Computer Tech - Terminology

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Terminology Vocabulary related to basic computer technology and software applications.

Active Document

Document Currently Being Created Or Edited.

Application Software

Computer software that allows user to create documents and process data into usable information.


Way text is placed in a document -- left, right, center, or justifiy

Arrow Keys

Used To Move The Insertion Point On The Screen.

Auto correct

Automatic Correction Features - Corrects Spelling, Completes Spelling, Replaces Abbreviations, Etc. With Correctly Spelled Word(s).

Auto recover

Automatic Save At A Set Interval In The Event Of A System Failure So That Files Are Not Lost.


Smallest unit of data that can be used by a computer.


Dot Or Symbol Marking A Line Of Information.

Business Document

Professional Documents used to communicate information within or between companies.


Amount of computer memory required to store a single character. It is comprised of eight bits.


The use of upper- or lowercase letters or combination.

Center Alignment

Material Aligned At The Center.

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

Basic computer unit; interprets and executes program instructions and all application software.


A Letter, Space, Number Or Punctuation Mark, Symbol.


Holding Place For Cut Or Copied Material.


To attach together in a 1, 2, 3 order


The Input Of A Computer Operator Telling The Computer To Take Action.


The Ability To Work With Another Program Or Hardware Device.


Electronic device used to process data.

Computer (My)

A program that allows you to see what files and folders are located on your computer. Located behind Start Button


To cut or trim portions of an object


To Duplicate A Selected Item In A Document.

Current Document

Document Currently Loaded Onto Computer Screen.


To Eliminate A Selected Item From A Document.


Useful and meaningful information - raw acts, numbers, letters, symbols.


Automatic Command Settings (Set By The User to User's Preference).


To click outside a selected item, such as an icon, so that it is no longer selected.


Computer Information on the monitor

Dialog Box

Computer/Program's Way Of Communicating With Computer User.

Dialog Box Launcher

Arrow at the corner of a menu group that opens a dialog box for further instructions from the user.

Dimmed Paper

Material In Clipboard From Copying Or Cutting.

Dimmed Scissors

Material Cut From Document; Placed On Clipboard.

Document Processing

The Preparation Of A Document.

Drag And Drop

A Technique To Select Material, Move (Drag) And Place (Drop) It Into Another Location.

E- Mail Program

Method Of Sending Information From One Computer To Another Across The Internet Or Intranet.


Icons, Button, And Other Items That Are Part Of An On-Screen Interface.

Ellipses . . .

Three periods together; will open a dialog box when clicked.


The Working Relationship/ Capability Of People And Their Tools (Ie; People And Computers).

File Extension

Dot Followed By Three/Four Characters At The End Of A File Name To Indicate The File Type.

FILE tab

Displays menu of commands for managing documents and files (open, save, save as, recent, etc.).

File Type

Format In Which A File Is Stores; The Program Used To Create The File (i.e. Microsoft Word, Power Point, Excel).

Flash drive

Portable device for storing and/or transferring documents and media

Floating Tool Bar

AKA - Mini Tool Bar -- A Toolbar That Displays In The Document Area When You Select Text, Provides Quick Access To Common Text And Formatting Commands.



Font Size

The Size Of A Font, Measured In Points.


Bottom of document -- holds information that appears on all pages of the document


To Arrange Or Enhance The Contents Of A Document.

Format Painter

Repeats Or Copies Format Commands.


Pictures, sounds, or videos that can be inserted into a document.

Green Underlining

Grammar Error/Spacing Error.


Graphical User Interface - icons, toolbars, buttons,, options, pull-down menus with mouse or pointing device or any other graphical element that a user can click or drag in order to create a document or execute a program.


One who uses computer expertise to gain access to another's computer to get information illegally or do damage


Guiding points around an object or picture

Hard Copy

A Printed Version Of A Document.

Hard Page Break

Separates Pages In A Document (Designated Separations). Breaks Where Typist Wants A New Page To Begin.


Printers, Devices (Touchable Devices).


Top of document -- holds information that appears on all pages of the document

Help Icon

Connects to Microsoft on-line for software questions and assistance

Horizontal Alignment

Position Of Text On A Line In Relation To The Left And Right Margins.


Letter represents a designated letter in a menu command or toolbar button that when pressed together with the Alt key, activates such command.

Hyperlink / Link

Text Or Graphic That Connects You To An Internet Location.


Changes Ragged Right Paragraph Edge To A More Even Paragraph Edge.


Mouse Pointer Shape. Resembles The Uppercase Letter I.


AKA - Picture; Used As A Shortcut.

Input Device

Device(s) that allows the inputting of data into a computer - keyboard, microphone, scanner, bar code reader, etc.

Insertion Point

The Flashing Vertical Line That Indicates Where The Next Action Will Occur In An On-Screen Document.


World-Wide Network Of Computers.


graphic/picture file -- can be up to 98% smaller than actual document

Key Tip

Pop-Up Letter That Identifies The Access Key(S) For A Command.

Keyboard Shortcut

A Keyboard Stroke To Perform Computer Actions Quickly.

Landscape Orientation

Horizontal Display Of Document.

Left Alignment

Text Aligned At The Left Margin.

Line of type

area between margins where text and/or graphics is/are placed

Line spacing

The Amount Of White Space Between Lines Of Text In A Paragraph.

Mailable Document

Document In Final Form For Distribution.


Amount Of White Space Between The Text And Edge Of The Page On All Four Sides.


To Enlarge A Window So That It Fills The Entire Screen.


Computer chips where processing, program instructions, and documents are stored.


A List Of Commands Or Choices,

Menu Bar

Tool Bar that Displays Program Options; Leads To Program Commands


"brain" of every computerized device

Middle Point

The Center Of A Line Of Type.

Mini Toolbar

AKA - Floating Tool Bar -- A Toolbar That Displays In The Document Area When You Select Text, Provides Quick Access To Common Text And Formatting Commands.


To Hide A Window So That It Appears Only As A Button On The Taskbar.


Main circuit board of the computer, contains the CPU, memory, expansion slots, bus, video controllers. AKA - The system board.


A Device That Allows You To Select And Point At Items On A Computer Screen.

Mouse Pointer

A Marker On The Screen That Moves In Response To A Mouse Or Touchpad And Tells Where The Next Action Will Occur. This Often Changes Shape Depend On The Action.

Non-contiguous Text

selected text that does not directly follow in a line

Nonprinting Characters

Characters Such As A Tab, Space, Or Enter Mark That Appear On A Document Screen, But Do Not Print To A Hard Copy Of A Document.

Operating Systems Software

Master control program that allows computer to work - manages hardware devices, disk file systems, and makes application software run.

Output Device

Device that allows the viewing, printing, or hearing of data - monitor, speaker, printer.

Page Set Up

Controls The Appearance Of The Document - Margins, Orientation, Page Size; Vertical Alignment, Etc.; Quick Command - D/C On Margin Area Of Ruler Bar.


Color Or Formatting Selections

Paragraph Spacing/AKA Line Spacing

The Amount Of White Space Between Paragraphs.

Paragraph Mark - Nonprinting Character That Shows Where An Enter Key Has Been Pressed.


To Insert Material From The Clipboard Into A Document.


portable document format


A device or unit that is separate the CPU, but must be connected to it to it to be used such as a monitor, keyboard, modem, printer, microphone, etc.

Personal Business Document

Used To Communicate Information Between An Individual And A Business.

Pointer Device

Device That Allows Control Of The Movement Of The Screen Pointer. (Mouse is most common).


Location on hardware where peripherals are attached

Portrait Orientation

Tall Page Format; Short Side Up.

Print Preview

soft cop preview of a document for review before printing


Procedure to convert raw data into useful information.

Proofreaders' Marks

Symbols That Indicate Where Revisions Are Required.

Quick Access Tool Bar

Tool Bar that allows fast/quick access to an icon and it's function—Defaulted by user.


Standard keyboard arrangement. QWERTY are the first six letters on the top left side of a keyboard.


Temporary memory that holds data and programs while they are being used.


A Filed Opened, But Cannot Be Edited Or Revised --Must Be Saved As Another Name In Order To Make Revisions.


Shut down and restart a computer to adjust interior

Red Underlining

Spelling Error.


To Return A Minimized Window To Its Previous Size And Position On The Window Screen.


A Screen Element That Displays Buttons For Accessing Office Features And Commands.

Tabs At The Top Of Each Ribbon Indicates Category Of Ribbon

Ribbon Tabs

Extention on ribbons that allow selection of ribbon category.

Right Alignment

Text Aligned At The Right Margin.


Read only memory that stores programs and instructions and the computer start.

Ruler Bars

On screen rulers that display position of lines, tab stops, margins and other parts of a document. (Access by View tab or icon).

Sans Serif

A Font With Straight Edges.


To Store Any Changes Made To Existing File.

Save As

To Store A File With A Name.

Screen tip

A Box Containing Information Regarding An Icon Or Button When The Mouse Is Placed Over The Icon Or Button.


Font That Looks Like Handwriting.


To go Through The Displayed Areas Of A Document Up, Down, Left Or Right.

Scroll Bar(s)

Used in order to go Through The Displayed Areas Of A Document Up, Down, Left Or Right.

Scroll Wheel

A Wheel On Some Point Devices Used To Navigate Through The Document On The Screen.


To Highlight Or Mark Text For Action.

Selection Bar

Invisible Bar To The Left Margin Area Of Document.


Font With Curved Or Extended Edges.

Shortcut Menu

AKA Context Menu
Displays When You Right Click An Item.

Show/Hide Icon

Used to view all formatting used within a document. Formatting commands are non-printing.

Shrink To Fit

Makes Document Smaller To Fit On A Page(s).

Smart Tag

Features That Allows Action Without Having To Open Another Application To Order To Complete Action.

Soft copy

Document, text, or graphic on a computer screen

Soft Page Break

Document Wraps To Next Page (Page Wrap).

Soft Return

Automatic Line Return (Word Wrap).


Programs That Provide The Instructions For A Computer Or Other Hardware Device.

Software Suite - Integrated Software - Common Features Making It Easy To Share Data Or Operate Software.


To Organize Items Into A Specified Order.

Start Button

Key That Launches All Computer Programs And Computer's Capabilities.

Status Bar

On Screen bar that displays status of document parts or application such as page number, line number, words in document, ruler location, etc.


A Menu That Is Displayed When You Select A Command On Another Menu.


A Shape That Can Be Placed In A Document.


A Measurement Of Space The Insertion Point Advances When You Press The Tab Key.

Tab Stop

Where A Tab Advances To And Stops.

Task Bar

Bar Along The Windows Display That Shows Open Programs Or Documents, The Start Button, And Other Information.

Task pane

A Window That Displays Additional Options And Commands For Certain Features.


The use of science to solve practical problems -- computers to gadgets


To work from a location outside a business with the help of computers, cell pone, fax machines, and Internet


A standard pre-formatted layout for a document which may contain a color scheme, font scheme, pictures, and preset margins

Text Box

A Box In Which Text Or Graphics Can Be Inserted And Placed In A Document.


Listing Of Words With Synonyms And Antonyms,

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