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Chapter 9. Word Processing > Getting Started

Getting Started

Defining exactly what a word processor is can be a tricky business. So many applications can perform a variety of tasks that it's difficult to draw boundaries. For example, the spelling-check and formatting options in many e-mail programs make them a viable option when you need to do some writing in a pinch.

For the purposes of this chapter, if a program has extensive tools for manipulating words, it's a word processor. The distinction lies in the program's being able to change what is written, rather than being able to change how it looks. If the program's main function deals with something else—such as sending e-mail or producing page layouts—it is not a word processor. So, by this logic, Microsoft Word, Nisus Writer, and AppleWorks qualify. Adobe Acrobat, QuarkXPress, and Adobe GoLive do not.


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