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Definition - What does Highlight mean?

Highlight refers to the action or process of making an object stand out from the rest of the objects on the display screen. The highlighted objects could be a selected block of text, menu options or command buttons. The objects are usually highlighted when they are selected by a combination of mouse clicks or keyboard buttons. The highlighted objects appear more prominent than the rest of the objects.

Techopedia explains Highlight

Highlight refers to the indication that a particular block of text or object(s) have been selected with the mouse or keyboard. The objects are selected using the mouse by holding down the left button and then dragging the mouse pointer over the area to be selected. For selecting using a keyboard, a combination of shift and arrow keys or certain other key combinations like ctrl+A are also used.

The highlighted objects are usually differentiated from the rest of the screen objects with a variety of visual cues like being shown in blue, having dots around the selection, having bold lines around them or by inverting their color.

While most of the time highlighting is removed after deselection of the object, permanent highlighting can be done in certain applications like Word and PDF files to make certain parts of the content prominent and easy to notice.

Highlighting in most cases is used to move, copy or cut the selected item. It also allows the object, if it is a folder or file, to be opened, viewed and manipulated.

Applications like Microsoft Word allow users to highlight selected parts of text in different colors as per their choice. This lets them skim the documents the same way they would when skimming a hard copy that has been highlighted with a highlighter marker.

Web pages can also use highlighting to emphasize certain parts of the text with the help of HTML and CSS.

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