Chapter 13 Writer (It Was a Dark and Stormy Night . . .)

I just love using this infamous opening from Edward George Bulwer-Lytton’s Paul Clifford (written in 1830) to introduce a chapter on word processing. Those famous words, “It was a dark and stormy night,” were made even more famous (infamous?) by Charles M. Schulz’s Snoopy, that barnstorming, literary beagle. It just seems fitting considering this chapter’s topic—word processors.

Word processors run the gamut in terms of complexity, from simple programs that aren’t much more than text editors to full-blown desktop publishing systems. Users coming from the Microsoft world are most likely to use OpenOffice Writer, part of the suite. is actually ...

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