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Thursday, March 9th, 2006 by | Filed Under: Computer Terms


Have you ever run into a situation where you need to import or export some data on your computer? Afterwards, did you sit there saying to yourself, what does that even mean? Well, don’t feel bad, you’re not the only one. It can be a little confusing.

Exporting is the process of reformatting information in one program so it can be read by another program. In other words, it’s basically creating the information in a different file so another program is able to understand it and therefore, the two programs are able to share the information. For example, if you have some data in a word processing application and you need to put it in a database management program, you can export the information from one program to the other. Once you do that, the particular file can be understood by both programs.

On the other side, importing is an application’s ability to read the data that is produced by the other program. In the example above, the other program would be the database management. Once the new program is able to read the new data, it can be used.

Here are a couple more examples. Exporting and importing can be used between two word processing programs, in photo editing programs and in music programs.

~ Erin

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