The Main WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) Editor Role

In general, the WYSIWYG code editors have become much better recently. With some of them if not all even producing valid and elegant code. Eventually, when it comes to coding editors such as ourselves, it’s damn hard to get a clear overview of all the benefits and functionalities different editors have to offer. Specifically, in regard to the WordPress CMS.

These applications typically used an arbitrary markup language to define the codes/tags. Each program had its own special way to format a document, and it was a difficult and time-consuming process to change from a one-word processor to another. The use of markup tags and codes remains popular today in some web-based design and dev applications.

Partially, due to their ability to store complex formatting information. After all, sometimes you need to provide your clients with some simple tools to edit or update the websites like Gutenberg (new WordPress Block Editor). And this is where the utilities of WYSIWYG editors come in. As a web professional, you need to provide your clients with some basic help.

But, at times, you can also offer them some sophisticated advice such as the best way to use and utilize a simple yet effective tool — e.g. a WYSIWYG editor — in their strategic content writing and publishing plan. So, in this guide, we are going to have a look at all that in detail and the best approaches that all web content design webmasters should note.

The Actual WYSIWYG Meaning

To enumerate, in the realms of content design and editing, WYSIWYG (pronounced “WIZ-zee-wig”) is a short form of “What You See Is What You Get”— a type of editing software that allows users to see and edit content in a form that appears as it would when displayed on an interface, webpage, slide presentation or printed document — in desktop publishing.

In other words, a WYSIWYG application is one that enables you to see on the display screen exactly what will appear when the document is printed. That said, WYSIWYG editors enable users to manipulate the content or layout without having to type any commands. For example, when users write a document using a word processor, it uses WYSIWYG.

Meaning, that what they create, format and edit is replicated in the printed document or Portable Document Format (PDF) file format. And, as such, this differs, for example, from word processors that are incapable of displaying different fonts and graphics on the display screen even though the formatting codes have been inserted into the file.

Basically, a WYSIWYG Editor can be contrasted with more traditional editors that require the developer to enter descriptive codes (or markup ). And often, do not permit an immediate way to see the results of the markup.

How The General User-Based Experience Is Like

For your information, before WYSIWYG editors, developers had to enter descriptive codes (or markup) without a quick way to see the markup results. Today, WYSIWYG is used in modern apps like Content Management Systems (CMSes), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), email systems, WYSIWYG web builders, document management tools, etc.

As well as many other systems with written content. Eventually, WYSIWYG is also very popular in web publishing applications such as business blogging and the like. Equally important, there is also the use of a HyperText Markup Language (HTML) WYSIWYG editor — like Adobe Dreamweaver CC or a free WYSIWYG HTML editor like Froala too.

Overall, that conceals the markup and allows the developer to think in terms of how the content should appear. However, one of the trade-offs is that in some instances a WYSIWYG HTML editor will on its own insert the markup code it feels is needed. Then, the developer must know enough about the markup language to go back into the source code to clean it up.

WYSIWYG implies a user interface (UI) design that allows the user to view something very similar to the end result — while the document is being created. In general, WYSIWYG implies the ability to directly manipulate the layout of a document. Without having to type or remember the names of layout commands.

The actual meaning depends on the user’s perspective, e.g.
  • In presentation programs, compound documents, and web pages, WYSIWYG means the display precisely represents the appearance of the page displayed to the end-user.
  • Essentially, it does not necessarily reflect how the page will be printed. Unless the printer is specifically matched to the editing program, as it was with the Xerox Star and early versions of the Apple Macintosh.
  • As in word processing and desktop publishing apps, WYSIWYG means that the display simulates the appearance.
  • It represents the effect of fonts and line breaks on the final pagination — using a specific printer configuration. For example, a citation on page 1 of a 500-page document can accurately refer to a reference several pages later.
  • It also describes ways to manipulate 3D models in stereo-chemistry, computer-aided design, and 3D computer graphics.

WYSIWYG editors have the advantage that users do not need to have any knowledge of programming or markup languages ​​to create a web document. The formatting instructions are located in the background of the program.

For example, in Microsoft Word to be precise — because you see immediately what you changed in the document. But, you don’t see the program instructions in the form of the source code.

A Great WYSIWYG Editor Example

As an example, the first true WYSIWYG editor was a word-processing program called Bravo among other basic tools. Specifically, as invented by Charles Simonyi at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center in the 1970s. It became the basis for Simonyi’s work at Microsoft. Evolving into two other WYSIWYG applications called Word and Excel.

With that in mind, below is an example illustration of a Word Processed Document by Web Tech Experts Taskforce that we can borrow a few basic processing tools from. Perse, the processing tool has all the unique text editing tools.

WYSIWYG editor

Moving on, an HTML WYSIWYG editor, such as Microsoft FrontPage or Adobe’s PageMill conceals the markup. Allowing the Web page developer to think entirely in terms of how the content should appear.

One of the trade-offs, however, is that an HTML WYSIWYG editor sometimes inserts the markup code on its own. Then, the developer has to know enough about the markup language. And also to go back into the source code and clean it up.

Using The WYSIWYG Editor As A Beginner

Important to realize, the WYSIWYG principles are used not only for editors but also for Content Management Systems (CMS) such as WordPress, TYPO3, Drupal, and the like. This allows editors to easily edit the content of Websites without much effort and without having to learn certain programming or markup language.

Equally important, especially in the SEO area, you want to create source code that search engines can understand. However, some elements of the code should be excluded from the Indexing plan by crawling bots. And, if necessary, the search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and the like should be prevented from Reading and Crawling it in any way.

But, WYSIWYG editors rarely offer such options. That is why usually online HTML editors are used in the Search Engine Marketing area, which allows you to edit individual areas of the source code specifically. Last but not least, WYSIWYG editors are also used for JavaScript or other coding languages, programming languages, as well as markup languages.

Content Optimization In Modern Days

In reality, modern software does a good job of optimizing the screen display for a particular type of output. For example, a Word Processor is an application that is already optimized for output to a typical printer. Whereby, the software often emulates the resolution of the printer in order to get as close as possible to WYSIWYG.

However, that is not the main attraction of WYSIWYG. So to say, which is the ability of the user to be able to visualize what they are producing. In many situations, the subtle differences between what the user sees and what the user gets are unimportant. In fact, applications may offer multiple WYSIWYG modes with different levels of “realism.”

Multiple Mode Samples:
  • Composition Mode: The user sees something somewhat similar to the end result. But, it employs an interface more conducive to composing than the layout itself (like the inclusion of non-printing characters and section breaks).
  • Layout Mode: In which the user sees something very similar to the end result. But, which includes some additional information to facilitate proper alignment and spacing (e.g., margin lines).
  • Preview Mode: In which the application attempts to produce an output that is as close to the final result as possible.

Before the adoption of WYSIWYG techniques, text appeared in editors using the system’s standard typeface and style with little indication of the layout (marginsspacing, etc.). In this environment, there was very little distinction in use between text editors and word processors so to say. Learn more about 20 Useful WYSIWYG Editors Reviewed in detail.

The Pros & Cons That You Should Know About

If, for example, an HTML document is edited, it may occur that it is represented differently in different web browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and the like. Simply, because the user leaves writing the source code to the program.

This way, code lines may creep in which were not intended at all. Secondly, a line break in the WYSIWYG editor can look completely different compared to a conventional HTML editor. If an error occurs in the program code, it will be relatively difficult to find it in the WYSIWYG editor. Of course, since you don’t have access to the source code.

But, only see what the user of the program or code part will see later. Again, there is also no distinction between content and markup. In that case, WYSIWYG editors directly apply formatting instructions to some content directly. Of course, which is sometimes contrary to good style when creating web pages. Good style dictates making the markup in a separate file.

For instance, while using a CSS file. In addition, WYSIWYG editors often generate superfluous code, which in part does not meet the requirements of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and is therefore not necessarily valid.


As you can see, they are two completely different editors for creating content in WordPress. Namely, the Block Editor (Gutenberg) and the WordPress Classic Editor. Then again, the old classic editor was a text editor with formatting buttons very similar to Microsoft Word. Uniquely, the new WordPress Block Editor (Gutenberg) uses a totally different approach.

Precisely, an approach that is often called by many design webmasters the ‘Blocks’ (hence, the name Block Editor). Identically, blocks are content elements that you add to the edit screen to create content layouts — each item you’ll add to your post or page is a block. You can add blocks for each paragraph, images, videos, galleries, audio, lists, and more.

There are blocks for all common content elements and more can be added by WordPress Plugins straight from the dashboard. Not forgetting, some WordPress Themes also come with such built-in features for content design.

Other Related Resource References:
  1. How Desktop Publishing Software Works | Best Use Examples
  2. WordPress | The No #1 CMS To Create A Free Blogging Website
  3. SP Page Builder | No #1 Drag & Drop Joomla Website Design Addons
  4. How To Convert A Website To App | With Or Without Using Plugins
  5. What Does Hashtag In URL Parameter Mean? How It Influences SEO
  6. SiteOrigin Page Builder | For Limitless WordPress Themes & Plugins
  7. Online HTML Editor | The Best Digital Content Design Tools

Finally, we hope the above-revised guide was helpful in your best website editing strategy. However, if you’ll have more opinions, thoughts, suggestions, tips, user experiences, or even contribution questions (for FAQ Answers), please feel free to Contact Us at any time and let us know. Or rather, just leave them in our comments section down below.

Furthermore, your Generous Donations will be highly appreciated in regard to this topic, whatever else we do, as well as to motivate our content creatives for their great work and efforts. And now, until the next one, thanks for taking the time to stop by and for reading this guide. Not to mention, we are so hopeful to see you in our future posts. You are welcome!

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