Computing Standard Grade - Unit 1 Computer Applications - General Purpose Packages

General Purpose Packages

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What is a standard file format and give examples o

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Standard File Formats

Data in standard file formats can be easily recognised by other computer programs. This makes it easier to transfer data between programs and also allows the file to be opened in different applications packages and in a format which is universally recognisable.

Examples of standard file formats are:-

Text - ASCII, RTF (rich text fornat), txt

Sound - MP3, WAV

Graphics - JPEG, GIF

Video - Real, MP4

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What are keyboard shortcuts?

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Expert users can quickly hit a combination of keys which do the same function as a pull-down menu options e.g. Control and P keys together send documents to the printer

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What is the difference between on-line help and on

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On-line help is when the user has a problem whilst using software and uses keywords to search the on-line help for assistance.

On-line tutorial is a step-by-step lesson guide through the main features of a software package and is good for new users.

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What is a computer wizard?


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Dialogue between the user and the program which helps guide the user through a more difficult task e.g. mail merge or installation of a new program.

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What is a template?


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Pre-prepared documents with a layout and structure already in place to use as a basis of creating a new document file. It saves the user time from starting from scratch e.g. an invoice template on Word or Fax header sheet.

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What is the difference between static link and dyn

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Static link - where changes in the data in the source document will NOT result in changes to the data in the linked document.

Dynamic link - a live link between two documents so that changes in the source document will automatically result in changes in the linked document

e.g. changes to a chart in a spreadsheet will automatically cause a change in a Word document which has been linked to it.

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What is an integrated software package and what ar

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Integrated package is a program that has two or more general purpose packages e.g. spreadsheet, database, word processing packages.

Microsoft Office is the Integrated Package which contains Word, Excel, Access etc

Advantages are that there is a common Human Computer Interface (HCI) which makes it easier to learn and use different programs

Also it is easy to transfer data between programs e.g. Database mailing details into a Word document to complete a mail merge

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Name 3 pieces of legislation which governs the use

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  • Data Protection Act - the rights of the data subject whose personal details are held by various organisations e.g. banks, retailers. The data user has a right to request to see data being held about them and ask that any mistakes are corrected. All data must be held securely and held no longer than is necessary. The data should adequate, relevant and not excessive. Data users (ie the company employees) must abide by the DPA provisions.

    It is the DPA which makes it illegal for one company to pass on details of their customers to another company without permission of the data subject

    The Data Controller is the person in the company with overall responsibility for data protection matters.

  • Computer Misuse Act - makes it illegal to hacking into computer systems and make unauthorised changes to data or to maliciously seek to cause harm e.g. by sending computer viruses.
  • Copyright, Design and Patents Act - makes it illegal to make copies of items such as software or music files without permission of the people who 'own' the rights to these files.
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