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What Is The Difference Between WYSIWYG and Source Editing?

In a word? Lots and lots and lots. Sorry, five words.

Do you notice the difference between the WYSIWYG and Source checkbox buttons in the text entry screen below?


Therein lies a tale of browsers and a world of trouble for some of us.

Microsoft delivers a little program within a program for users of Internet Explorer under Windows only. That little program enables vendors like Userland to create simple editing tools for direct text manipulation - so-called 'What You See Is What You Get' editing.

For this reason, we can conveniently select texts in the text entry above and apply boldface, italics and such directly. By 'directly', I mean that we do not need to add any formatting codes to them. (See How To Enter Text Into Your Weblog for more information entering text into Radio posts and stories).

This functionality is not available for users of Netscape or Opera on Windows.

If you use anything other than Internet Explorer under Windows, you must use the 'Source' mode to edit your Radio texts. To ensure Netscape and Opera work correctly, make sure you turn off the WYSIWYG preference in the Preferences section, reachable from your Radio Menu.

Source mode supports the kind of editing that some of us used to do when we created web-readable texts in the old days directly using HTML (hypertext markup language). (If you have a hankering to learn HTML, try Learning HTML). So, in order to create an italic text, we would enter:


Then, when our browser (whether it was Internet Explorer, Netscape or Opera) 'rendered' this collection of codes and text, the result displayed on the Web would be hello.

Indeed, Internet Explorer is still doing just this when we create texts in Radio using the WYSIWYG mode. Only, it is also helping us by translating the WYSIWYG texts into their source equivalents behind the scenes - so we don't need to mess with arcane codes.

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Last update: 06/09/2002; 3:52:19 PM.