Wizard

When most people think of a wizard, they think of an old man with magical powers. This, as with many other computer definitions, has no correlation with the technical term. In computer terminology, a wizard is a part of a program that guides you through certain steps. For example, a wizard in Microsoft Word would help you create and format a new document according to your needs. This is helpful when creating a résumé, outline, invoice, etc. Some other examples of wizards are the Finale 2000 wizard, which helps you create a new music composition with your desired instruments, and the PowerPoint wizard, which helps you set up a presentation using a certain theme.

Basically, a wizard acts as a guide for creating a new document in a software program. Though wizards can be helpful, sometimes they can be more of a hassle than a help for experienced users. Some users would rather just create a new document from scratch, without using a wizard. This is because wizards typically don't offer as much customization as an experienced user may want. Finally, be sure not to confuse a "wizard" with a "template." A template is a pre-formatted document that has already been created, whereas a wizard is a step-by-step guide that helps you create your own document.

Updated 2006

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