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A mathematical model of document assembly using a computerized word processing system is introduced. In this process the operator prepares a typed document by assembling it from segments of text which are either retrieved from a file and copied on to the document or retyped by the operator. This model is used to obtain the optimal operation strategy, and the expected processing time as a function of the document's length and the man-machine parameters. Based on these results, some criteria are suggested for evaluating alternative word processors with respect to this application and for determining tradeoffs involved in designing such systems.