Word processing and desktop publishing

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Word processing applications allow users to type and edit text.

Desktop publishing (DTP) applications allow users to create page layouts using text and pictures.

Word processing

Most people are familiar with word processing packages such as Microsoft Word or Writer (part of the Open Office suite).

Standard features

All word processing applications [applicationapplications serve a specific purpose, eg Microsoft Word is used for word processing ] allow you to:

  • enter and edit text
  • save
  • print
  • cut/copy/paste
  • check your spelling

Cut, copy, and paste

Cut and copy work in a similar way. Highlighting a piece of text, right-clicking and selecting copy/cut will store the text inmemorymemoryWhere a program or data is stored on a computer.. The difference is copy leaves the highlighted text behind where as cut removes it. To insert the copied/cut text into a different area of the document, a different document, or an entirely different application altogether, right-click and selectpaste.

The use of cut, copy, and paste is not necessarily limited to text.

Text formatting

Formatting text makes a document easier to read. You can:

  • change fontfontstyle applied to text, eg Times New Roman, Arial, Verdana are all types of font type and size
  • change the alignment of text (left, centre, right or justified)
  • bold text
  • underline text
  • italicise text
  • create bulleted or numbered lists

Other features

Other features that may be expected include find and replace, which replaces one word with another, and the ability toimportimportA good or service which enters a country. graphicsgraphicsvisuals intended to brand, inform, illustrate or entertain, eg photographs, drawings, maps, diagrams etc., eg from a clip art [clip artclip art is a library of images, photos and sounds provided by Microsoft as part of its office suite ] library. Headers and footers and page numbering are also very useful.

Mail merge

Mail merge is a word processing feature that allows users to personalise letters with names and addresses from a database[databasea structured collection of records or data stored in a computer system ].

Microsoft Word, mail merge button has been clicked, options available include: letters, e-mail messages, envelopes, labels, directory, normal word document, step by step mail merge wizard (http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/ict/images/mail_merge.jpg)

The five main steps in setting up a mail-merged letter are:

  1. Create the database with fieldsfielda smaller piece of data in larger collection, eg name in an electronic address book, where name is a field for the names and addresses of the people to send the letter to.
  2. Write the letter using a word processing package and link the letter to the database.
  3. Use a queryquery


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