Jargon Buster


  1. Fader



    A sliding control generally used to control the level of sound.


  2. Fades wipes and dissolves



    Methods used to move smoothly from one video clip to another without a harsh ‘jump’ cut.


  3. FAQ



    Frequently Asked Questions. A text file or web page providing commonly requested information.


  4. Fat 16



    A system for formatting hard disks used by Windows 95. It is now outdated.


  5. Fat 32



    A system for formatting hard disks used by Windows 98 and ME, and still used for some portable disks.


  6. Favorites



    The name given to websites bookmarked for later use in Internet Explorer.


  7. Fibre optic



    A technology that sends data as pulses of light via glass cables.


  8. Field



    A container that holds an item of information. Website forms often have fields for your first name and surname, for example.


  9. File format



    A method for storing a type of information in a computer file. In Windows the format of a file is denoted by its file extension.


  10. File sharing



    Distributing and swapping files via the internet. Often associated in the media with illegally sharing copyrighted files.


  11. Filter



    In image-editing software filters are tools that can be applied to transform or modify an image.


  12. Finalise



    Recordable DVDs must be finalised before they can be played in a standard DVD player.


  13. Firewall



    A piece of software or hardware that prevents unauthorised access to a computer over a network, such as the internet.


  14. Firewire



    A type of connection used for some external hard disks and digital camcorders. More commonly used on Apple computers.


  15. Firmware



    Basic software stored on a device, such as a music player, to control its operation. Can sometimes be upgraded in a process often called flashing.


  16. FLAC



    Free Lossless Audio Codec. A type of digital audio file that can be created from CD with no loss of audio quality.


  17. Flash



    An application used to display animations and video files on websites.


  18. Flash memory



    A type of memory that can retain information without a power source. Used in memory cards, USB memory keys and other storage devices.


  19. Flatbed



    A type of scanner where documents are placed on a flat sheet of glass or plastic to be scanned.


  20. Flight mode



    A quick way of turning off all the wireless connections on a smartphone or tablet.


  21. Floppy disk



    A thin square plastic storage device containing a 3.5in magnetic disc. Largely obsolete.


  22. FM



    Frequency Modulation. A method for sending sound or data via radio waves.


  23. Folder



    Files on a computer’s hard disk are arranged in a system of folders that group items together. You might make a folder called ‘letters’ for correspondence, for example.


  24. Font



    A set of letters and numbers in a particular style. Popular Windows fonts include Arial and Times New Roman.


  25. Font size



    The size at which text will be shown on screen or printed. Measured in points, or pt for short.


  26. Footer



    A special area at the bottom of the page in a word-processing document. Enter text here and it will be printed at the foot of every page.


  27. Form



    A window or web page designed for entering information. Often used to put information into a database.


  28. Format



    To prepare a disk for use.


  29. Formula



    In a spreadsheet any cell can contain a formula that tells it what value should be shown based on the content of other cells.


  30. Formula bar



    In a spreadsheet, the long text box above the sheet itself. If the selected cell contains a formula it will be shown here.


  31. Forum



    A website where users can ask questions and receive replies from other users.


  32. Fragmentation



    When Windows cannot find a space on the hard disk big enough to store a given file it will split up the file and store the parts in different locations. This can, over time, slow down the computer, but it can be solved by defragmenting the disk.


  33. Frame rate



    The number of still images, or frames, shown per second to create a moving image. Higher frame rates make games appear smoother and more realistic.


  34. Frame (website)



    A website can be split up into several frames, each showing a different web page file – one for the menu and one for content, for example. This technique is becoming obsolete.


  35. Freeview



    The UK’s free terrestrial digital TV service.


  36. Freeview HD



    A free high-definition television service that can be received using a standard television aerial.


  37. Freeware



    Software that you can download and use free.


  38. Frequency



    A measure to do with radio waves. FM radio, wi-fi, mobile phones, Bluetooth and other radio services operate at different radio frequencies.


  39. Fringing



    Small patches of purple seen on some digital photographs where dark areas meet light ones.


  40. Front-side bus



    The link between the computer’s processor and memory. Its speed can be measured in Megahertz (MHz).


  41. F-stop



    Sometimes F-number. This is a measure of a camera’s aperture; how much light can enter the lens at once, as measured in terms relative to the focal length.


  42. FTP



    File Transfer Protocol. A system for transferring files between computers. Often used when uploading websites.


  43. FTTC



    Fibre to the Cabinet. A broadband technology that uses fibre-optic cable between a telephone exchange and residential streets before transferring to the normal telephone wires.


  44. Fuser



    Part of a laser printer, the fuser melts the coloured toner onto the paper.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links. Tell us what you think – email the Editor

Next page Previous page