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Technical terms defined


Short for “software application.” An app performs a specific function on a computer or mobile device. There are millions of apps available for Android and Apple devices, and you can use them for all sorts of activities like paying your bills, looking up words in a dictionary, or watching music videos.

While the Digital Edition of the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lessons does not have a specific app, you can learn how to add a home screen icon to your mobile device by reading Is there a Bible Lesson app for my mobile device?.


A link to a web page that you can save in your browser for quick access in the future. Bookmarks are a convenient way to navigate to websites that you visit often. To create a bookmark, look for a command like “create bookmark” or “add bookmark” in your browser’s Bookmark menu. (Internet Explorer refers to bookmarks as “favorites.”) Browsers such as Chrome and Firefox provide a tiny star icon next to the address bar that you can use to bookmark web pages, too.


A software application on your computer, tablet, or smartphone that you can use to visit internet websites. When your browser is open, you’ll see a window on your computer, tablet, or smartphone screen. The window contains an address bar across the top for navigating to websites (for example, or Below the address bar, the browser window presents web page content (such as the FAQ page content you’re looking at right now).

There are different brands of browsers: Google Chrome, Safari by Apple, Microsoft Edge,  Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and others. (Internet Explorer is still widely used but was discontinued in January 2016; it receives technical support from Microsoft only for version 11.) All browsers are periodically updated by their parent companies to provide better security and internet search capability. For the best performance, you should install the most recent version of a browser that is compatible with your computer’s current operating system.


A small data file installed in your browser by a website you’ve visited. Cookies store information about your website visits in order to recognize you as a return customer. They can keep you logged in to a website, keep track of your online preferences, and remember items in your shopping cart. Please read our Privacy Policy for more information about cookies.


A default setting on your computer functions like a factory preset. For example, Apple uses Mail and Safari as the default email program and web browser on your devices. This means that when you click on an email address or website link, Mail or Safari will open automatically.


A desktop or laptop computer, tablet, smartphone, or iPod/MP3 music player. Tablets, smartphones, and iPod/MP3 players are also referred to as “handheld” or “mobile” devices.

Digital interface

The medium through which people interact with computers or other devices with screens.  Includes, visual, auditory, and functional components that people see, hear, or touch as they interact with devices. The digital interface of the Digital Edition is the screen with icons and buttons found at

Domain name

The part of a web address that is purchased from a domain registry and is used to represent a particular website. For example, is a domain name, while is a URL, or web address.


A method of transferring software or documents online from another computer or website to your own computer. You can download a variety of files from the Digital Edition to your computer or mobile devices for reading and listening offline.


EPUB is an electronic file format that is widely used to publish e-books and e-documents. You can download and read an EPUB file on your Apple or PC computer, smartphone, or tablet via an EPUB reader application. EPUB files can also be read on dedicated e-reader devices such as NOOK or Kobo.

Home page

The “front door” to a website; the first page that appears when you enter a domain name (such as into the address bar at the top of your browser. A home page usually contains navigation links that help direct you to other areas of the website.


A group of connected electronic networks that allows computers around the world to view and exchange information.

Log in / Login

A necessary step to accessing the Bible Lesson as a paid subscriber. This involves clicking the "Log In" button, entering your credentials (email address and password), and pressing the "Enter" key or clicking “Log In”.

Menu / Drop-down menu

A list box that presents commands, navigation links, or download options within a browser. The list box appears when you click on or hover your mouse over a menu icon. On the Digital Edition interface, you’ll see the menu in the upper left, depicted as three stacked horizontal bars.

MP3 format

A type of compressed sound file that is used by most digital audio players.


A group of elements contained within a website that help you find specific information, files, and pages. Navigation tools frequently appear as buttons and links, but they can also be icons, image maps, bars, columns, and menus. For more about navigation tools, please read the FAQs in the section “Choosing a web browser and navigating the Bible Lesson” below.


When a computer or other device is not connected to the Internet, it is offline. Downloading content (like PDF, EPUB, or .mp3 files) allows you to access the content offline.


If a computer or other device is connected to the internet, it’s online.  Your device needs to be online if you want to use the tabs as you read the lesson in your browser.

Operating System

The underlying software that controls your device's basic processes and allows it to run program software and applications. For example, Windows , Mac OS and Linux .


An acronym for “Portable Document Format.” A PDF is an electronic document that is created from a scanned paper document or a born-digital document. PDFs fix fonts, text, and images in position in a document so that these elements display correctly on different computers. 

Search engine

An online tool that searches for and identifies items that correspond to keywords or phrases specified by the user. These can be accessed in your browser. is an example of a search engine.

Streaming audio

A process that makes it possible for you to listen to an audio file online in real-time rather than downloading and storing it on your computer. Streaming audio works by sending a continuous stream of data to your computer’s browser while you are in the process of listening to a sound file.


A way to view a separate URL, or web page, within the same browser. On computers, multiple open URLs appear as tabs (like a file folder) at the top of the browser. On mobile devices, you can click the small numeral in one of the corners to view what different URLs are currently open as tabs in that browser.


A key or command that alternates between two modes.


An acronym for Uniform Resource Locator, which is an internet address for a particular page on a website. For example, is a domain name while is a URL. 

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