1. In general, open refers to something that can be accessed or viewed.

2. When referring to computer software, open commonly refers to the process of executing or running a program or accessing or reading a file. For example, if you wanted to read a word processor file you could “open” Microsoft Word a commonly used word processor program and once open select the word processor file to open. In this example, if your computer did not have a word processor installed or didn’t support the file it would be unable to open the file or you would get an error.

Tip: The keyboard shortcut Ctrl + O shows the open window in most programs and allow you to choose a file to open.

  • Viewing the contents of a file.

3. When referring to computer hardware or other hardware devices, open refers to physically removing a compartment, such as removing the computer case cover.

  • How do I open my computer case?

4. When referring to a network port, open refers to a specific port being enabled, so that traffic can be transferred through it.

  • How can I open or forward a port on my router?
  • Computer network and network card help and support

5. When using FTP, open is a command used to establish a connection with a remote computer.

  • See the how to use FTP help page for information about open and other FTP commands.

Also see: Execute, Network terms, Open file, Open with


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