Computer Terms

These terms are used in the context of your classes.  In some cases, such as attachment, there is a brief explanation of HOW to carry out the  function on the most common operating systems.

Adobe® Reader™ Installation:  Go to the Adobe Web site and choose your language and operating system, if asked.  (Uncheck the two checkboxes regarding bonus software.)  When you click download, choose "Save this program to disk" from the pop-up screen.  In the "Save as" dialog box, create a new folder called "Adobe" in the root directory of Drive C.  Select this folder by double-clicking it.  Then click "Save."  When the download completes, click "Close."  You are ready to start the installation.

Before installing any new software, it is always a good idea to close any open applications, including your Web browser.

Double-click "Hard Disk (C)" in My Computer.  The Adobe folder you created should be one of the first folders visible.  Double-click it and double-click the only file inside this folder.  This starts the installation.   Follow the instructions on the screen.  Reader practically installs itself.  When it finishes, you can delete the Reader icon from your desktop - it's just free advertising and serves no useful purpose.  You can also delete the My eBooks folder which it installs inside your My Documents folder

Attachment:  A file in your computer that you send along with your regular email.  In most email programs, along the top toolbar, it either says attachment or has a picture of a paper clip.  When you click on this choice, a dialog box will open up.  In MS Windows, the box will show the last folder you had open. You will need to navigate to the folder where the desired document is kept.  Click on the down arrow next to the visible file folder and a drop down box will open showing all your drives. Choose the correct drive, then the correct folder. Within that folder, choose the document or graphic you wish to attach. Click twice and the document name will appear in the attachment area of your email. You then send your email as usual and the attached document will travel with it. 

If you have received an attachment, just double click on it and the computer will open it in the proper program, e.g. Word if it is a Word document.  To Save the document in this program, you must follow your normal naming and saving routine for that program.  Otherwise, it will remain stored only in the download/attachment area of your email program -- and when the email is deleted, the attachment is too.

Back - Forward Arrows:  All browsers have these arrows on the tool bar at the top of the page.  They can be used to help navigate on the Quilt University site.  Back will return you to the page you last visited. 

BMP: (or Bitmap) is a way the computer has of saving graphics. In the internet world, it is the least desirable way since it takes the most space.  If you are in a program which saves its graphics as a BMP, such as Electric Quilt, you must import it into another graphic program (such as Windows Paint) and Save As a .gif or a .jpg.  BMP files should never be sent as attachments since they will take forever to transfer.

Click, Double Click:   When you point the arrow of your mouse at a word or icon and press the right or left mouse button, that is a click.  Clicking on the down arrow of your scroll bar will move the text down on your screen.  A single click is used when you are repositioning your cursor.

A Double Click means that you click twice in rapid succession so that computer reads the action as a special click - not two individual clicks.  In Windows-based applications such as EQ, double clicks are used to activate the buttons or icons.

Cut and Paste (Copy and Paste):  Your mouse has a right and left button.  For right-handed users, the left button is used for most navigation. The right button will open pop-up menus.  One of these is the cut and paste function.  If you highlight a graphic or section of text, then right click and choose cut, it will remove the item from your screen.  Go to the place you want it to appear and right click, choose paste from the pop-up menu and it will deposit the item.  This is referred to as "holding it on the clipboard."  You can also choose "copy", instead of cut, which will leave the material in its original location and place a copy in the new location.  This is the method used for taking things off the Web and putting them in your word processing package.

Drag and Drop:  This is a variation of Cut & Paste. Click your mouse cursor on an object you want to copy, using the left mouse button, and without raising your finger, move the mouse to another area before letting go. When you do that, a little rectangle appears to travel with the cursor and when you release the mouse button, the rectangle becomes the object you have dragged (and dropped).

Drop Down Box:  In some cases, you can click on a small box with an arrow beside it and the box will open to provide several choices.  Once you have made a choice, the box closes again. 

Graphics:  Most computers have two basic categories: text and graphics. If it is not text, then it is graphic. This includes line drawings, Gifs, photographs, animations, logos and icons.  Attachments which contain graphics usually need to be opened in a graphics program - most computers with Windows already include Paint as an accessory. This will open graphics.

GIF, JPEG:  These are two ways the computer has of saving complex graphics.  A GIF is generally used to save a line drawing, such as quilt diagrams.  A JPEG, which has a wider range of colors and a finer resolution, is normally used to save photographs.  Your graphics program will have a "Save As" function. When the dialog box opens, there will be a line for the name of the graphic and under that a drop down box with options for savings, such as .gif, .jpg, .bmp.  You should choose either .gif or .jpg based on these guidelines.

Import:  To bring a graphic or picture into your computer or program from another computer or program.

JPEG: see GIF above.

Links, Hyperlinks:  Links can move you within a Web page like Quilt University or around the World Wide Web.  They can be text or graphics.  Hyperlinked text is usually colored blue and underlined.  When you place your mouse pointer over a hyperlinked graphic or text, the pointer becomes a small hand.  All the pages in Quilt University are linked together using navigation buttons to form a Web.  This means there is computer code behind the button which automatically takes you to the place named on the button.  There are also text which contain links, such as  'Return to Lesson One', which appears when you have gone to the larger version of a photo or diagram.  Links can also take you to other sites, such as the titles in the Bookstore which take you to to make your purchase.  In the Galleries, small pictures may be linked to a separate page where you can see a larger version of the graphic.

Message Boards:  Quilt University uses a message board rather than live chat.  This allows people to leave messages for later retrieval rather than requiring that everyone be in front of their computers at the same time. 

Scanner:  A scanner is a nifty little accessory you can add to your computer.  It allows you to put a photo or document face down (like a copier) and choose to send the "scanned" image to your computer or your printer.  Your scanner will also allow you to crop the picture. This means you can move the side limits of the photo so that only the best parts remain.  Normally, there is a drop down box which allows you to choose where you are sending the scanned image (e.g., send to file lets you put it in a folder inside your computer. Then you may access it from that folder to send it as an attachment.) .  You can also choose what format you wish to Save As, such as .gif or .jpg.  See GIF above.  Your scanner also has a box which indicates what size the image is being saved as.  It will choose to fill up the page unless you instruct it otherwise.  For images you plan to send as attachments, please be sure that your image is no larger than 3"x5".

Thumbnail:  This is a postage stamp-sized rendering of a graphic.  These tiny pictures are always hyperlinked to a larger version of the same graphic.  When a large number of graphics appears on a single page, such as the Gallery, it saves time if they're shown as Thumbnails and the viewer can choose which photos they would like to see full-sized.  

 Zip File:  A zip file is a file that contains one or more compressed documents.  A zip file has an extension of .zip.  It is usually used to send large graphic images over the internet in a reasonably short period of time.  

The most frequently-used zipper program is Winzip.  You can get an free evaluation version of WinZip by going  to  Download & install it. 

Once installed, you can extract documents from a zip file by double-clicking the file name.  A window pops up, shows you the names of the documents inside the zip file and allows you to extract one or all of the documents into a folder of your choice.

Adding documents to a zip file is just as easy.  When you right-click on a document name or icon, you can choose the "Add to Zip" option.  It then displays the name of the document being zipped and prompts you for the name of the destination zip file.  Since it remembers the name of the last zip file you created, you can add more documents to the zip file simply by repeating this procedure.