IC3/Common Program Functions

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Most computer applications have common program functions that are used to accomplish everyday tasks. These include file management, document editing and formatting, and printing.[1]

This lesson introduces common program functions and helps learners prepare for the IC3 Key Applications certification exam.

Objectives and Skills

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Objectives and skills for the common program functions portion of IC3 certification include:


  • Be able to start and exit an application, identify and modify interface elements and utilize sources of online help
  • Perform common file-management functions
  • Perform common editing and formatting functions
  • Perform common printing/outputting functions


  • Common Features and Commands: Keyboard shortcuts, cut, copy, paste, show/hide, print, spellcheck, find/replace, redo undo, drag and drop, preferences, resets, customization, help, selecting
  • Formatting: Using styles, basic text formatting
  • Navigating: Open, close, save vs. save as, new file, maximize/minimize/resize, search, views
  • Working with multimedia files: Resize, crop, rotate, insert, attach, working in the application


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  1. Wikipedia: Keyboard shortcut
  2. Wikipedia: Graphical user interface elements
  3. Wikipedia: Online help
  4. Wikipedia: Format
  5. Wikipedia: Multimedia


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  1. YouTube: Learn Keyboard Techniques
  2. YouTube: Learn Basic Computer Skills : Windows & Right Click Menus
  3. YouTube: How to Save a Document
  4. YouTube: Saving Files and Creating File Folders
  5. YouTube: IC3 Demo Video
  6. YouTube: Text Formatting


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  1. Complete the following GCFLearnFree tutorials:
  2. Complete the following WikiHow tutorials:

Lesson Summary

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  • Applications are used for communication, productivity, entertainment and more. Some examples of of applications are Mobile Apps, Microsoft Word, Power Point, and Skype.[4]
  • Online help is topic-oriented, procedural or reference information delivered through computer software. It is a form of user assistance. Most online help is designed to give assistance in the use of a software application or operating system, but can also be used to present information on a broad range of subjects. When online help is linked to the state of the application (what the user is doing), it is called Context-sensitive help.[5]
  • In computing, a keyboard shortcut is a sequence or combination of keystrokes on a computer keyboard which invokes commands in software. Most keyboard shortcuts require the user to press a single key or a sequence of keys one after the other.[6]
  • In a word processor program, a style is a set of text formatting characteristics such as font size, color, and alignment. For example, a user could select the "Heading 1" style to make the text larger, blue, and bold; all without having to apply each of the different formatting characteristics individually. Also, the style can be adjusted at any time which means if you have several "Heading 1" type pages in your document, modifying that style changes the look of all your headings automatically.[7]
  • Common file-management functions include opening, closing, saving, or using save-as, creating, printing, resizing, including minimizing and maximizing, searching for and viewing files. All of these functions can be performed via the Menu bar in a word processing program.

Key Terms

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The close command closes down a document. It is located on the File menu on the word processing menu ribbon.[8]
The term "copy-and-paste" refers to the popular, simple method of reproducing text or other data from a source to a destination. Windows shortcut Ctrl+C or Ctrl+Ins, Mac OS shortcut Cmd+C.[9]
To remove parts of a digital image or physical photo to retain a smaller section of the original. Cropping a digital image is performed by a function in every image or photo editing program. It does not reduce the resolution; it removes part of the image.[10]
The cut command removes the selected data from its original position. Windows shortcut Ctrl+X or Shift+delete. Mac OS shortcut Cmd+X.[11]
disk utility
A tool in Mac that will let you format a USB drive.[12]
drag and drop
A pointing device gesture in which the user selects a virtual object by "grabbing" it and dragging it to a different location or onto another virtual object.[13]
exFAT (FAT64)
Allows you to store files larger than 4 GB, and can be read and written in Windows and OS X 10.6.5 and later. You may have difficulty getting it to work in older systems and devices.[14]
A command in the command line interpreters (shells) of DOS,[1] OS/2 and Microsoft Windows.[2] It is used to search for a specific text string in a file or files. The command sends the specified lines to the standard output device.[15] Windows shortcut Ctrl+F. Mac OS shortcut Cmd+F.[16]
flash drive
A small and portable electronic device that saves data using flash memory and connects to other devices via USB (Universal Serial Bus).[17]
flash memory
An electronic (solid-state) non-volatile computer storage medium that can be electrically erased and reprogrammed.[18]
(especially in computing) arrange or put into a format.[19]
graphical user interface elements
those elements used by graphical user interfaces (GUI's) to offer a consistent visual language to represent information stored in computers. These make it easier for people with few computer skills to work with and use computer software.[20]
A command in various command line shells. It provides online information about available commands and the shell environment.[21]
In general, the term insert is used to describe placing an object within another object. For example, placing a diskette into a diskette drive could also be phrased as inserting a disk into the computer.[22]
interface elements
see graphical user interface elements
Mac OS X Extended (Journaled)
The best format if you only plan on using your flash drive for OS X systems. It will provide the best reading and writing performance on OS X systems. This format is required if you are using your thumb drive for Time Machine.[23]
Used to enlarge a window, usually making it fill the entire screen or the program window in which it is contained.[24]
An action in all GUI operating systems that hides a window, but keeps the application running and accessible.[25]
The most basic system for storing files. This system can be slow at times, but it reduces compatibility issues because of its simplicity. Not many systems and devices use FAT by default anymore.[26]
new file
A command used to start a new word processing document; one that has not existed before. It is located on the File menu on the word processing menu ribbon.[source?]
Used to start up a document that has previously been saved to a folder. It is found in the File menu in the word processing menu ribbon.[27]
Used to insert data in the clipboard in the position where the command is issued. Windows shortcut Ctrl+V or Shift+Ins. Mac OS shortcut Cmd+V.[28]
An application included with the macOS operating system that allows users to modify various system settings which are divided into separate Preference Panes.[29] Mac OS shortcut Cmd+comma(,).[30]
Command that is normally located in the File menu, and will bring up a dialog box allowing you to adjust print settings or preview your print job. This article offers a step-by-step guide on printing in most programs and operating systems as well as a troubleshooting guide for some of the most common issues you may encounter.[31] Windows shortcut Ctrl+P. Mac OS shortcut Cmd+P[32]
Reverses the undo or advances the buffer to a more current state.[33] Windows shortcut Ctrl+Y or Shift+Alt+backspace. Mac OS shortcut shift+Cmd+Z.[34]
Clears any pending errors or events and brings a system to normal condition or an initial state, usually in a controlled manner.[35]
resize (also called restore)
The process of taking a window that has been minimized and enlarging it back to maximized or its "Normal" size. Also refers to taking a maximized window and reducing it to a "Normal" size.[36]
save as
Used to save a copy of a file while keeping the original file. Click File on the top menu, choose Save As, and save your document in your Documents folder or to your desktop for easy retrieval later; Press the Alt key, followed by the F key and the A key.[37]
search (also called seek)
A function or process of finding letters, words, files, web pages, or other data.[38]
search engine
A program that searches documents for specified keywords and returns a list of the documents where the keywords were found.[39]
A list of items on which user operations will take place. The user typically adds items to the list manually, although the computer may create a selection automatically.[40] Windows shortcut Ctrl+A. Mac OS shortcut Cmd+A.[41]
show/hide Also know as Task view.
Allows a user to quickly locate an open window, quickly hide all windows and show the desktop, and to manage windows across multiple monitors or virtual desktops[42] Windows shortcut Win+D. Mac OS shortcut F11.[43]
A desktop icon that enables a user to easily see and select a particular program or data object.[44]
A command in many computer programs. It erases the last change done to the document reverting it to an older state. In some more advanced programs such as graphic processing, undo will negate the last command done to the file being edited.[45] Windows shortcut Ctrl+Z. Mac OS shortcut Cmd+Z.[46]
URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
The address of a World Wide Web page. Also known as address, IP address, link, and alias.[47]
USB (Universal Serial Bus)
An industry standard that defines cables, connectors and communications protocols for connection, communication, and power supply between computers and electronic devices.[48]
(View) Print Layout Mode
Shows how the document will look when printed. It is located on the View menu on the word processing menu ribbon second from the left.[49]
(View) Read Mode
The best way to read a document and includes some tools designed for reading instead of writing. It is located on the View menu on the word processing menu ribbon on the far left.[50]
(View) Web Layout Mode
Shows how the document will look as a webpage. This layout works well to show any wide tables in a document. It is located on the View menu on the word processing menu ribbon third from the left.[51]
Windows NT File System (NTFS)
A fast system that allows you to access your files quickly. NTFS is most suitable for drives that need to be accessed for operating heavy software. Windows can read and write on NTFS drives, but OS X can only read NTFS, not write.[52]


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  1. Quia: Computer Literacy Matching

See Also

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Type classification: this is a lesson resource.
Completion status: this resource is ~30% complete.
  1. IC3 GS4 Key Applications
  2. IC3 GS4 Key Applications
  3. IC3 GS4 Key Applications Skills Measured
  4. GCFLearnFree: Understanding Applications
  5. Wikipedia: Online help
  6. Wikipedia: Table of keyboard shortcuts
  7. ComputerHope: Style
  8. InfoBitt: Open and Save a Document Automatically
  9. Wikipedia: Cut, copy, and paste
  10. YourDictionary: Crop
  11. Wikipedia: Cut, copy, and paste
  12. WikiHow: Format a Flash Drive
  13. Wikipedia: Drag and drop\
  14. WikiHow: Format a Flash Drive
  15. Wikipedia: find (command)
  16. Wikipedia: Table of keyboard shortcuts
  17. WikiHow: Format a Flash Drive
  18. Wikipedia: Flash memory
  19. Wiktionary: Formatting
  20. Wikipedia: List of graphical user interface elements
  21. Wikipedia: help (command)
  22. ComputerHope: Insert
  23. WikiHow: Format a Flash Drive
  24. ComputerHope: Maximize
  25. ComputerHope: Minimize
  26. WikiHow: Format a Flash Drive
  27. DigitalUnite: How to Open Saved Documents
  28. Wikipedia: Cut, copy, and paste
  29. Wikipedia: System Preferences
  30. Apple: Preferences
  31. WikiHow: Print a Document
  32. Wikipedia: Table of keyboard shortcuts
  33. Wikipedia: Undo
  34. Wikipedia: Table of keyboard shortcuts
  35. Wikipedia: Reset (computing)
  36. ComputerHope: Restore
  37. Dummies: How to Save a Document in Windows 10
  38. ComputerHope: Search
  39. Webopedia: Search Engine
  40. Wikipedia: Selection (user interface)
  41. Wikipedia: Table of keyboard shortcuts
  42. Wikipedia: Task View
  43. Wikipedia: Table of keyboard shortcuts
  44. TechTarget: Shortcut
  45. Wikipedia: Undo
  46. Wikipedia: Table of keyboard shortcuts
  47. Wikipedia: URL
  48. "USB deserves more support", Business, Boston Globe Online, Simson, 1995-12-31, retrieved 2011-12-12
  49. Microsoft Word Print Layout pop out explanation.
  50. Microsoft Word Read Layout pop out explanation.
  51. Microsoft Word Web Layout pop out explanation.
  52. WikiHow: Format a Flash Drive