AskDefine | Define printout

Dictionary Definition

printout n : the output of a computer in printed form

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings



From print + out or, possibly, output


  1. A hard copy of a program or data set, printed on paper.



A hard copy

Extensive Definition

In computer graphics and telecommunications, a hard copy is a permanent reproduction, on any media suitable for direct use by a person (in particular paper), of displayed or transmitted data.
Examples of hard copy include teleprinter pages, continuous printed tapes, facsimile pages, computer printouts, and radiophoto prints.
Magnetic tapes, diskettes, and nonprinted punched paper tapes are not hard copy.
HardCopy normally refers to the Altera technique of producing a structured cell ASIC where the cells are the same design as the FPGA, but the programmable routing is replaced with fixed wire interconnect. These devices then do not need to be programmed, and cannot be re-programming as an FPGA.
Dead tree edition is a term referring to a printed paper version of an article, as opposed to digital alternatives such as a web page. It is a mildly deprecating term for hard copy; variations include dead tree format and dead-tree-ware. "Dead tree" refers to trees being cut down for raw material for producing paper. The Guardian website on 29 November 2006 printed:
"Maybe this is more a multimedia victory for Jeff Randall himself: he did manage a dead-tree front page, web scoop, vodcast and major plug on the 10 O'clock news."
A related saying among computer aficionados is "You can't grep dead trees", from the Unix command grep meaning to search the contents of text files. This means that an advantage of keeping documents in digital form rather than on paper is that they can be more easily searched for specific contents. An exception are texts stored as digital images (digital facsimile), as they cannot be easily searched, except by sophisticated means such as optical character recognition or examining the infrequently used image metadata. On the other hand, dead trees have tremendous data integrity in proper conditions.
Related terms include tree carcass for a book and tree-killer for a computer printer. These terms are all examples of dysphemism.

External links

printout in Polish: wydruk

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Flexowriter typewriter, Teleplotter, alphabetical printer, article, autograph, brainchild, composition, computer printout, copy, digital graph plotter, document, draft, edited version, engrossment, essay, fair copy, fiction, final draft, finished version, first draft, flimsy, hard copy, holograph, letter, literae scriptae, literary artefact, literary production, literature, lucubration, magnetic recorder, magnetic tape, manuscript, matter, microcards, microfiche, microfilm, nonfiction, opus, original, oscillograph recorder, oscilloscope, paper, parchment, penscript, piece, piece of writing, play, poem, printed matter, production, punch cards, punched tape, reader, reading matter, readout, recension, recorder, relay register, screed, scrip, script, scrive, scroll, second draft, tape reader, teletypewriter, the written word, transcript, transcription, typescript, version, work, writing
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