WYSIWYG ⇝

What You See Is What You Get

<jargon> (WYSIWYG) /wiz'ee-wig/ Describes a user interface for a document preparation system under which changes are represented by displaying a more-or-less accurate image of the way the document will finally appear, e.g. when printed. This is in contrast to one that uses more-or-less obscure commands that do not result in immediate visual feedback.

True WYSIWYG in environments supporting multiple fonts or graphics is rarely-attained; there are variants of this term to express real-world manifestations including WYSIAWYG (What You See Is *Almost* What You Get) and WYSIMOLWYG (What You See Is More or Less What You Get). All these can be mildly derogatory, as they are often used to refer to dumbed-down user-friendly interfaces targeted at non-programmers; a hacker has no fear of obscure commands (compare WYSIAYG). On the other hand, Emacs was one of the very first WYSIWYG editors, replacing (actually, at first overlaying) the extremely obscure, command-based TECO.

See also WIMP.

Last updated: 1999-03-03

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