[Access to Wang masthead]

Moving from Wang WP to PC Word Processing

From "Migration",  Access to Wang, December 1995
  [ Prior Article ]     [ Return to the Catalog of articles ]     [ Next Article ]  

If there is one application that PCs have assumed primary control over, word processing would be it. The features, speed, and presentation of these products have changed the process of document processing, and it's likely your shop would like to make a move towards these tools as well.

If you are considering the move from Wang Word Processing to products based on the desktop, you know that there are many differences in their appearance and operation. Here's some help directed to the Wang WP user. Though the discussion will center on the standard Wang WP editor (VS/IIS) and Microsoft Word for Windows, most points will also apply to Wang WP+ and other PC and Macintosh word processing programs.

Similarities and differences

While there are many differences between Wang Word Processing and popular PC word processing programs, there are also many similarities. Like WP, PC word processing systems interlace text and formatting information throughout the document, allowing you to change the appearance of specific areas of the document without affecting the whole. Some of the keys on the keyboard perform the same functions, including the arrow keys, Page Up and Page Down, and Cancel (replaced by Escape).

Mostly, it's the differences we notice. Here are some of the important contrasts between Wang WP and PC applications:

Getting Started in PC editing

Here's a real-world example to help you understand the points made above. For this exercise, let's edit an existing document.

Hopefully, this simple example can help you see some of the differences in technique required.

Integration with Other Applications

If you've routinely move between data processing and word processing applications on the VS (like most of us), you are probably concerned about how you will replace these processes with PC-based word processing products. Fortunately, there are good alternatives to VS/IIS functions like document conversion, merge letters, indexes, and Table of Contents generation. More on these topics next month.

USERAIDS Information On Line?

If you read this column regularly, you know that I have been promoting the World Wide Web (WWW), a service of the Internet that provides on-line text retrieval. If you've been around the VS for a while you might remember my book USERAIDS: A Guide to Low-Cost Software for Wang VS Systems (now out of print). I am considering a project that combines both of these interests: a WWW site featuring information on USERAIDS. This site would allow you to search for information on user-supported VS software and get information on its use.

If you're interested in seeing this resource developed and have the tools required (Internet access and a Web browser), please contact me through the magazine. If there is sufficient interest I will make most of the text of the book available on-line.

Figure 1: Standard Windows Keystrokes

Keystrokes Results
HOME Moves to start of the line
END Moves to the end of line
CTRL+arrow Skips between words in a sentence (left and right) or between paragraphs (up and down)
SHIFT Highlights text when used with arrows or other movement keys
CTRL-X Cut selected text (typical)
CTRL-C Copy selected text (typical)
CTRL-V Paste selected text (typical)
CTRL-I Set selected text to italic
CTRL-B Set selected text to bold
CTRL-U Underline selected text
CTRL-S Save file (typical)
ALT+F4 Exit program

Figure 2: Glossary of PC Word Processing Terms

Term Definition
Accelerator key A underlined key that allows menu items to be accessed through keyboard commands. Some accelerators are key combinations (CTRL-S), while others open the menu and allow the function to be selected.
Dialog box A standard display provided by a PC application that requests information or confirmation from the operator. Example: choosing File/Open brings up a dialog box allowing the file to be selected.
Directory A storage location, similar to a VS library, where files can be placed. In contrast to VS libraries, directories must be set up in the file system prior to their use and directories can contain other directories. Sometimes referred to as folders, especially in Windows 95 and Macintosh applications.
Drag and drop An operation in most recent PC products where items are selected, then "dragged" to a new location using the mouse and then "dropped" into place. The items are picked up by pressing and holding the left mouse button, then dropped by releasing the button.
Help file Program documentation provided for PC products. Most is context-sensitive; that is, the help topic is selected based on your current position in the program and the system's assumptions about your needs.
Minimize, maximize Window sizing terms. A minimized application is one that has been put aside, replaced by a small icon indicating its presence. (Note that minimized applications are still loaded in memory.) Maximized applications fill the entire working area of the PC screen. Applications can be minimized and maximized through arrows on the control bar at the top of the screen or through the keyboard.
Overtype, overstrike Options that select whether text entered by the keyboard replaces (overstrikes) or inserts text at the cursor, "pushing" existing text further along the line.
Typing replaces selection An option that replaces all highlighted text and formatting characters with information entered through the keyboard.
Undo Reverse the results of prior editing or typing actions, usually only for the last action taken (e.g. a "one-level" undo).

  [ Prior Article ]     [ Return to the Catalog of articles ]     [ Next Article ]  

Copyright © 1995 Dennis S. Barnes
Reprints of this article are permitted without notification if the source of the information is clearly identified