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Text Processing Software

This is an index of text processing software. The aim is to include those that are historically significant and those that have achieved widespread use, not to include every minor tool ever created. It's interesting to see how much effort has been invested over the years by humans in trying to develop "the best" editor/formatter/word processor/design tool.

We will include:

  • text formatters from runoff, pub and troff on to the present,
  • text editors from ed/edlin on to the present,
  • WYSIWYG editors from MacWrite to the present,
  • Full Visual Layout tools like inDesign and Scribus.
To put some bounds on the scope, the list will not include
  • Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) used primarily for software development
  • graphical tools like gimp, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, ...
  • non-linear editing tools like iMovie, Final Cut Pro, After Effects, ...
  • Content-Management or Blogging tools: PHP, WordPress, ...
  • Plaintext analysis tools: Style/Diction, ...
NameCategoryCreatorDescriptionYear RelLast UpdateLicense
ArborText Page Layout
AsciiDoc Batch formatterStuart Rackham2002
AsciidocFXEditor (general)Editor for AsciiDoc
AsciiDoctor Batch formatterDan Allen et al
Aster*x Office SuiteApplix
Atom GUI Editor
ATS/360 Editor (general)IBMIBM-terminal-based formatting system for old IBM mainframes
Author/EditorXML EditorSoftQuad
awkText Filter (s/w tool)Aho, Weinberger, KernighanIntermediate text filter, scriptable
BBEdit GUI EditorHTML and text editor for the Macintosh

A more complete list of text editors can be found on WikiPedia.