Word Processors Keeping Pace With Scientists' Needs

processors and earlier versions is that now they have so much built-in functionality that users rarely need to go to another program to prepare documents. In the past, users would have generated text and tables in the word processor, then called up a separate program to prepare graphs and perhaps a third to create equations. Each part would have been printed separately, and the user would assemble the document by hand. Today's high-end packages--priced at about $500--not only include tools for

Caren Potter
Sep 19, 1993

processors and earlier versions is that now they have so much built-in functionality that users rarely need to go to another program to prepare documents. In the past, users would have generated text and tables in the word processor, then called up a separate program to prepare graphs and perhaps a third to create equations. Each part would have been printed separately, and the user would assemble the document by hand.

Today's high-end packages--priced at about $500--not only include tools for creating graphs, tables, and equations, but also give the user the ability to position these elements anywhere in a document. And, while it's true that it's now possible to create an entire document without leaving the word processor, for those who use other programs for their primary data handling--spreadsheets to create graphs, for example--it is also much easier to import and manipulate material from other software. No more scissors...

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