WYSIWYG is an acronym and stands for “What You See Is What You Get.” This expression is used for Web document creation systems (for example, HTML Editors) and other formats such as image processing programs that output the content on a screen exactly as it will be displayed later on other user devices, such as a printer or Browser.
WYSIWYG editors have the advantage that users do not need to have any knowledge of programming or markup languages to create a web document. The representation of data is displayed in visual form, as in Microsoft Word, and can be edited. The formatting instructions are located in the background of the program. Microsoft Word is an example of a word processing program designed as a WYSIWYG editor because you see immediately what you changed in the document, but you don’t see the program instructions in the form of the source code.
Content prepared with WYSIWYG editors may sometimes not be displayed the same way in all browsers. If, for example, a HTML-Document is edited, it may occur that it is represented differently in different browsers because the user leaves writing the source code to the program. This way, code lines may creep in which were not intended at all. A line break in the WYSIWYG editor can look completely different as compared to a conventional HTML editor. If an error occurs in the program code, it will be relatively difficult to find it in the WYSIWYG editor since you don’t have access to the source code but only see what the user of the program or code part will see later. There is also no distinction between content and markup, because WYSIWYG editors directly applies formatting instructions to some content directly which is sometimes contrary to good style when creating web pages. Good style dictates making the markup in a separate file, for example, using a CSS file. In addition, WYSIWYG editors often generate superfluous code, which in part does not meet the requirements of the W3C and is therefore not necessarily valid. The WYSIWYG principle is used not only for editors, but also for Content Management Systems (CMS) such as TYPO3 or Drupal. This allows editors to easily edit the content of Websites without much effort and without having to learn a certain programming or markup language.