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A text display is an electronic alphanumeric display device that is mainly or only capable of showing text, or extremely limited graphics characters. This includes electromechanical split-flap displays, vane displays, and flip-disc displays; all-electronic liquid-crystal displays, incandescent/LED displays, and vacuum fluorescent displays; and even electric nixie tubes.

There are several ways to form text for display. A segment display uses lines, while a dot-matrix display uses a grid of dots, and both of these are seen in LCD, LED, VFD, and vane/disc types. For split-flap displays, the characters or words are pre-printed, and for nixie tubes the shapes are also pre-formed. In any case, the display elements are controlled by electronics which activate them in the correct physical and temporal sequence to show the desired information.

Text displays are used in everything from clocks (clock radios, wristwatches) to variable-message signs (departure boards, intelligent transportation systems), because up until the late 2000s, they were (and in many cases still are) the least expensive for their purpose.

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