The METAL system which originally evolved from a cooperation between the University of Texas and Siemens became a product in 1988. METAL is implemented on multi-user worksta- tions with a LISP server in the background. It is integrated into the office environment and permits automatic deformatting and reformatting of documents. METAL is characterized by recursive grammars, best paths parsing and a modular lexicon structure. Recent changes in system design have focussed both on internal structure and on user interface. Experiences with productive use have proven METAL’s cost-effectiveness but have also shown the need for increased cooperation between developers and end-users.