Computer Glossary 2

Address : Websites need an address so that your browser knows how to locate them among the millions of other sites on the Internet. So It's important to type them out exactly as they're written.

Autocorrect: A feature in Microsoft Word that corrects common errors as you type. If, for example, you type"The cat adn the dog are playing", "adn" will be changed to "and". Word comes with a long list of common typing errors, and you can also add your own.

AutoSum : A handy command that allows you to quickly add up a column or a row of figures in Excel.

Backup : A second safe copy of a file, letter or data. Always keep a backup of important work.

Backup device : Any disk, tape, or other storage device where copies of files are stored for security.

Bitmap : A type of graphic image made up of pixels (or tiny dots). Differs from other image formats in terms of image quality and colours.

Bookmark : Word or picture 'marked' so you can lump to it by name from within a bookmark list. Also used by browsers to mark frequently visited websites.

Borders : Lines of varying thickness that can be placed round pictures, test and soon.

Browser : The program that lets you view web pages on the Internet. The two most popular are Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. Amazingly, both are free.

Brush tool : Used for 'painting' on the screen. Some act like marker pens while others have a spray can effect.

CD-ROM : Similar to an audio CD disc but containing computer data. Most software programs now come on CD-ROM, including Windows 95 Itself.

Cells : Spreadsheets are divided into cells and each cell has a unique name to help you navigate around. For example. the first cell is called A1 because it occupies the first row of the first column.

Checkbox : A small square box which, when clicked on, displays a cross or tick to show that an option has been selected.

Clone : Freehand copying from one part of an image to another. Two brushes maintain a fixed distance between each other as you move the mouse - one to copy from; the other, to.

Control Panel : This is where many of Windows' settings can be viewed. Here you will find icons for most functions including printers, modems, and sound.

Cutting and pasting : Just like it sounds: cutting part of your image or document and putting it somewhere else in the same or another image or document.

Data table : In the context of a spreadsheet, it's a table that appears next to a chart and contains the raw figures that the chart is based on.

Desktop : In Windows 95, desktop defines what you see on your screen when Windows first starts up.

Dialog box : Box for input from the user. Usually to set options, choose a name for saving files. etc.

Digitised signature : You can digitise your signature (or any other graphic item) using a scanner. The digital image can then be included when you print or fax your documents.

Dots per inch (dpi): The way resolution of scanned and printed images is measured as well as those displayed on a monitor. These pictures are made up of tiny dots. The more dots there are per inch, the better the image.

DOS : Stands for Disk Operating System. The standard operating system before the dawn of Windows. DOS manages how files are stored on your PC. It is controlled through typed commands.

Download : To obtain a file from a website, usually by clicking a word or icon on the web page.

Drive bay : A blanked-off space on a PC, originally designed for extra floppy disk drives. Drive bay 5 now accept other devices, such as backup drives.

Dropper tool : Used to set the foreground or background colour of the current drawing tool by simply clicking on part of an image.

Encryption : Files that cannot be read, except with a special decryption program.

Favourites : The Favourites folder is used by Internet Explorer to mark frequently visited websites.

Fill bucket : Also known as Flood Fill. Automatically fills an area bounded by an outline or an area with another colour or texture.

Flow text : A way of linking text boxes so that text flows automatically from one text box to another.

Font : A collection of characters with predefined styles and sizes - such as Courier or Helvetica.

Footer : A special area at the bottom of a text document - type something in here and it will appear on every page. Formatted Floppy disks need to be formatted for a specific operating system, for example, an Apple Macintosh or a Windows PC.

Formulae : You use formulae to tell a spreadsheet what to do. For example, =SUM(B13,B16) tells the program to add the contents of cells B13 to B16 together.

Full backup : This will back up every file you've marked regardless of whether it's been changed since the last time you backed it up.

Gigabyte (Gb) : A measurement of storage space. Equal to a thousand megabytes.

Graphics card : The part of a PC that controls the screen's image. Windows 95 only needs a 2D card, but many new games require a 3D graphics card as well.

Grid : Useful for lining up different parts of a complex document containing text boxes, pictures and soon.

Handles : These are small black boxes which appear around the outline of an object in Windows - like a chart or a drawing - to show that It's currently selected and that you can edit, move it and soon.

Hard disk : A high-capacity storage device that a PC uses for programs and data, measured in gigabytes. Information held on a hard disk Is safe when the power is withdrawn.

Header : A special area at the top of a text document .Type something in here and it will appear on every page.

Hyperlink : If you click on one of these you'll jump electronically from the web page you're looking at, to the one that the link 'points' to. Typically, links appear on web pages as blue text, but any object on a page can be a link. When the cursor passes over a link it changes from an arrow to a pointing hand.

Icon : A small picture displayed on-screen to identify a command or file. Many word processors use an icon of a magnifying glass on a button to indicate that it will start a search function. In Windows, each application you install has its own icon and its data files often use the same icon.

IDE channels : The sockets on the motherboard where you plug in devices like CD- ROM and hard disk drives.

Image-editing Software : Examples are Paintshop Pro and Adobe PhotoShop. Useful for removing redeye and creases from photos.

Incremental backup : This form of backup will only store those files that have actually been changed since the last time you backed them up.

Internet : An international network that links thousands of computers, using telephone and cable links. Users connect to server computers, which are like a local phone exchange. You use a modem to connect to the server from home and so access the entire network.

Lasso : In an image-editing package this allows you to trace around (select) an irregular shape in order to cut it out, move it, or modify it.

Launch : To start up any program, such as Microsoft Word or Excel, by clicking on its icon or selecting it from the Windows Start menu.

LCD : Liquid Crystal Displays. Used by manufacturers in notebook computers, and for making desktop monitors.

Legend : Not a dodgy film with Tom Cruise, but a small box that explains what the different coloured parts of a chart are supposed to represent.

LPT 1 : Old-fashioned name for the connector at the back of a PC where the printer cable plugs in. Also called a parallel port.

Magic wand : Automatically selects an area of similar colour or tone in an image-editing package.

Megabyte (Mb) : A measure of storage space. 1Mb roughly translates to a million characters of text, or 180,000 words.

Magnifying glass tool : Used for enlarging defined areas of an image on-screen.

Memory (RAM) : Random Access Memory: the computer's temporary storage area, measured in megabytes (Mb). Anything written to memory will be lost when the power is switched off. The more you have the faster the computer is, consider 32Mb minimum.

Mic in : Soundcards have different sockets at the back so you know what plugs in where. The mic in socket is for the microphone.

Modem : This can either be an external box or a card inside your PC - either way, one end is connected to the PC and the other end to a telephone socket. You will need a modem if you want to get onto the internet, send email or faxes, and soon.

Motherboard : The main circuit board in your computer. It's usually varnished green to protect the tiny connections and has the main components and connectors soldered to it.

MS Paint : A program for drawing and image editing Included with Windows 95. Click on Start, Programs, Accessories, and Paint.

Multiple dialling locations : This allows you to select a separate set of phone numbers and other settings. for dialling from the office, from home, and so on.

Notebook : Small portable PC which usually has an LCD screen and is roughly the size of an A4 notepad.

Parallel interlink cable : Usually used to connect a PC to a printer, but can also be used to link two PCs. Parallel cables allow data to be swapped between computers at a higher speed than serial cables.

Pixels : The smallest point in an image. Image resolution is measured in the number of pixels or dots vertically and horizontally.

Resolution : The quality of a printed or scanned image. It's measured in dots per inch (dpi) - the more the better.

Scale Changing : the size of a picture to make it fit the space better. Don't do it too much, though, or you'll distort the image.

Scroll : When a list of items - filenames, fonts, etc - is too long to display in a window you can scroll up or down the list by clicking on the window's scrollbar (also called the vertical scrollbar).

Search engine : An online service which takes the strain out of surfing the web by asking you for key words and then providing a list of websites that contain your chosen words - "Mel Gibson" say, or "Formula One". Clicking on the listed websites will take you to the relevant web page.

Search query : The text given to a search engine which forms your search on the web. Can be one word or a coded string of words.

Selection modifier : Function for adding to or subtracting from a selected area of an image within an image-editing package.

Slider : For setting values in a dialog box. Left-click on the slider and drag with the mouse.

Softening : If cloning isn't subtle enough, the Softening brush will smooth out joins or hard edges within an image-editing package.

Spreadsheet : A kind of super-calculator useful for analysing any collection of figures - from a family budget to a car loan.

Startup screen : Also referred to as a splash screen. Usually containing the software manufacturer's logo, this image gives you something to look at while the program loads.

Sub-head : In a text document these are smaller than a headline, but larger than ordinary text, sub-heads break up long stretches of text and help readers navigate more easily.

Tab : Windows dialog boxes often have little 'tabs' at the top of them. They behave like buttons and clicking on one will bring up a different list of choices, settings or options.

Text and picture boxes : In desktop publishing software these are empty frames designed to hold either words or pictures - you can't, for example, add test to a page until there's a text box to receive it.

Tonal values : The lightness and darkness within an image (disregarding colour information).

Toolbar : A window that contains a range of icons that allows you to access different tools.

WAVs : This is a format that Windows sound files are commonly stored in. They will play back on any Windows multimedia PC and can be recognised by their suffix, WAV. A WAVE or WAV file is a standard method of storing an analog signal in digital form in Windows.

Wizard : Term for an automated feature, in Windows or any application, that guides you step-by- step through some complex process, such as taxing. Windows 95 The old version of Windows software, now updated as Windows 98. Windows uses icons to represent files and devices.

Windows events : The actions that Windows actually performs - this could be anything from maximising and minimising windows to emptying the wastebasket. You can link sounds to all of these Windows events so they play along with the function.

Worksheet : Excel itself is a spreadsheet, but the individual screens of rows and columns that you work with are called worksheets.

World wide web : Within the Internet there are thousands of pages of formatted text and graphics that provide a user-friendly face to the Internet

Zip drive : A high-capacity disk drive designed by lomega, capable of storing 100Mb or 250Mb of information.

Zipping : Process of compressing a file so it takes up less space using one of the many Zip programs such as WinZip and PKZip.

Zoom : In image-editing software it's often necessary to enlarge the picture so that you can see what you're doing more easily, and that's where the zoom tool comes in handy.





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Computer Active File Info: Created 20/9/2000 Updated 8/7/2004 Page Address: