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What You See Is All You Get

<jargon> (WYSIAYG) /wiz'ee-ayg/ Describes a user interface under which "What You See Is *All* You Get"; an unhappy variant of WYSIWYG. Visual, "point-and-drool interfaces" are easy to learn but often lack depth; they often frustrate advanced users who would be better served by a command-style interface. When this happens, the frustrated user has a WYSIAYG problem.

This term is most often used of editors, word processors, and document formatting programs. WYSIWYG "desktop publishing" programs, for example, are a clear win for creating small documents with lots of fonts and graphics in them, especially things like newsletters and presentation slides. When typesetting book-length manuscripts, on the other hand, scale changes the nature of the task; one quickly runs into WYSIAYG limitations, and the increased power and flexibility of a command-driven formatter like TeX or Unix's troff becomes not just desirable but a necessity.

Compare YAFIYGI.

(1999-03-03)


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