Friday, October 05, 2012


Word Processing and Apple's Pages

Word processing software is a computer program which assist with writing. Before word processing programs people used to write out their thoughts on paper in longhand. If changes were to be made to the document the entire document would often have to be rewritten over again and the original pages discarded. Word processing takes place on a computer. Since text is written in electronic format instead of on paper, the changes to the document can be made without rewriting the entire document.

One of the major editing practices when writing is to move sentences from one place to another. This practice is called cut, copy, and paste. Word processing programs also offer the ability to format the style of the text in special ways. Text size or text color can be changed. When emphasis is needed, text can be made bold or italicized. Originally, most word processors were made for desktop publishing. Desktop publishing emphasized writing, adding special type fonts and then printing documents onto paper for distribution. So the concepts used in desktop publishing were constrained by what a printer could do.

Nowadays, most of the documents created are never printed on paper. Students write assignments and email them to their teachers. No paper is involved. Email and text messages are written and sent. No paper is involved. Internet newspapers are quickly replacing printed newspapers. No paper is involved. Ebook self-publishing of 3 million books per year now dwarfs print book publishing of 300,000 print copies in the United States. No paper is involved. The e-document revolution gives us the ability to create versatile e-documents meant to be viewed on devices like the iPad. Now we easily include clickable webpage links, photographs, video clips, graphs and music into e-documents.

A great and inexpensive word processor with all of these features is Apple's Pages for iPad, $9.99 in the AppStore. You can do the regular keyboard input. With the New iPad you can also use speech recognition to write. The usual cut, copy, and paste along with text styles are all present. Pages for iPad shines at integrating multi-media like pictures, graphs and video. Additionally by enabling "select and say" in iPad Setting, Pages can read your writing back to you.

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