Hard copy

In information handling, a hard copy is a permanent reproduction, or copy, in the form of a physical object, of 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 radio photo prints.

Magnetic tapes, diskettes, and non printed punched paper tapes are not hard copies.


"Dead-tree edition"

Dead-tree edition refers to a printed paper version of a written work, as opposed to digital alternatives such as a web page. It is a dysphemism 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. Newspapers are, sometimes pejoratively, referred to as the dead-tree-press. The Guardian website on 29 November 2006 wrote:[citation needed]

"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 fans is "You can't grep dead trees",[1] 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, paper copies have tremendous data integrity in proper conditions.

Related dysphemism include "tree carcass" for a book and "tree-killer" for a computer printer

See also


  1. ^ Jargon File, article "Documentation"

External links

 This article incorporates public domain material from the General Services Administration document "Federal Standard 1037C" (in support of MIL-STD-188).

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • hard copy — hard copy, adj. 1. copy, as computer output printed on paper, that can be read without using a special device (opposed to soft copy). 2. copy that is finished and ready for the printer. [1885 90, Amer.] * * * …   Universalium

  • hard copy — hard ,copy noun uncount COMPUTING a printed copy of information on a computer ─ compare SOFT COPY …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • hard-copy — hardˈ copy adjective • • • Main Entry: ↑hard …   Useful english dictionary

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  • hard copy — ► NOUN ▪ a printed version on paper of data held in a computer …   English terms dictionary

  • hard copy — n. a computer printout, often supplied along with or instead of a video screen display …   English World dictionary

  • Hard Copy — infobox television show name = Hard Copy caption = format = Infotainment runtime = 30 minutes starring = Terry Murphy (1989 1998) Barry Nolan (1990 1998) Kyle Kraska (1998 1999) country = USA network = Syndication first aired = September 11, 1989 …   Wikipedia

  • hard copy — noun (computer science) matter that is held in a computer and is typed or printed on paper he ran off a hard copy of the report • Topics: ↑computer science, ↑computing • Hypernyms: ↑matter * * * ˌhard ˈcopy [ …   Useful english dictionary

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