearance can now be produced on desktop publishing equipment to rival even the most sophisticated printing process.



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