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ICT

Data transfer

Translating between file types

Data [data: information without context, eg a list of students with numbers beside their names is data, when it's made clear that those numbers represent their placing in a 100 metre race, the data becomes information ] can be stored temporarily in a computer's RAM [Random Access Memory (RAM): Memory that is constantly being written to and read from. It does not retain its contents without a constant supply of power, ie when a computer is turned off, everything stored in its RAM is lost. ] as a means of transfer from one application to another. In Microsoft operating systems [operating system: an interface between hardware, eg a computer, and the user ] this feature is called the clipboard and it can copy data from one application [application: applications serve a specific purpose, eg Microsoft Word is used for word processing ] and paste it into another. Nearly all other operating systems support this functionality.

For example you can create a graph using a spreadsheet [spreadsheet: A spreadsheet is made up of cells, rows and columns. Each cell holds a piece of numeric (numbers) or alphanumeric (text) data. Cells can also contain formulae to calculate their contents. ] application and then use the clipboard to copy the graph to a desktop publishing [desktop publishing: an application that allows text and images to be laid out on a page ] application.

Limitations

  1. Certain elements of one document may not be copiable to another application, eg video.
  2. Some file features (eg text layout and formatting) may be lost in the translation to a different format.

Import and export

file is clicked, drop down menu, option highlighted is 'Export...'

Most applications have the ability to import and export data. Export saves the file in a format that's readable by other applications. Import opens a file created in another application for viewing or editing.

Back to Data, information and databases index

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