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WYSIWYG – Definition

WYSIWYG Definition

WYSIWYG is an acronym for “What You See is What You Get”. It is a program, editor or system that enables a user to view what a document will look like when produced. Service providers use the WYSIWYG system to display what a client should expect to get at the completion of a product or service.

Print preview is an example of WYSIWYG. When there is a display of what a document will look like when printed, clients can alter the document to suit their needs if the document is not good enough. Rearrangement, addition or removal can occur at this point.

A Little More on What is WYSIWYG

It is important that developers see what they will get before the final production takes place, this helps to prevent dissatisfaction of clients. WYSIWYG is a contemporary editor or system that displays what the end result of a document will look like.

Traditional and old editors do not immediately display what an end result of a project will look like even after the developer inputs a markup (descriptive codes). The WYSIWYG editor in the other hand displays content fast and requires no markup. Bravo was the first WYSIWYG editor, it was invented in the 1970s. Other WYSIWYG applications are Microsoft word and excel sheets.

WYSIWYG enable users view the layout of the documents or project before it is printed out. However, meanings are attributed to WYSIWYG applications based on the perspectives of the user and the application being used. Here are some examples;

  • In word documents and desktop publishing, users tend to get exactly what is displayed on WYSIWYG, including the font, color, size and others but a particular printer configuration must be used.
  • In presentation programs and web pages, WYSIWYG does not necessarily reflect how the page will be printed. It is only when the printer is matched with the editing program that users can get what they see.

Certain modifications or procedures must be followed so that users can get a replica of what is displayed on the WYSIWYG outline, this include optimizing a printer for a document output. However, in cases where the output differs from what is displayed, the difference is always minimal. Many WYSIWYG applications offer their users a variety of modes such as a composition mode, layout mode and preview mode. These modes have different functions when WYSIWYG applications are used.

References for WYSIWYG

Academic Research on WYSIWYG

WYSIWYG NPR: Drawing strokes directly on 3D models, Kalnins, R. D., Markosian, L., Meier, B. J., Kowalski, M. A., Lee, J. C., Davidson, P. L., … & Finkelstein, A. (2002). ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG), 21(3), 755-762.

ALINE: a WYSIWYG protein-sequence alignment editor for publication-quality alignments, Bond, C. S., & Schüttelkopf, A. W. (2009). Acta Crystallographica Section D: Biological Crystallography, 65(5), 510-512.

Wysiwyg web wrapper factory (w4f), Sahuguet, A., & Azavant, F. (1999).

ZPL’s WYSIWYG performance model, Chamberlain, B. L., Lin, C., Choi, S. E., Snyder, L., Lewis, E. C., & Weathersby, W. D. (1998, March). In High-Level Parallel Programming Models and Supportive Environments, 1998. Proceedings. Third International Workshop on (pp. 50-61). IEEE.

Wysiwyg (what you see is what you get) volume visualization, Guo, H., Mao, N., & Yuan, X. (2011). IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 17(12), 2106-2114.

Direct WYSIWYG painting and texturing on 3D shapes: An error occurred during the printing of this article that reversed the print order of pages 118 and 119. While we …, Hanrahan, P., & Haeberli, P. (1990). ACM SIGGRAPH computer graphics, 24(4), 215-223.

Statechart development beyond WYSIWYG, Prochnow, S., & Von Hanxleden, R. (2007, September). In International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems (pp. 635-649). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

GNU TeXmacs: A free, structured, WYSIWYG and technical text editor, Van Der Hoeven, J. (2001). Le document au XXI-ieme siecle, 39, 40.

WYSIWYG development of data driven web applications, Yang, F., Gupta, N., Botev, C., Churchill, E. F., Levchenko, G., & Shanmugasundaram, J. (2008). Proceedings of the VLDB Endowment, 1(1), 163-175.

XSLT stylesheet generation by example with WYSIWYG editing, Ono, K., Koyanagi, T., Abe, M., & Hori, M. (2002). In Applications and the Internet, 2002.(SAINT 2002). Proceedings. 2002 Symposium on (pp. 150-159). IEEE.

A system for WYSIWYG colour communication, Rhodes, P. A., & Luo, M. R. (1996). Displays, 16(4), 213-221.

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