Export is conventionally used to mean sending something out of your country to a different place or country. On the other hand, to import is to bring something from another place or country into own. This is similar when the two terms are used in a computing environment. Importing implies bringing a file from a completely different program into the program that you are using while exporting a file entails saving a file in such a way that a different program may be able to use. All these may be done with or without the help of software. This article thrashes out how you can import or export files without the use of any software.
Importing a file
For you to import a file from one program to the one you are using, the program needs to be able to identify and decode the file format that is different from its own. This is equally a capability that has to be incorporated into the program. Some of the formats are very common to an extent that almost all the programs can import them. A perfect example of this is that word processing programs are capable of reading ASCII (.txt files) text files while spreadsheets are capable of reading comma-delimited ASCII files (.csv files). For competitive advantage, most programs are originally written to import competitor files.
When you are reading an image from a camera or scanner directly into a document, this is referred to as an import function. In such a scenario, the program directly reads data from the camera/scanner to the file without the need to first save it differently. Scanners with optical character recognition are also able to directly send text to the file.
Many computer programs organize and decode data in their own way into files that they can save. These programs cannot recognize files from other programs but only their own. For you to export a file(s), your computer needs to save the data in a format that can be recognized by another program.
“Import” and “export” options under the File menu can be used to import/export a file. For example, when you are opening a file, Files of Type will be seen in a dialog box. You will then be required to drop down the menu where all other file formats that can be imported by the program will appear. The Import option may sometimes appear in the Insert menu. You can then select “Save as” option from “Files” menu and choose the file format to export to.