Import

Import is a command typically located within a program's File menu (File → Import...). Like the standard File → Open... command, Import is used for opening files, but it serves a more specific purpose. Instead of opening standard file types, Import is often used for importing parts of files, program settings, plug-ins, or other unconventional file formats.

Not all applications include an Import option, since the "Open..." command is often sufficient. Instead, the Import command is only found in programs that require a means of importing unique types of data. For example, Adobe Photoshop includes an Import command that allows users to import frames from a video file as layers in an image document. Intuit Quicken includes an Import feature that allows users to import data from .QIF documents or download information directly from the Web. Most Web browsers also include an Import option that allows users to import saved bookmarks and other settings.

While the Import command can serve a number of different purposes, its main function is to import file types that cannot be opened with the standard "Open..." command. Therefore, if you want to import unconventional types of data into an application, the File → Import... command may be your best bet.

Many programs also include an Export command, which is used for saving data in a specific format.

Updated September 2, 2010

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