To convert a file into the format required by the application being used. Many applications are capable of importing a variety of popular formats, converting them into the native format of the application for display, printing or editing. If an application can import a format, it can usually export to the format (convert it back). For example, most word processing programs can import documents created in other word processors. After editing, they can be saved in the native format or saved in (exported to) the document's original format.
Computer-aided design (CAD) and drawing programs are used to manipulate graphics objects in their proprietary, native format. In order to modify an illustration created in another application, it must be imported. After making changes, the drawing can be saved in (exported to) the drawing's original format.
Ripping Is Importing Too
When a music CD is imported into jukebox software such as iTunes and converted to MP3, AAC or some other compressed audio format, it is also called "ripping." Contrast with export
. See import filter
To scan an image into an application. For example, the import function in Photoshop is used to activate the scanner. In this context, import means to convert the paper image to a digital image.