Humor Web Humor What Does WYSIWYG Mean? This long acronym explains what output you can expect Share PINTEREST Email Print domoskanonos / Getty Images Web Humor Memes Holiday Humor By Elise Moreau Elise Moreau BCom. in Business and Information Technology, University of Ontario Post-Graduate Diploma, Small Business Entrepreneurship, George Brown College Elise Moreau is a writer that has covered social media, messaging, and streaming. Her work has appeared on Techvibes, SlashGear, Lifehack, and others. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 02/13/20 Did you just see "WYSIWYG" labeled somewhere online? It sure is one long acronym, so don't worry if you were left wondering what it could possibly stand for. WYSIWYG stands for: What You See Is What You Get WYSIWYG is the type of acronym that you don't typically see typed out in text messages, online chats or social media posts. Despite the catchphrase itself being somewhat of a popular saying in everyday life, the acronym WYSIWYG serves a much different purpose in the digital world. The Role of WYSIWYG in Tech WYSIWYG is an acronym that's used to refer to a type of computer editing system. In fact, you've probably even used one before. A WYSIWYG editor make it as easy as possible for users to create and edit documents, presentations and other types of digital works. It accomplishes this by providing users with an interface that allows them to visually see what their final result would look like as they create it or make changes to it. Why It's Called a WYSIWYG A long time ago, when you wanted to bold or italicize some text, you needed to have codes around the text itself. It made the text difficult to read and not a fair presentation of what the output would look like. Once computers integrated high-end graphics (the original Macintosh from 1984 was one such system), computers could then show what your document was going to look like when you printed it. What you see in the editor is essentially what you'll also see on the finished product, hence the phrase "What You See Is What You Get." Instead of saying each word in the phrase or each individual letter of the acronym, it's common practice to say it out loud as "wiz-ee-wig." Why WYSIWYG Editors Are Important Before WYSIWYG editors became mainstream, users would have to work with computer code (such as HTML) to create or edit their digital piece of work. The biggest benefit of the WYSIWYG editor is that it offers people without any real technical knowledge or experience the opportunity to create their own digital works from scratch with intuitive technology. Think of how much time and energy you'd have to spend learning computer programming before you could publish a blog post, create a new web page or edit a slide for a slideshow presentation. With a WYSIWYG editor, even some of the most technologically challenged people can figure out how to create and edit something without any real help at all. General Features of a WYSIWYG Editor Most WYSIWYG editors look similar but vary in style and feature offering. For a simple example of a WYSIWYG editor, you can go ahead and check out Summernote. Summernote and many other WYSIWYG editors offer the following features: A style feature showing a dropdown menu of text styles (Normal, Quote, Header 1, etc.)A bold text featureAn underline text featureAn option to remove the font styleA background and foreground color gridA paragraph feature with different alignment optionsA feature that lets you create tables with a certain number of rows and columnsA hyperlink featureA feature that lets you insert imagesA fullscreen view featureA text mode feature You can go ahead and type your own text and insert your own media into the Summernote WYSIWYG editor directly on the website to see how it works. Whatever you type, insert and customize will look exactly how it would look if it were published on the web.