So far, we’ve discussed some rudimentary formatting you can do within Emacs. To format text in a more polished way using Emacs, you need to mark up the text with special formatting codes and run it through a text processing program.
Text processing programs such as nroff, troff, TEX, and LATEX take marked-up files and produce printed output on a laser printer. This book was produced using a troff-like tool from the Free Software Foundation called groff.
Creating quality printed output is one use for a markup language. The World Wide Web is spawning another growing use for markup languages. Authors mark up ASCII text using Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and put the file on a World Wide Web server. Users around the world can then look at these files through tools called browsers. Browsers take the marked-up files and display them in a more or less polished format, depending on the browser’s capability. Common browsers include Mosaic, Netscape Navigator, Lynx, and, under Emacs, W3.
Creating marked up files for these various text and hypertext processing systems is not hard. You really don’t need anything but standard Emacs to do it. The modes described in this chapter simplify the rather tedious job of marking up files, however, so they are worth knowing about.
Some word processors and other tools integrate formatting and editing. These tools are often called WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) tools. The tools typically have file formats ...