Commonly-Used Technical Terms

Active Application: An application that is currently running and able to work in.

Application: A program.

Application Icon: The picture (icon) that represents the application.  Example: Microsoft word’s application icon looks like: 


Attachment: A file in its original format that is sent by attaching it to an email.

Background: The main area or front screen “picture” on the computer.  All applications run in front of this area. 

Browse: To look through files and directories in Windows or to look for items on the Internet

Browser: A piece of software on a computer that allows you to view the information of the World Wide Web (www).  For example: Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer.

Cascade: When the windows are arranged overlapping each other with out covering the whole screen or application. 

Cascading menu: A menu that opens down from clicking it on another menu.

CD-ROM: Compact Disk-Read Only Memory. An example is the compact disk you are using now that contains the Microsoft office learning software.

ClipArt: Images that are available to put into other programs on your computer.

Desktop: The term for the screen background on the computer

Disk: Similar to a CD-Rom, this square shaped device is used to save material that can be accessed on another computer after the original one is off. 

Disk Drive:  The space to insert the Disk that loads the information you have saved on there.

Document: A data file: anything you create with an application, including information you type, edit, view, or save.

Domain: An aspect of the Internet addressing method that explains to what type of computer server a web page belongs.  For example: .gov, .net, .com.

Double-click: Clicking a mouse button twice quickly.

Download: A method in which specific information is transferred from a remote computer to a personal computer.  For example, "downloading" programs, games, or attachments from the Internet.

Drive Letter: The letter assigned to a drive on a computer - for example, C Drive.  The C drive is usually the one on the computer (hard drive) and A drive can be used for the disk drive.

Email: A mail system that travels through the Internet to other Internet accessible computers at no cost.  This can be available by using web pages such as Hotmail and Yahoo, or with email applications such as Microsoft Outlook.

File: A program or document that can be saved onto the hard drive or to a disk. 

Floppy Disk: A plastic disk that is used to save information and put into the disk drive.  They are usually 3.5 inches wide. 

Folder: A place on the computer to store different files together or separate from others. 

Hardware: Computer machinery such as the screen, CPU, and printer.

Icon: A simple picture used to represent a program or file.

Internet: A system of interconnected computers around the world that store information available to anyone with a connection. 

Key word search: Conducting a search with words that are related to the desired information and in a specific search field.  This can be done on a particular web site or on search engines.

Menu: A screen image displaying a series of options from which the user can choose.

Mouse: The small device with a ball on the bottom used by your hand to navigate the arrows on the computer screen and to “click” on applications.

Program File: A file that starts an application or program.

Scroll: To move through text or graphics (up, down, left, or right) to see parts of the file or list that cannot fit on the screen.

Search Engine: An online system that searches databases for whatever is typed into the search field or box.  It will then bring up a list of pages and links which includes the requested item(s).  For example: Google, MSN Search, HotBot.

Server: A computer that stores Internet information and connects personal computers to web sites. 

Submenu: A secondary menu that appears while dragging and holding over an item in a menu.

Upload: The opposite of download:  transferring information from a personal computer to a remote system.

URL (uniform resource locator): The location of a website, also known as the address, that can be accessed by typing into the address bar of a browser and pushing "Enter."

web page: A file that is accessible and viewed on the Internet.

web site: Interrelated pages which are all connected to each other on the Internet.  It can represent works of a person, a group, or a company.  Often it contains links to other related web sites.

Word Processor: Application that has the tools to create and edit text.

www: This stands for the World Wide Web system. 


Commonly-Used Technical Terms

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