Visual editing is a form of computer text editing often used in programming that displays changes immediately through a visual interface, rather than relying on line changes and a delayed display of changes. It is a type of editing commonly found in modern computer programs, including word processing and document creation programs, as well as simple text programs like plain text editors. Unlike line editors, visual editor programs allow a user to more quickly see what is being done and what changes he or she is making to a document. Visual editing is often associated with computer programming and creation of programs, though it is also often used in making text documents for numerous other reasons.
Two common types of text editing are visual editing and line editing, and though line editing was especially common in the past, visual editing has become somewhat more popular in recent applications. This is because much of line editing’s appeal was in the limitations of hardware prior to the modern proliferation of personal computers and similar devices. Before modern computers and display monitors were used, most computer devices and text editors worked more like a keyboard with a printer connected to it. Input could be entered by a user, but there was some delay between what was entered and when the user would see it printed by the machine.
As modern computers and display monitors became the norm, however, an interface developed for immediate recognition between what a person typed and the data appearing on a monitor. This allowed for the development and popularity of visual editing programs that take advantage of this technology. Visual editing is what is commonly seen in most text editing programs, in which a user immediately sees a visual representation of input or changes made to text. These types of programs allow computer users to type on a keyboard and observe the text appearing or changing as he or she types.
Visual editing is now typically used in programming since it allows a programmer to see changes as they occur. If a syntactical error is made or the wrong key is pressed, the visual editor program immediately displays this mistake and it can be easier to catch before compiling and running a program. Visual editing is also quite helpful for writers and other users of word processing programs, as it allows the person to see grammatical mistakes or misspelled words more easily.