WYSIWYG (pronounced [wɪziwɪɡ], is an abbreviation of What You See Is What You Get) it’s the property of application programs or web interfaces in which content is displayed during editing and looks as close as possible to the final product. The result can be a printed document, web page or presentation. The term "visual editor" is also widely used for such programs.
Most of the modern content management systems(CMS) are implemented as a WYSIWYG.
The phrase was coined by the engineer from Information International, Inc. (Triple-I) Larry Sinclair to express the idea that what the user sees on the screen, he gets on the printer.
Before the advent of WYSIWYG technology for creating formatted documents, programs using the markup language were used. In these programs, to format the document, it was necessary to specify special codes (tags) that were invisible in the final result of work. Tags defined the style of the text (bold, oblique, etc.), font changes, the location of text and illustrations, and so on.
The first program that uses WYSIWYG is the text editor Bravo. Bravo was developed in Xerox PARC for Alto computers. The program was developed by Butler Lampson, Charles Simonyi and others in 1974. Bravo was not released to the market, however, the software of Xerox Star computers is probably a direct descendant of this editor.
In the 1970s and early 1980s, popular home computers lacked the graphics capabilities required to display WYSIWYG documents. Such apps, as a rule, were used quite seldom, mainly on powerful workstations, which were too expensive for wide distribution. However, by the mid-1980s everything began to change. Improved technology allowed the production of cheap graphic displays, and programs with WYSIWYG began to appear on cheaper and more popular computers, including LisaWrite for Apple Lisa, released in 1983, and MacWrite for Apple Macintosh, released in 1984.
Some of the site constructors, like Web Builder, are implementing the HTML tags, based on the user’s interface, where authors add the elements, implementing drag and drop technologies. So, the web pages can be created without the programming knowledges and/or HTML-technologies.