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Data generated by a computer is referred to as output. This includes data produced at a software level, such as the result of a calculation, or at a physical level, such as a printed document. A basic example of software output is a calculator program that produces the result of a mathematical operation. A more complex example is the results produced by a search engine, which compares keywords to millions of pages in its Web page index.

Devices that produce physical output from the computer are creatively called output devices. The most commonly used output device is the computer's monitor, which displays data on a screen. Devices such as the printer and computer speakers are some other common output devices.

The opposite of output is input, which is data that is entered into the computer. Input and output devices are collectively referred to as I/O devices.

Tech Factor:
Updated: December 12, 2006
Category: Technical Terms