Chapter 4: Application Software: Programs That Let you Work and Play
The Nuts and Bolts of Software
**A computer system does nothing without software
What is Software?
Software: refers to a set of instructions that tells the computer what to so
Program: an instruction set that provides a means for us to interact with and use
1. Application software: software used to do tasks at home, school and work
a. Productivity: word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, database,
personal finance, note taking
b. Media: image, audio, and video editing, media management
c. Home/Entertainment: gaming, education, drawing
d. Business: home, large, and specialized business
2. System software: software such as Windows and Mac OS X, which help run
the computer and coordinate instructions between application software and
a. Includes: operating system and utility programs
Productivity Software for Home and Office
Productivity software: includes programs that enable you to perform various tasks
required at home, school, and business.
Word Processing Software
What is the best software to use to create general documents?
Word processing software: used to create and edit documents
Are there free of more affordable alternatives?
Open source software: is a program code that is publically available and has few
- OpenOffice and AbiWord ▯ becoming popular because they are free
Proprietary software: neither free nor open source
Web-based applications: can be accessed from any computer that has an Internet
connection, are great for collaborating and coordinating input from a variety of
users on a single document
How do I control the way my documents look?
By using the formatting options
- Font sizes and styles, add color to text, adjust margins, add borders, insert
bulleted and numbered lists, organize text into columns, insert pictures, add
graphics, etc What special tools do word processing programs have?
Most applications come with spelling and grammar checks and a thesaurus
Search-and-replace tool allows you to search for text in document and
automatically replace it with other text
Can translate words or phrases into another language
Why would I need to use spreadsheet software?
Spreadsheet software: (Microsoft Excel) enables you to do calculations and
numerical analysis easily
How do I use spreadsheet software?
Basic element is the worksheet consisting of columns and rows
- Form individual boxes called cells
- Can enter several types of data into a cell
o Text: any combinations of letters, numbers, symbols, and spaces
o Values: numerical data, often used for calculations
o Formulas: equations that you build yourself using addition,
subtraction, multiplication and division
o Functions: formulas that are preprogrammed into the spreadsheet
Primary benefit of spreadsheet software is its ability to recalculate all functions and
formulas in the spreadsheet automatically when vales for some of the inputs change
What-if-analysis: can quickly test different assumptions in the same analysis
What kinds of graphs and charts can I create with spreadsheet software?
Easier to see meaning of numerical information when shown in graphical format
such as a chart
Types of charts (can have 3D effects)
1. Basic column charts
2. Pie charts
3. Line charts
4. Stock charts
5. Scatter charts
6. Custom charts
Are spreadsheets used for anything besides financial analysis?
Programs can often solve problems that formerly required custom programming
Many spreadsheet applications also have database capabilities and can sort, filter,
and group data
Presentation Software What software do I use to create presentations?
Presentation software: used to create dynamic slide shows
- Can produce high-quality presentations without a lot of training
- Can embed online videos, change colors, add effects, trim video clips without
the need for a separate video editing program
How do I create a presentation?
Slide layouts: give the option of using a single or double column of bulleted text,
various combinations of bulleted text, clip aft, graphs, photos, video clips
Can have a theme to presentation by choosing a design template
Can use animation effects
Can add slide transitions and effects
How can I use database software?
Database software: powerful applications that allow you to store and organize data
Spreadsheet applications include database features
- Can be used for sorting, filtering, and organizing data
Are organized into data catagories
- Records: collection of related fields
- Tables: group related records
How do you benefit when businesses use database software?
Online databases allow customers to track status of a package
Businesses use databases to keep track of clients, invoices, personal information
Note Taking Software
Is there software to help students with note taking?
There are many programs that help students organize and maintain lecture notes
Microsoft OneNote allows students with Tablet PCs to write their notes directly
onto the tablet using an electronic notebook
Are there free or portable note taking applications?
Evernote allows you to take notes via the Web, your phone, or your computer and
then sync your notes between the Web, your phone and any computer
- Can save text, audio and images
Stickynotes are digital equivalents to paper sticky notes
Personal Information Manager (PIM) Software
Which applications should I use to manage my time, contact lists, and tasks?
Ex. Microsoft Office, Lotus Organizer, Chandler
- Strive to replace management tools found on the traditional desk Are there Web-based PIM programs?
Productivity Software Features
What tools can help me work more efficiently with productivity software?
- Wizard is a systematic guide that walks you through the steps necessary to
complete a complicated task
o Are guided by a wizard when you install software
- Template is a predesigned form, they provide the basic structure for a
particular and of document, spreadsheet, or presentation
o Page layouts, formatting, and styles
- Macro is a small program that groups a series of commands so they will run
as a single command
Integrated Software Applications
Integrated software application is a single software program that incorporates
the most commonly used tools of many productivity software programs into a single
integrated program (*software light)
- Ex. Microsoft Work
Why would I use an integrated software application instead of individual stand-
Integrated is less expensive
Software suite is a group of software programs that have been bundles as a
Can buy for
- Virus protection
Three primary developers
Which applications do productivity software suites contain? Most contain word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and PIM software
May also contain database programs and desktop publishing software
What are the advantages of software suites?
Less expensive than purchasing programs individually
When they come in bundles the programs work well together because they are from
the same company and share common features
Personal Financial Software
What software can I use to prepare my taxes?
Tax preparation software enables you to prepare your state and federal taxes on
your own instead of hiring a professional
- Have complete set of tax forms and instructions and videos
- Have a built in error check
- Offer financial planning advice
Which software can I use to help keep track of my personal finances?
Financial planning software helps you manage your daily finances
- Intuit Quicken and Microsoft Money
Include electronic checkbook registers, automatic bill payment tools
Can schedule automatic online payments
All transactions are recoded
Coordinate with tax preparation software
Media Software for Home
Multimedia software includes image, video, and audio editing software, animation
Digital Image Editing Software
Once image information is in digital format it can be used with all other software
What software can I use to edit my photos?
Image editing software enables you to edit photographs and other images
Includes tools for basic modifications to digital images
- Removing red eye, modifying contrast, sharpness, color casts, removing
scratches or rips from scanned images
- Include painting tools; brushes, pens, artistic media
Ex. Adobe Photoshop, Corel PaintShop Pro Photo
Can a nonprofessional use image-editing software?
Some programs are geared toward the casual home user Digital Audio Software
Why would I have digital audio files on my computer?
Novels, newspapers, and radio shoes can all be purchased as audio files
Audio files are also available through podcasting (over the Internet)
You can compose your own song with virtual instruments, voice recorders,
synthesizers, special audio effects
Why are MP3 files so popular?
MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3) a type of audio compression format that reduces the
file size of traditional digital audio files so that they will take up less storage capacity
- Is also a standard of digital audio compression which has made it possible to
transfer and play back music on a personal media player
Ex. Ogg Vorbis is a free open source audio compression format alternative
Most digital audio software programs support one of the following functions
1. MP3 recoding allows you to record directly from streaming audio and other
software or microphone source to MP3 format
2. CD ripping allows you to copy or extract CDs and encode to MP3 format
3. CD burning allows you to create your own CDs from MP3 collection
4. Encoding and decoding done by encoders, programs that convert files to
MP3 format at varying levels of quality
5. Format conversion programs allow you to convert MP3 files to other digital
audio formats such as WAV (Waveform audio format), WMA (Windows
Media Audio), AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format)
Can I edit audio files?
Audio editing software enables you to perform basic editing tasks
- Cutting dead air space from beginning or end of song, or cutting from middle
- Can add special sound effects (echo, bass boost, remove static)
Digital Video Editing Software
What kind of software do I need to edit my digital videos?
Digital video editing software offers range of special effects and tools
Does video editing software support all kinds of video files?
Come in a number of formats
- Flash video, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, VCD, SVCD, DVD, AVI, WMV, MOV,
*AVCHD (Advanced Video Coding High Definition) is a format for high-definition
In what format are the videos I watch on my portable media player?
They are in the MP4 format - Stores digital audio and digital video streams, text for subtitles and still
- Compresses the audio and video content into a more manageable file size
Media Management Software
How do I manage the audio, video and image files on my system?
Your hard drive is a convenient place to store music and images
Are there Web-based programs available to edit, share and store my photos?
Digital images can easily be shared via the Internet
- Ex. Snapfish, Kodak, Shutterfly, Flickr, Google Picasa
Software Fun for Home
Entertainment software is designed to provide users with thrills, chills, and fun,
include virtual reality programs that turn artificial environments into a realistic
Do I need special equipment to run entertainment software?
Your computer needs to have;
- Enough processing power, memory (RAM), and hard drive capacity to run
- Appropriate sound cards, video cards, speakers, monitor, and CD/DVD drives
Many games require specialized controllers
How do I tell what computer fames are appropriate for a certain user?
Entertainment software rating board (ESRB) is a self-regulatory body
established in 1994 by the Entertainment Software Association
- Helps consumers choose the computer and vi