Computer Literate

What Does Computer Literate Mean?

Computer literate is a term used to describe individuals who have the knowledge and skills to use a computer and other related technology. This term is usually used to describe the most basic knowledge and skills needed to operate software products such as an operating system, a software application, or an automated Web design tool.


Computer literacy is becoming an increasingly essential skill.

Techopedia Explains Computer Literate

Computer literacy involves learning how to access information and perform basic operations on a computer. It can be understood in the same way that traditional literacy applies to print media. However, because computers are much more advanced than print media in terms of access, operation and overall use, computer literacy includes many more types of cognitive and technical skills, from understanding text and visual symbols, to turning devices on and off or accessing parts of an operating system through menus.

There are many different specific skills involved in computer literacy. Higher level skills like coding, HTML Web development and network administration are not usually referred to as computer literacy. Some basic maintenance of a computer, or use of products like the Microsoft Office suite, may fall into this category of knowledge. Computer literacy courses may offer instruction on how to use Microsoft Office, how to use an operating system and how to use an Internet browser. Those with higher level skills, like programmers, are sometimes called “power users.”


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…