Why use WordPerfect's reveal codes?

Subject: Why use WordPerfect's reveal codes?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "Techwr-L (E-mail)" <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>, "'Mark Levinson'" <MarkL -at- gilian -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 3 Oct 2000 10:37:09 -0400

Mark Levinson has <<... never understood why, since the invention of
WYSIWYG, anyone would want to reveal codes. In both Word and Frame,even
though I can't see codes, it seems pretty clear to me what's italicized,
what's indented, and what's underlined.>>

One overwhelming reason, and the same reason why it's useful to be able to
hand-tune the HTML created by visual Web development tools such as
Dreamweaver: every so often, the software does something weird on screen,
and no amount of playing around in WYSIWYG mode will solve the problem.
Worse yet, importing a wordpro file into DTP software can compound the
problem. If you can view the formatting codes, you can often see the problem
(usually a misplaced or redundant or incorrect tag) and fix it. Word is
actively hostile to this approach, and sometimes you just give up and retype
the text from scratch. (I haven't tried directly editing .RTF files, but
from the little I've seen of them, that wouldn't be a pleasant task. But I
concede that this may be more a lack of familiarity with Word's coding
scheme than any inherent difficulty in the editing.) In Word's defence, I'm
finding very few times these days when I would actually need to tweak the
format tags; this kind of problem used to be a whole lot more common a few
years back, and I've developed workarounds for the more annoying problems.

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

"Technical writing... requires understanding the audience, understanding
what activities the user wants to accomplish, and translating the often
idiosyncratic and unplanned design into something that appears to make
sense."--Donald Norman, The Invisible Computer

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