A tool that does to words what a food processor...


Software used to generate, edit, and format text-based documents. The most popular examples--Microsoft Word, Corel WordPerfect, etc.--can also track annotations, auto-generate web pages, feed the cat, and fill your entire hard drive.

Also, a person used to type words into a word processor until that person develops carpal tunnel syndrome, at which point he or she is thrown away and replaced.

Word Processor (human) or typist, a person hired to type or re-type documents using a business machine such as a typewriterKurt Vonnegut typed his first drafts, marked them up, and sent them to a typist who lived nearby to be retyped (A Man Without a Country, 2005)
Word Processor (software) an application for editing text-based documents. Early word processor apps could be run batchwise on microcomputers. Later, apps were created for interactive usage on command line terminals. With the advent of ubiquitous personal computing devices, word processors often have GUI interfaces and can integrate elaborate style and formatting elements and embedded media such as images, animation, audio, and other documents.  Completed documents may be published and distributed digitally, or physically published with a peripherally connected printer.
Word Processor (standalone device) a business machine with computer components and software dedicated to editing text-based documents.  In the days when the material and intellectual cost of computers was high, a word processor made the work of producing and maintaining documents easier, which was (as is) sufficient for many types of clerical and media work.

Of the standalone type, a wide variety have come into existence having any combination of possible features:

and some necessary features:

  • Editing viewscreen (monochrome or color CRT or LCD)
  • Attached keyboard

Standalones may be very small such as the AlphaSmart series which is popular among NaNoWriMo participants because of its lack of extras and limited functionality; or they may be very hefty, somewhat portable but designed to be set on a table for long periods such as the Brother WP -2600Q which had a built-in CRT screen, floppy disk drive, daisy wheel printer, and Tetris.

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