: a display generated by word-processing or desktop-publishing software that exactly reflects the document as it would appear in its finished state
Did You Know?
In the early 1980s, the phrase "what you see is what you get" was abbreviated to "WYSIWYG" by computer users who sought a term to describe software that accurately reflects the appearance of the finished product. WYSIWYG interfaces eliminate the need for users to master complex formatting codes, allowing them to concentrate instead on design. Originally used in word processing and desktop publishing, they are now found in Web editors and other programs used to create electronic documents. The word "WYSIWYG" is a noun, but it is often used attributively (modifying another noun) as in our first example sentence.
The pamphlets look great and were easy to create; we created them using a simple WYSIWYG editing program.
"He wrote a word processor called Bravo that displayed text on a computer screen as it would appear when printed on a page-a breakthrough technique at the time, called WYSIWYG, What You See Is What You Get." - From an article by Steve Lohr in The New York Times, October 22, 2012
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