Word processing

Administrative notices represented a vast pool of texts. Commercial, accounting, technical and data-entry activities required the use of a keyboard, which had become, in every sense of the word, universal. The search was on for ways to not have texts which had already been typed on a machine re-typed at the printer's. The initial response was to recover the work of typists by means of word processing systems that had hard disks and were often networked

Today, the letter is an everyday material that we use without really seeing it.

When a text had been entered into memory, it could then be "transcoded", i.e. transferred directly to a typesetting system. The role of the typesetter became one of a text formatter.

Later, word processing programmes provided increasing amounts of control over layout (justification, page layout, etc.). "Classic" characters like Garamond, which were perfectly suited to administrative and commercial work, were bundled with word processing programmes like Word. Manufacturers from the world of office furniture began to enter the field of graphic arts.

For many who used such techniques, the letter, stripped of its mystique, became a thing that one used without really seeing it. Use of the great historic names such as Garamond conferred dignity on a typography that was no longer seen as either an art or a craft, but often as a simple technical formality.

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