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MOST COMPUTERS INCLUDE basic word processing 2.doc
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MOST COMPUTERS INCLUDE basic word processing, e-mail,

and Internet access software, but computer owners invariably want additional

software to increase their computers’ productivity, business, learning,

or entertainment capabilities. Section B provides an overview of the vast

array of application software that’s available for personal computers.

Document production software

How can my computer help me with my writing? Whether you are

writing a ten-page paper, generating software documentation, designing a

brochure for your new startup company, or laying out the school newspaper,

you will probably use some form of document production software.

This software assists you with composing, editing, designing, printing, and

electronically publishing documents. The three most popular types of document

production software are word processing, desktop publishing, and

Web authoring (Figure 3-7).

Word processing software has replaced typewriters for producing many

types of documents, including reports, letters, memos, papers, and book

manuscripts. Word processing packages, such as Microsoft Word, iWork

Pages, and OpenOffice Writer, give you the ability to create, spell-check,

edit, and format a document on the screen before you commit it to paper.

Desktop publishing software (abbreviated DTP) takes word processing

software one step further by helping you use graphic design techniques

to enhance the format and appearance of a document. Although today’s

word processing software offers many page layout and design features,

DTP software products, such as QuarkXPress and Adobe InDesign, have

sophisticated features to help you produce professional-quality output for

newspapers, newsletters, brochures, magazines, and books.

Web authoring software helps you design and develop customized Web

pages that you can publish electronically on the Internet. Only a few years

ago, creating Web pages was a fairly technical task that required authors

to insert HTML tags, such as <a href=“contents.htm”>. Now Web authoring

software products, such as Dreamweaver, Amaya, and iWeb, help nontechnical

Web authors by providing easy-to-use tools for composing the text for

a Web page, assembling graphical elements, and automatically generating

HTML tags.

How does document production software help me turn my

Ideas into sentences and paragraphs? Document production software

makes it easy to let your ideas flow because it automatically handles

many tasks that might otherwise distract you. For example, you don’t need

to worry about fitting words within the margins. A feature called word wrap

determines how your text flows from line to line by automatically moving

words down to the next line as you reach the right margin. Imagine that the

sentences in your document are ribbons of text; word wrap bends the ribbons.

Changing the margin size just means bending the ribbon in different places. Even after you type an entire document, adjusting the size of your

right, left, top, and bottom margins is simple (Figure 3-8).


Popular document production

software includes Microsoft

Word, QuarkXPress, and Adobe

Dreamweaver CS4


Document production

software makes it easy to

get your ideas down on

screen-based paper.

􀁘 Use your digital

textbook for an overview

of using your word

processor’s thesaurus,

spell checker, grammar

checker, and readability


What if I’m a bad speller? Most document production software

includes a spelling checker that marks misspelled words in a document.

You can easily correct a misspelled word as you type, or you can run the

spelling checker when you finish entering all the text. Some software even

has autocorrecting capability that automatically changes a typo, such as

teh, to the correct spelling (the).

Although your software’s spelling checker helps you correct misspellings,

it cannot guarantee an error-free document. A spelling checker works by

comparing each word from your document to a list of correctly spelled words

that is stored in a data file called a spelling dictionary. If the word from

your document is in the dictionary, the spelling checker considers the word

correctly spelled. If the word is not in the dictionary, the word is counted

as misspelled. Sounds okay, right? But suppose your document contains a

reference to the city of Negaunee. This word is not in the dictionary, so the

spelling checker considers it misspelled, even though it is spelled correctly.

Proper nouns and scientific, medical, and technical words are likely to be

flagged as misspelled, even if you spell them correctly, because they are

not included in the spelling checker’s dictionary.

Now suppose that your document contains the phrase a pear of shoes.

Although you meant to use pair rather than pear, the spelling checker

will not catch your mistake because pear is a valid word in the dictionary.

Your spelling checker won’t help if you have trouble deciding whether to

use there or their, its or it’s, or too or to. Remember, then, that a spelling

checker cannot substitute for a thorough proofread.

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