Home : Software Terms : Document Definition


A computer document is a file created by a software application. While the term "document" originally referred specifically to word processor documents, it is now used to refer to all types of saved files. Therefore, documents may contain text, images, audio, video, and other types of data.

A document is represented with both an icon and a filename. The icon provides a visual representation of the file type, while the filename provides a unique name for the file. Most document filenames also include a file extension, which defines the file type of the document. For example, a Microsoft Word document may have a .DOCX file extension, while a Photoshop document may have a .PSD file extension.

Many software applications allow you to create a new document by selecting File → New from the menu bar. You can then edit the document and select File → Save to save the file to your hard disk. If you want create a copy of the document, most programs allow you to select File → Save As… to save the document with a different filename. Once you have saved a document, you can open it at a later time by double-clicking the file or by selecting File → Open… within the associated program.

Updated: November 1, 2011

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This page contains a technical definition of Document. It explains in computing terminology what Document means and is one of many software terms in the TechTerms dictionary.

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