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Pronounced "zy-write." A venerable text editor and word processing program developed by XyQuest, Inc., Billerica, Massachusetts. Introduced for DOS in 1982, XyWrite provided complete typographic control over the page layout. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, it was used extensively in the newspaper and magazine industry as well as by professional writers worldwide.

The most user-customizable word processor ever developed, XyWrite offered a mappable keyboard, customizable menus and a complete, although extremely cryptic, programming language that could manipulate text in any manner.

Like HTML and XML
XyWrite generates ASCII text and uses embedded tags like HTML and XML but with different open/close characters. XyWrite tags appear as triangle symbols, but their actual codes are quickly revealed. This single feature made XyWrite indispensable for newpaper editors who needed to edit typesetting commands but not be distracted from writing (see image below).

From DOS to Windows to Nota Bene
XyWrite III Plus was the last of the original DOS line. XyWrite 4 for DOS evolved from Signature, an IBM product intended to supersede its DisplayWrite word processor, but Signature never came to fruition. A Windows version was also created (see XyWrite for Windows). In 1992, XyWrite products were acquired by The Technology Group, Baltimore, MD, which closed its doors in 2001. However, XyWrite lives on in the form of Nota Bene, a technical word processor based on XyWrite code (see Nota Bene).

XyWrite Format Codes
This encyclopedia is maintained in a custom-programmed version of DOS-based XyWrite III Plus. At month end, conversion programs written in C turn the XyWrite files into an XML master from which other formats are derived. This example shows how XyWrite's unique tagging system displays unobtrusive triangles (top) that are easily revealed with a keystroke (bottom).

Custom Menus
Although XyWrite was a command-driven word processor, every function could be turned into a menu as in this Search example. This shows a snippet of the programming code necessary to display the menu.

Totally Customizable
XyWrite has its own programming language that enables text to be manipulated in myriad ways. As is evident by the size of this well-worn 640-page programming manual, the XyWrite language is very comprehensive.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
At about the same time XyQuest had postponed introduction of its latest version for about a year so it could upgrade to IBM standards as part of an agreement in which IBM would market XyWrite exclusively.
XyWrite became a front end thanks to its XPL language, wire routing devised in-house, and the TransTags translator.
XyWrite is a DOS-based word processor that stores text in simple ASCII files instead of in a proprietary format.
But Hollis said most users like Reporter and only a few ever go back to XyWrite.
XyWrite, for example, elicits presentational markup, but stores procedural markup.
Unlike Dateline/2, with its XyWrite editor and Tomahawk composition program, however, Dateline/NT will use Word for Windows 95 and North Atlantic Publishing Systems' HNJ Engine (NAPS Engine).
By the 1980s, the system had been given a PC-based front end running XyWrite, and Unisys eventually began reselling pagination software from CCI Europe.
* XyWrite (20%) remains the mostused word processor, but WordPerfect and Word are becoming more common as newsrooms move to PC-based systems.
News Tribune reporters use XyWrite to write their articles on a PC-based system that predates the QPS installation.
Customers can select their preferred word processor (Microsoft Word and XyWrite for Windows were working in early spring and about six were expected in all).
Atex showed Xyquest Inc.'s Signature, its latest version of the popular XyWrite, but said users can select other third-party products.
New York Newsday hooked together Xyquest's popular XyWrite wordprocessing software and send/fetch communications to allow a staffer severely affected by RSI to resume writing (E&P, Nov.