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Accounting Software

An application program that helps business owners manage their finances more efficiently by providing tools for tracking accounting transactions such as sales, accounts receivable, inventory purchases, and accounts payable.

Application Software

The set of programs on a computer that helps a user carry out tasks such as word processing, sending e-mail, balancing a budget, creating presentations, editing photos, taking an online course, and playing games.

Audio Editing Software

Programs that perform basic editing tasks on audio files such as cutting dead air space from the beginning or end of the song or cutting a portion from the middle.

Beta Version

An early version of a software program that is still under development; usually provided free of charge in return for user feedback.

Computer-Aided Design

A 3D modeling program used to create automated designs, technical drawings, and model visualizations.

Course Management Software

A program that provides traditional classroom tools over the Internet such as calendars and grade books, as well as areas for students to exchange ideas and information in chat rooms, discussion forums, and e-mail.

Custom Installation

The process of installing only those features of a software program that a user wants on the hard drive.

Customer Relationship Management Software

A business program used for storing sales and client contact information in one central database.

Database Software

An electronic filing system best used for larger and more complicated groups of data that require more than one table and, where necessary, to group, sort, and retrieve data and generate reports.

Desktop Publishing Software

Programs for incorporating and arranging graphics and text to produce creative documents.

Digital Video Editing Software

A program for editing digital video.

Drawing Software

Programs for creating or editing two-dimensional line-based drawings.

Enterprise Resource Planning System

A large-scale software system that accumulates data from all parts of an organization for the purpose of providing key information as needed to efficiently manage all key business operations.

Entertainment Software

Programs designed to provide users with entertainment; computer games make up the vast majority of entertainment software.

Entertainment Software Rating Board

A self-regulatory body established in 1994 by the Entertainment Software Association that rates computer and video games according to the age appropriateness of content.

Financial Planning Software

Programs for managing finances, such as Intuit's Quicken and Microsoft Money, that include electronic checkbook registers and automatic bill payment tools.


Any copyrighted software that can be used for free.

Frequently Asked Questions

A list of answers to the most common questions.

Full Installation

The process of installing all the files and programs from the distribution CD/DVD to the computer's hard drive.

Image Editing Software

Programs for editing photographs and other images.

Integrated Help

Documentation for a software product that is built directly into the software.

Integrated Software Application

A single software program that incorporates the most commonly used tools of many productivity software programs into one integrated stand-alone program.


A small computer program that executes a series of commands as if they were a single command.

Mapping Program

Software that provides street maps and written directions to locations.

Multimedia Software

Programs that include image, video, and audio editing software, animation software, and other specialty software required to produce computer games, animations, and movies.

Open Source Software

Program code made publicly available for free; it can be copied, distributed, or changed without the stringent copyright protections of proprietary software products.

Personal Information Manager Software

Programs such as Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Organizer that strive to replace the various management tools found on a traditional desk such as a calendar, address book, notepad, and to-do lists.

Presentation Software

An application program for creating dynamic slide shows such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple Keynote.

Productivity Software

Programs that enable a user to perform various tasks generally required in home, school, and business. Examples include word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, personal information management (PIM), and database programs.


A series of instructions to be followed by a computer to accomplish a task.

Project Management Software

An application program such as Microsoft Project that helps project managers generate charts and tables used to manage aspects of a project.

Proprietary Software

A system whose design is not made available for public access.


Software that enables users to "test" the software by running it for a limited time free of charge.

Simulation Program

Software often used for training purposes and that allows the user to experience or control an event as if it is reality.


The set of computer programs or instructions that tells the computer what to do and enables it to perform different tasks.

Software License

An agreement between the user and the software developer that must be accepted before installing the software on a computer.

Software Piracy

Violating a software license agreement by copying an application onto more computers than the license agreement permits.

Software Suite

A collection of software programs that have been bundled together as a package.

Speech-Recognition Software

Software that translates spoken words into typed text.

Spreadsheet Software

An application program such as Microsoft Excel or Lotus 1-23 that enables a user to do calculations and numerical analyses easily.

System Requirements

The set of minimum storage, memory capacity, and processing standards recommended by the software manufacturer to ensure proper operation of a software application.

System Software

The set of programs that enables a computer's hardware devices and application software to work together; it includes the operating system and utility programs.

Tax Preparation Software

An application program such as Intuit's TurboTax and H&R Block's TaxCut for preparing state and federal taxes. Each program offers a complete set of tax forms and instructions as well as expert advice on how to complete each form.


A form included in many productivity applications that provides the basic structure for a particular kind of document, spreadsheet, or presentation.

Vertical Market Software

Software that is developed for and customized to a specific industry's needs (such as a wood inventory system for a sawmill) as opposed to software that is useful across a range of industries (such as word-processing software).

Virtual Reality Program

Software that turns an artificial environment into a realistic experience.

Web-Based Application Software

A program that is hosted on a Web site and does not require installation on the computer.

Web Page Authoring Software

Programs you can use to design interactive Web pages without knowing any HyperText Markup Language (HTML) code.


A step-by-step guide that walks you through the necessary steps to complete a complicated task.

Word-Processing Software

Programs used to create and edit written documents such as papers, letters, and r_sum_s.

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