What You See Is What You Get

What Does What You See Is What You Get Mean?

What you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) refers to a feature of an application that shows users what they are about to print or produce before the final product is ready.


WYSIWYG mimics how something will appear, giving the user the opportunity to return to the editing state for any changes or modifications that might be required before the work is turned into a Web page, printed document or slide presentation.

What you see is what you get is also known as what you see is what you print (WYSIWYP).

Techopedia Explains What You See Is What You Get

The term WYSIWYG was coined by an engineer named Larry Sinclair, who used the phrase to describe the recently invented prepress typesetting machine’s page layout function, in which what the user saw on the screen was exactly what they got. The term was then popularized in the late 1970s by editors Arlene and Jose Ramos,who published a newsletter called WYSIWYG for the prepress industry.

WYSIWYG is especially popular when it comes to web-publishing. By working in a program with WYSIWYG functionality, a user does not have to know HTML in order to publish an HTML document. Instead, using such an application feels more like a word processor than an development application. Just about any modern blogging application has a WYSIWYG interface.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…