An editor (from English to edit [texts etc.], “publish”, “edit”, “edit”, but also [films] “cut”), in German also called an editing program , is a computer program for the creation and processing of digital data ( Files ).
In contrast, a file viewer is only used to simply view data and usually only works with read access.
Working with an editor differs significantly from the traditional paper-based way of working, as the processed data is kept available in volatile memories until the processor explicitly decides to save previously entered or processed data. In most editors it is therefore possible to undo any previous input without damage or restrictions using an undo function. There is a limit to this reversibility of inputs only in the case of complexly connected data or also data records, where the withdrawal of a single isolated previous input sometimes results in nonsensical new information because the functional relationship of the previous data has been destroyed. A better editor can, however, recognize this described circumstance and either draws the user's attention to the possible error or, for example, also deletes all connected data so that no errors occur in the remaining data or information.
Most editors offer a large number of additional functions and can differ considerably from one another depending on the area of application, so that depending on the complexity of an editor, a special introduction or even training is necessary.
The earliest editors (e.g. TECO ) were exclusively command-controlled, since practically only teleprinter-like devices were available as computer terminals . With the increasing use of screen terminals (as text terminals or graphics terminals), editors were developed that display the text or a part of it on the screen, an input marker was moved with the aid of the mouse or key control, and text was entered or changed at the corresponding point; the result was immediately visible. This is practically the only form of editing today. A distinction is also made between WYSIWYG editors, which can also change the formatting of the text (font size, type, markup, etc.) and display it directly, and text editors that cannot.
- Text editor for text files, for example Microsoft Notepad , Emacs or vi
- Audio editor for audio files
- Level editor for computer games
- Hex editor for binary files
- Graphics editor for
- Pixel-level images and graphics (e.g. paint )
- Vector-based graphics (e.g. Inkscape )
- Presentations (e.g. Powerpoint )
- Computer-aided design (also CAD ), the computer-aided construction
- generic 3D graphics, see 3D graphics software (e.g. Blender (software) )
- Desktop publishing , whereby, depending on the product, there can be a smooth transition to word processing software and other image processing software on a vector or pixel basis (e.g. Scribus )
- Geographic information system for processing geographic information (GIS data)
- Music for creating sheet music and scores
- further, subject-specific areas of application
- Volker Claus, Andreas Schwill: Duden Informatik. Dudenverlag 1988, ISBN 3-411-02421-6 .