writing a byte to a processor port

Hi, I need to output 8 bit words to a port without splitting up the byte into eight bits and to write them to the pins individually.
How can this be done?

If all pins are on the same port you can write directly to it and modify all 8 pins at the same time.

The AVR source #defines each port in code, on an uno pins 0-7 are all on port D so I can write a byte to it like this:

PORTD = 0xFF; //All bits on

Check out this page: http://www.arduino.cc/en/Reference/PortManipulation

A mega is better for this ( if you aren't using one already ) as the Uno port D contains the serial RX/TX pins. A mega has a few 8-bit io ports and you can still use the serial to debug.