Glossary of Macintosh Terms

Object-oriented graphic:  An image made up of individual, mathematically defined objects, rather than a collection of bits.  Typically created by draw programs, which are based on either PostScript or QuickDraw.  Also called a vector graphic.  Compare bitmapped graphic.

OCR:  Optical Character Recognition, a technology that lets you scan a printed page (with a scanner) and convert it into a text document that you can edit in a word processor.  Som OCR software also works with files received by a fax modem.

OEM:  Original Equipment Manufacturer.  A company that produces a product that isn’t sold on its own but instead is incorporated into another company’s product.  For example, Quantum is an OEM that makes hard disks sold under different names by other companies.  Sometimes OEM is used as a verb:  “Quantum OEMs disk drives for Apple.”

OLE (OLE 2):  Object Linking and Embedding.  A Microsoft technology that gives programs a standard way to incorporate objects, such as graphics and spreadsheet charts, into documents.  Objects can be embedded into documents or merely linked (a reference to the original object is stored in the document rather than a copy of the actual object).

On-line:  Actively connect to other computers or devices.  You’re on-line when yu’re logged on to a network, BBS, or on-line service.  A device such as a printer is on-line when it’s turned on and accessible to the Mac.  (It can even refer to software:  An on-line help system is one you can call up via your software, as opposed to opening a manual.)  If you’re not on-line, then you’re off-line.

On-line service:  A commercial service that (for a price) provides goodies such as e-mail, discussion forums, tech support, software libraries, news, weather reports, stock prices, plane reservations, even electronic shopping malls.  To access one, you need a modem.  Compare BBS and Internet.

One-pass scanner:  A scanner that only needs to scan the original once, rather than once each for red, green, and blue.

OOP:  Object-Oriented Programming.  A programming technology in which program components are put together from reusable building blocks known as objects.

Open:  1.  Start up an application and/or make a document visible on the screen – that is, load its contents into memory from a disk.  Compare import and save.  2.  Expand a folder or disk into a window by double-clicking on its icon.  Also see Drag-and-Drop.

OpenDoc:  An architecture that lets you use several applications to work on different types of data within a single document (called a compound document because of the multiple formats it contains).

Operating System:  The basic software that runs the computer itself.  On the Mac, it consists of the System file, the ROMs, the Finder, and related system software.  Often called the OS (pronounced as separate letters) or just the system.

Optimizers:  See defragmenter.

Outline font:  A font in which each character’s shape is stored as a matematical outline.  It can be scaled to any size with no loss of quality and will print at the highest available resolution.  PostScript, TrueType, and GX fonts are outline-font formats.  Also called a scalable font.  Compare bitmapped font.

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by Janice Kempf
Updated 05/03/01