UNIX Time‐Sharing System: Document Preparation

B. W. Kernighan, M. E. Lesk, J. F. Ossanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


The unix* operating system provides programs for sophisticated document preparation within the framework of a general‐purpose operating system. The document preparation software includes a text editor, programmable text formatters, macro‐definition packages for a variety of page layout styles, special processors for mathematical expressions and for tabular material, and numerous supporting programs, such as a spelling‐mistake detector. In practice, this collection of facilities has proven to be easy to learn and use, even by secretaries, typists, and other nonspecialists. Experiments have shown that preparation of complicated documents is about twice as fast as on other systems. There are many benefits to using a general‐purpose operating system instead of specialized stand‐alone terminals or a system dedicated to “word processing.” On the unix system, these include an excellent software development facility and the ability to share computing and data resources among a community of users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2115-2135
Number of pages21
JournalBell System Technical Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1978
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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