The following is Part 2 of last month’s blog which listed some key glossary terms for Hardware.

Address Box

A narrow, rectangular box in the browser window where you can type in a web address.  Typing in the web address in the address box and hitting Enter on the keyboard will take you to a website.  The address bar will look slightly different, depending on the browser you are using, i.e., Chrome, Edge, Firefox or Internet Explorer.

Chrome bar

Edge bar

Firefox bar

Back Arrow and Forward Arrow

These arrows are found at the top of most browsers.   When you click on the back arrow, it takes you back – in order – through all of the web pages you have seen.  After you have clicked on the Back Arrow, the Forward Arrow becomes available to move forward through the web pages you have seen.

Back and forward arrow


To explore a website or a number of websites by scanning and reading information.


Software, such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox or Internet Explorer, used to find information on the internet.  The most visible part of a browser sits at the top of the computer screen, above the web page.

chrome firefox Microsoft_Edge_logo


Small box that looks like it’s being depressed when you select it.  Buttons can turn on (and turn off) many types of functions on the Internet.



A small image on the screen indicating where you are pointing; the mouse controls the movements of the cursor.  The cursor can appear in different forms, including:

 arrow cursor An arrow, which indicates where you are positioned on the screen.
 i-beam cursor An I-beam, often blinking, which marks a place on the screen where you can enter or select text.
 pointing hand cursor A pointing hand, which indicates that you are hovering over a link.  This can be on a website, in a document or in an e-mail.
 hourglass cursor An hourglass, which indicates that the computer is doing a task.  You must wait until it disappears before you can proceed.

Dialog Box

A special box that appears when the computer needs additional information in order to carry out a task.

dialogue box

Dropdown List

A list of items from which you can make selections.  To see the list of choices, click on the down arrow on the right of the field.

Stands for Frequently Asked Questions.  These are commonly asked questions and answers that appear on many websites.

dropdown list

Home page

The first thing you see when you come to a website, or the opening page of a website.  It provides information about the site, which could be a company, organization or reference source, and directs you to other pages on the site.


A small picture or image representing a command (such as print), a file, or a program.  When you click on an icon, you start a command, open a file, or  launch a program.print icon

The Internet

A vast, international collection of computer networks that transfers information.  A combination of the words “international” and “network”.  Websites and e-mail are part of the Internet.

Link (or hyperlink)

A highlighted or underlined feature on a web page that, when clicked, will take you to another web page.  A link most often appears as underlined words or an image.

One sure way to tell if something is a link or not: Whenever your cursor turns into a pointing hand, the image or word you are pointing to is a link.

Log On

To gain access to a computer system or to a page on a website by entering a password or user ID.


A list of options, or topics, on a website that users can choose from.



To move through a website or through various websites.


To move text or other information on a computer screen up, down, or sideways, with new information appearing as the old disappears.

Scroll Bar

A narrow, rectangular bar on the right edge and bottom edge of a web page that lets you move the page to see more of the information it contains.  The scroll bar on the right moves the web page up and down, and the scroll bar on the bottom moves the web page right and left.

Scroll bars

Search Box

A small rectangular blank space on a web page where you can type in a word or phrase to look for information.  Clicking on the button next to the search box (or hitting the Enter key on the keyboard) will take you to a page where that information is located.

search box

Site map

A list of the contents on a website, similar to an index in a book.  A link to the site map is usually found at the bottom of the home page.


The instructions that tell the computer and computer networks what to do.  Software is installed inside the computer.

“Surf the ‘net” or “go online”

To explore various websites on the Internet.

Web Address or urL

The address for a website.  (URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator.)  Websites typically start with the letters www (for World Wide Web) and end with a dot followed by letters that indicate the type of website it is:

.com = commercial enterprise or business

.ca = Canadian website

.org = non-profit organization

.edu = educational institution

.gov = government agency

.mil = military agency

.net = another ending for a commercial website

There are many other types of websites and the list grows continuously.

On the Internet, you get to a website by typing in the web address (or URL) into the address box of a browser.  For example, to get to the website of New Start Computer Training, you would type in the address box.


A location on the World Wide Web (and Internet) that contains information about a specific topic.  A website usually contains multiple pages with different types of information about the topic.


A framed area of a computer screen that appears in front of the web page.  Sometimes the appearance of a window means that you have entered another website.  At other times, it means you may still be on the same website.


The World Wide Web

Also known as “the web”, it is a system that lets you access information on the Internet.  People often use the term Web to refer to the Internet, but they are not exactly the same thing.  The World Wide Web operates over the Internet, and it is the most widely used part of the Internet.


To learn more, contact New Start Computer Training

to book an appointment.

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Simplifying computers for beginners, boomers and beyond.

(416) 844-3597

 Adapted from the Glossary of Computer and Internet Terms for Older Adults, prepared by the National Institute on Aging.

 © 2016 New Start Computer Training

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