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In computing, an icon is a pictogram displayed on a computer screen in order to help the user navigate a computer system or mobile device. The icon itself is a quickly comprehensible symbol of a software tool, function, or a data file, accessible on the system and is more like a traffic sign than a detailed illustration of the actual entity it represents.<ref name="BusinessWeek">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> It can serve as an electronic hyperlink or file shortcut to access the program or data. The user can activate an icon using a mouse, pointer, finger, or recently voice commands. Their placement on the screen, also in relation to other icons, may provide further information to the user about their usage.<ref name="ICT Pictograms, Icons and Symbols"/> In activating an icon, the user can move directly into and out of the identified function without knowing anything further about the location or requirements of the file or code.{{#invoke:Multiple image|render}}

Icons as parts of the graphical user interface of the computer system, in conjunction with windows, menus and a pointing device (mouse), belong to the much larger topic of the history of the graphical user interface that has largely supplanted the text-based interface for casual use.


Icon (computing) sections
Intro   Overview    Types    Placement and spacing    Design    Related visual tools    Icon creation   See also   References    Further reading   External links  

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Icons::computer    System::software    Design::screen    Desktop::windows    Image::these    Icons::desktop

In computing, an icon is a pictogram displayed on a computer screen in order to help the user navigate a computer system or mobile device. The icon itself is a quickly comprehensible symbol of a software tool, function, or a data file, accessible on the system and is more like a traffic sign than a detailed illustration of the actual entity it represents.<ref name="BusinessWeek">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> It can serve as an electronic hyperlink or file shortcut to access the program or data. The user can activate an icon using a mouse, pointer, finger, or recently voice commands. Their placement on the screen, also in relation to other icons, may provide further information to the user about their usage.<ref name="ICT Pictograms, Icons and Symbols"/> In activating an icon, the user can move directly into and out of the identified function without knowing anything further about the location or requirements of the file or code.{{#invoke:Multiple image|render}}

Icons as parts of the graphical user interface of the computer system, in conjunction with windows, menus and a pointing device (mouse), belong to the much larger topic of the history of the graphical user interface that has largely supplanted the text-based interface for casual use.


Icon (computing) sections
Intro   Overview    Types    Placement and spacing    Design    Related visual tools    Icon creation   See also   References    Further reading   External links  

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Overview
<<>>